Category Archives: guest post

CD Hersh and Son of the Moonless Night

Fantastic Fridays

a blog for the paranormal romance lover

SON OF A MOONLESS NIGHT_505x825It’s here! Son of the Moonless Night, a paranormal romance suspense by writing team, CD Hersh, has been released! Join me today in welcoming CD Hersh and find out more about their Turning Stone Chronicles and how they write as a team.


  • Tell us a little about yourself and your book. We are a husband and wife writing team who have been married for 45 years. We met in high school, got married in college, started writing plays and dramas for our church about 18 years ago, and paranormal romance about 8 years ago. We like to travel, go to movies, and just hang out together.

The Son of the Moonless Night is the third book in The Turning Stone Chronicles series. Thrust back into the world of paranormal huntress, Deputy Coroner Katrina Romanovski must unravel a string of murders she believes are vampire attacks. When she discovers the shape shifter she’s in love with is the murderer, she must reconcile her feelings for him, examine her life of violence against paranormals, and justify deceiving him in order to bring him to justice.

This book continues Owen Jordan Riley’s story, whom you met in book two, Blood Brothers, a year after the loss of his best friend whom he thinks was killed by Rhys Temple. This book also continues with Alexi’s and Rhys’ story to become the long awaited bringers of peace to the Turning Stone Society.

  • Do you have cheerleaders supporting you as a writer? We would have to say that we have family who are cheerleaders. They are always asking when the next book of the series is coming out and what is it going to be about.
  • What are your hobbies or other interests that get you away from the stress of writing? Disneyland!
  • Give two random thoughts, quotes, or surprising tidbits about yourself, something that might surprise your readers. Hummmmmmmmmmmmm. A quote Donald likes is “Don’t take life too seriously, nobody gets out alive anyway.” Oh, Catherine cut a record when she was a teenager. She also made a recording recently at “The Grand Old Opry” at Ryman Auditorium.
  • Tell us the story behind your pen name? Our pen name came about after a lot of research to be sure it would stand out. Ultimately, we decided to just use our initials. The “C” stands for Catherine, and the “D” stands for Donald. Hersh is a shortened version of our real name that Donald always got called when he was younger when someone wanted to get a rise from him. He hated it, but enjoys it now. Catherine just said, “You never told me that before!” LOL


  • Pantser/Plotter/or both? Tell us how you work. We are plantsers. We plot heavily but allow room for the muse and characters to lead us. Together we lay out each character’s story arc. One of the things Donald always looks for is having two plot lines, one major the other minor, but woven together. We usually have the chapters and scenes plotted by character. Catherine will often apply the hero’s journey to the story as well. Once the plotting is accomplished, Catherine sits down and fleshes out the story. Then Donald critiques each line after Catherine has it on paper. Then together we do line-by-line edits adding any missing elements before showing it to anyone.
  • Come on, dish…is there anything unusual about your writing habits? We work together and apart. Then together when doing the final version. Also, what’s said in the writing office stays in the writing office, because we can get kind of heated.
  • Do you get writer’s block and if so how do you get past it? Not really. If she’s not ready to write, Catherine gets writers avoidance and will do things like clean the toilets.


  • Have you had many rejections? How did you deal with them? How did they push you? As C.D. Hersh we never got a rejection on the series. It was snapped up the first time out to an editor. Catherine went through all the rejections working as a solo journalist and author. You deal with rejection by just going forward. Whether or not someone likes a book is subjective. Once you realize that, and you know that you have a good grasp of the basics, it’s just a matter of trying until you succeed.
  • Do you have a writing schedule? How do you juggle writing, family, work, and life’s surprises? Not really, unless there is a contract deadline. Then Catherine gets antsy to get it done even if there are six months left. As for juggling the other stuff, Donald’s retirement has made things easier. For life’s surprises, well, that’s what a laptop is for. We finished book two, Blood Brothers, as we supported Catherine’s best friend dealing with her mother’s hospitalization and death.



Title – Son of the Moonless Night, The Turning Stone Chronicles, book three

Genre – Urban Fantasy, Paranormal Suspense Romance

ASIN: B00XK3E172

Length – 316 pages

Publisher – Soul Mate Publishing

Buy Link –

Heat Level – Sensual

Release Date: May 27th, 2015


  • What’s unique about this particular book? The shifters are unique because they are not werewolves and they can shifter into multiple human forms.
  • Is this a series? Will there be any sequels to this book? Yes, this is book three of what is currently planned as a six book series.
  • What are you releasing next, and when? The title for book four is The Mercenary and the Shifters, due to be released late this year.


Owen Todd Jordan Riley has a secret. He’s a shape shifter who has been hunting and killing his own kind. To him the only good shifter is a dead shifter. Revenge for the death of a friend motivates him, and nothing stands in his way . . . except Katrina Romanovski, the woman he is falling in love with.

Deputy coroner Katrina Romanovski has a secret, too. She hunts and kills paranormal beings like Owen. At least she did. When she rescues Owen from an attack by a werebear she is thrust back into the world she thought she’d left. Determined to find out what Owen knows about the bear, she begins a relationship meant to collect information. What she gets is something quite different-love with a man she suspects of murder. Can she reconcile his deception and murderous revenge spree and find a way to redeem him? Or will she condemn him for the same things she has done and walk away from love?


c d herschPutting words and stories on paper is second nature to co-authors C.D. Hersh. They’ve written separately since they were teenagers and discovered their unique, collaborative abilities in the mid-90s. As high school sweethearts and husband and wife, Catherine and Donald believe in true love and happily ever after.

Together they have co-authored a number of dramas, six which have been produced in Ohio, where they live. Their interactive Christmas production had five seasonal runs in their hometown and has been sold in Virginia, California, and Ohio. Their most recent collaborative writing efforts have been focused on romance. The first three books of their paranormal romance series entitled The Turning Stone Chronicles are available on Amazon.

Where you can find CD:



Amazon Author Page:


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Filed under Fantastic Fridays, guest post, romantic suspense

#Interview and #Giveaway – #Romance Author CD Hersh

Whimsical Wednesdays

another amazing paranormal romance guest blog

Today I’m thrilled to be interviewing the amazing paranormal romance author CD Hersh. I love the fact that CD actually stands for Catherine and Donald, husband and wife, and that they work together as a team. Having both the male and female point of view for their books lends a terrific balance and unique read that I know my readers will love. And today, they’re giving away One readers choice of either The Promised One or Blood Brothers in ebook format. Just leave a comment to enter to win shifter romance!

Hi and thanks for guest blogging on JessicaAspen Writes.

Thanks for hosting us, Jessica. We’re glad to be here and share with your readers about our book and series.


  • Tell us a little about yourself and your book.

We are a husband and wife writing team who’ve been writing together since the 90s when we first started writing drama for our church. We got into writing romance because Catherine gave Donald a romance book she thought he would like. He thought the hero did not react as a man would and told Catherine that we could do better. So we started looking for an idea for our book. We found one while brainstorming on a road trip when we passed a road sign that said Turning Stone NY. We tossed around the idea of what a turning stone would be, and came up with a different type of shape-shifter world, based on magic from a bloodstone given to three ancient Celtic families by Druid priests. Blood Brothers is the second book in the Turning Stone Chronicles series.


  • What is your writing environment like?

This depends on whether you are talking plotting, first draft, or revisions, as our writing environment is different for each stage. We tend to plot in the car on trips or in a restaurant over a meal. After much plotting and scene arrangement by Donald, first drafts are generally done in Catherine’s office, where she has control of the keyboard. When the first draft is done, we transfer the document to Donald’s computer, which has dual monitors so we can sit on opposite sides of the desk. At this point Donald has control of the keyboard. We revise together line by line, making sure sensory, setting, emotions, and any other items which create depth are in the story. We generally hole up in Donald’s office for at least a week doing this.

  • Give two random thoughts, quotes, or surprising tidbits about yourself, something that might surprise your readers

A quote Donald likes is “Don’t take life too seriously, nobody gets out alive anyway.”

Catherine is fond of “UFOs.” Unfinished objects: unfinished quilts, unfinished knitting and crochet projects, unfinished gardening, unfinished you name it as she tends to procrastinate.

  • I like that one, I’m a procrastinator too! Tell us the story behind your pen name?

Our pen name is a combination of the letters of our first names and a shortened version of our last name. The only story behind our pen name is that when signing books we both sign part of the name. Readers often comment on that when we do a book signing.


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

We want the reader to just have fun reading the books. We hope we make them laugh a little and maybe get involved enough to forget about the day to day troubles.

  • That’s nice. What is your favorite part about writing?

This is probably a toss-up between the plotting and the final line by line review when we add the depth to the story. During these times we are laughing, crying, or just generally having fun with the characters, and we’re working together.

  • Come on, dish…is there anything unusual about your writing habits?

When Catherine gets to within approximately 50 pages of the end of the first draft she won’t stop writing for anything. Since retirement, Donald stays up with her until she writes The End. Then we’ll take a nap, since it’s usually three or four in the morning, get up and go to brunch at Bob Evans to celebrate the finish of the first draft.


  • What do you come up with first in starting a story: Title? Characters? Plot? Setting? Conflict?

What we tend to come up with first is the title and the blurb. This gives us our outline to plot the stories that sometimes cause the blurb to change. LOL.

  • How do you research the time period, setting, plot specifics, character specifics?

Research is fun as we like to travel to the location to try and get as much direct information as possible, and if we can’t, we often use books or the internet. Our current stories primarily take place in Cleveland, Ohio. One year after actually visiting the city, Catherine had some questions about setting. So, we took a virtual tour of downtown Cleveland in Donald’s office via Google Maps. Several months later, while writing our Christmas newsletter, Catherine wrote we had traveled twice to Cleveland to research the book. Donald just about died laughing and had a hard time convincing her one was a virtual tour. LOL.

  • Do you have a writing schedule? How do you juggle writing, family, work, and life’s surprises?

We have a schedule only if we have a contract deadline. We tend to be feast or famine when it comes to writing because we have so many projects going on at the same time. We’ve been known to take a laptop to the hospital when visiting family to keep writing on deadline. Our daughter has also learned not to call during deadline times as she will get very short answers or be sent to voice mail.


  • Was there anything that surprised you while writing this book?

For Catherine, that would be the fact that we didn’t travel to Cleveland twice. LOL. No, really, we were surprised at the timing of when Rhys discovered his animal ego. We knew what it was but hadn’t decided when it would occur in the book. It happened in the end-of-the-book, during the last 50 page run that Catherine always does.

  • Did you have a favorite character in this book?

You would think this would be one of the heroes or heroines, since we have two in each book, but it is actually a supporting character named Eli McCraigen. He’s an immortal, Scottish character who loves to speak in proverbs.

  • Is this a series? Will there be any sequels to this book?

Yes, this is a series. This is the second of five planned books.

  • What are you releasing next, and when?

Son of the Moonless Night, (The Turning Stone Chronicles Book 3) is the next one in the series. We are currently working on edits for a possible release in 2015.

Thanks for the interview, Catherine and Donald.

And readers, CD Hersch is giving away a super prize today: One readers choice of either The Promised One or Blood Brothers in ebook format!

  Blood Brothers (The Turning Stone Chronicles, Book 2)

blood brothers by cd herschWhen Delaney Ramsey is enlisted to help train two of the most powerful shape shifters the Turning Stone Society has seen in thousands of years, she suspects one of them is responsible for the disappearance of her daughter. To complicate matters, the man has a secret that could destroy them all. Bound by honor to protect the suspect, Delaney must prove his guilt without losing her life to his terrible powers or revealing to the police captain she’s falling for that she’s a shape shifter with more than one agenda.

The minute Captain Williams lays eyes on Delaney Ramsey, he knows she’s trouble. Uncooperative, secretive, and sexy, he can’t get her out of his mind. When he discovers she has a personal agenda for sifting through all the criminal records in his precinct, and secretly investigating his best detective, he can’t let her out of his sight. He must find out what she’s looking for before she does something illegal. If she steps over the line, he’s not certain he can look the other way for the sake of love.

Buy now at Amazon:

Title: Blood Brothers (The Turning Stone Chronicles, Book 2)

Genre: Paranormal Romance


Length: 406

Publisher: Soul Mate Publishing

Release date: October 29th, 2014


c d herschPutting words and stories on paper is second nature to co-authors C.D. Hersh. They’ve written separately since they were teenagers and discovered their unique, collaborative abilities in the mid-90s. As high school sweethearts and husband and wife, Catherine and Donald believe in true love and happily ever after.

Together they have co-authored a number of dramas, six which have been produced in Ohio, where they live. Their interactive Christmas production had five seasonal runs in their hometown and has been sold in Virginia, California, and Ohio. Their most recent collaborative writing efforts have been focused on romance. The first book of their paranormal romance series entitled The Promised One (The Turning Stone Chronicles) is available on Amazon. The second book in the series Blood Brothers is coming October 29, 2014 from Soul Mate Publishing.



Soul Mate Publishing:


Amazon Author Page:


Amazon buy link for The Promised One (The Turning Stone Chronicles):


paper back:


Filed under guest post, werecreatures, Whimsical Wednesdays

Veronica Scott MAGIC OF THE NILE

Whimsical Wednesdays

a paranormal romance guest author day

Please welcome my guest author, Veronica Scot, to Jessica Aspen Writes. Veronica has been writing for several years now and I remember when I first heard of her Egyptian based series. It was a combonation of “Wow, I wish I’d thought of that!” and “Wow, I can’t wait to read it!” Please join me in welcoming talented and multi-published romance author, Veronica Scott.

And don’t forget to leave a comment to enter the giveaway for a copy of MAGIC OF THE NILE

Thanks for having me as your guest today!  I write both science fiction romances and paranormal romances set in ancient Egypt. I try to work myth and mystery into the novels of either genre, although in the Egyptian stories, I use the actual legends and beliefs of the time as much as I can. I always wanted to write tales set thousands of years ago along the Nile but I wanted to have the gods and goddesses actively involved in the day to day events, much as the Egyptians believed and hoped they were. MAGIC OF THE NILE includes a number of the deities, from Sobek the Crocodile God to Tawaret the Hippo Goddess.  My heroine and hero are the main actors driving the story but the gods are integrally involved.

  • What is your writing environment like? I write in a corner of my bedroom, at a desk that belonged to my great grandmother. I like the feeling of family continuity! I use a laptop and of course my cats are always supervising whatever I’m doing. They insist I take periodic breaks to throw their toys down the stairs. One of my cats has as his main goal in life to shred my ergonomic writing chair so I regularly have to deflect him. I prefer to write in the morning, since I’m definitely a lark, but with the day job, I’m more likely to be getting in a few hours after dinner. I keep an ever rotating variety of action figures and knickknacks on top of the desk for inspiration. I have my book covers in frames on the wall above and I also have a framed poster for the 1950’s movie “Princess of the Nile.”
  • How do you respond to someone who says, “You write WHAT?” In fact, I recently revealed to my co-workers that I was a romance writer, which was fun. They were quite blown away that I have seven books published and more in the works, have won some awards, etc. The fact that my first two books were released by Carina, an imprint of Harlequin, made an impression on everyone. Even the guys have heard of Harlequin it seems! And if I could tell that the person I was talking to about being an author really didn’t “get” that I was seriously pursuing my writing career, I’d mention my USA Today column on the Happily Ever After blog and THEN they’d nod and be impressed. (I write about science fiction romance 2-3 times a month for them.) Funny anecdote – some not-so-savvy internet users looked me up to find out more after I revealed my writing career, but they’d gotten the name wrong and searched on “Veronica Mars”…! They were really confused by the results LOL! I have to say everyone at has been supportive overall. My day job is at a heavy duty rocket science kind of place so it’s nice that people are respecting my genre choice and that I’m following my dreams. The world always needs more romance!
  • What do you love about writing? Hate about it? The thing I love most is being able to share my stories and hope readers are enjoying them. There’s nothing like receiving an e mail from someone who says they can’t stop thinking about your book, or meeting a reader at an event who’s read all of the books in the series and wants more. I don’t hate anything about writing but it is frustrating to me to have so many stories and bits of ideas in my head and not enough time to write them all. Sometimes it’s hard to pick which one to work on next. I usually go with whichever story is energizing my creativity the most.
  • What two things do you wish you had known before you started writing? First of all, I wish I’d understood the need to be active on social media sooner. The day I received The Call that Carina was buying my first story, I had no social media presence at all. Looking back, I can’t believe it! I quickly established my blog, got on Facebook and Twitter, but I think it would have been good for me to have been blogging and tweeting sooner. It’s fun and you connect with so many wonderful people all over the world. The second thing I would have done is joined my local Romance Writers of America chapter sooner and probably the RWA Fantasy Futuristic & Paranormal Special Interest Chapter as well. I did do both eventually and there are so many terrific people there who are willing to share lessons learned and encourage others.
  • What do you come up with first in starting a story: Title? Characters? Plot? Setting? Conflict? I usually start with the hero and heroine in my head, the opening scene, the ending and three or four major scenes along the way. I don’t plot, outline, use Scrivener or other tools…I’m strictly a write as I go person. I’m very superstitious about my Muse and how she works! I don’t examine my process too closely. I’ve also found that if I do too much prethinking about the story before I dive into writing it, then I’m not likely to ever write it, because in my mind, it’s been told. Usually I’ll print out the first draft once or twice while I’m still writing, read through it and think about what scenes might be missing. What do I know about the characters that I really haven’t shown the Readers in enough detail?
  • What made you choose to go the indie route and what are some of the things you love about it? Challenges? As I mentioned above, my first two ancient Egyptian paranormal novels were published as ebooks by Carina Press. I didn’t set out to be a self-publisher, but I had a novel nearly complete, which was loosely based on the sinking of the Titanic, set in the far future on a spaceliner. It dawned on me in early 2012 that the 100th anniversary of the sinking was right around the corner and I needed to get my novel out there. I didn’t have time to go through the submission process, not even with Carina, so I hired an editor, a cover artist, and a formatter and got WRECK OF THE NEBULA DREAM released myself. The book did very well, won several awards…and my career in self-publishing was launched. I love the control of self-publishing, being able to write exactly what I want, pick my own covers and to release my books on my own schedule. I wouldn’t mind being a hybrid author, perhaps have some books released by a publisher in the future but for now I’m focused on the self-pub route.


  • Did you have a favorite scene? One scene I particularly enjoyed writing was when the hero Sahure takes the heroine Tyema for a drive to town in his chariot. With her permission, he gives the horses their heads and they gallop down the road. She’s never gone anywhere so fast in her life and she revels in the sensations, deciding she has to get a chariot for herself. Sahure is pretty surprised by that! I had many readers tell me they were quite struck by the scene and that it really placed them in the ancient time frame, when not too many people went anywhere at a pace above walking speed. And women, even high priestesses, didn’t drive chariots. So one of the subplots is whether Tyema will or won’t get her chariot. Tyema is also suffering from anxiety relating to events in her childhood (which happen in PRIESTESS) and when she’s “flying” in the chariot, she feels free of all the cares and problems in her daily routine.
  • Is this a series? Will there be any sequels to this book? MAGIC OF THE NILE is my fourth novel set in this general time frame. It’s the latest entry in the “Gods of Egypt” series, which is a connected series, revolving around the same Pharaoh or events set in motion by him. MAGIC is a sequel to my first book, PRIESTESS OF THE NILE, but it’s a standalone. You don’t have to have read PRIESTESS first to enjoy the action and romance in MAGIC. There are some mild spoilers for PRIESTESS in this new book though. I’m currently working on GHOST OF THE NILE, which is set in the same general time frame, same pharaoh on the throne, but is standalone. I usually alternate, writing a science fiction romance and then one set in ancient Egypt.



magic of the nile by veronica scottAfter a childhood spent scorned and ignored by her family because of her crippled foot, Tyema was magically healed then installed as the High Priestess of his temple by Sobek the Crocodile God. But Tyema is still haunted by her memories, scarred by the abuse she endured. Despite Sobek’s protection, as an adult she’s become a near recluse inside the temple grounds…

Until Captain Sahure arrives in her remote town, sent from Thebes on an urgent mission for Pharaoh, requiring High Priestess Tyema’s help. From that moment on, her quiet, safe life is upended in ways she never could have expected.

But after a whirlwind romance with Sahure, the two part as Pharaoh orders him to undertake another assignment on Egypt’s dangerous frontier, far from Tyema’s remote town.

Heart-broken, Tyema is ready to return to her life of loneliness, official duties and, now, regret. But the Crocodile God has other plans for his priestess: she must uncover the sorcerer who threatens Pharaoh’s life with black magic. Soon enough, Tyema finds herself thrown into the chaos of Pharoah’s court, neck deep in intrigue and danger. Just when she thinks she can’t take the pressures of a very public court life and her secret investigation for the Crocodile God any longer, Sahure re-enters the scene.

But is her former love there to help or to hinder? Can they resolve their differences and work together to find the dark sorcerer who threatens Pharaoh and Egypt?

MAGIC OF THE NILE is a paranormal romance set in ancient Egypt.  Self published, this novel is 115,512 words long and was released in March 2014. ISBN: 0989590364 The book trailer can be seen here:

Buy Links:  Amazon   Barnes & Noble  All Romance eBooks  iTunes   Google Play Books Kobo


Veronica ScottVeronica Scott grew up in a house with a library as its heart. Dad loved science fiction, Mom loved ancient history and Veronica thought there needed to be more romance in everything. When she ran out of books to read, she started writing her own stories. Winner of the 2014 National Excellence in Romance Fiction Award and two SFR Galaxy Awards, she is also the recipient of the NASA Exceptional Service Medal.

CONTACT INFO:  Blog   Facebook   Twitter   Goodreads   Amazon Author Page


Filed under guest post, Whimsical Wednesdays

Lynn Cahoon-author The Tourist Trap Mysteries.

Whimsical Wednesdays

a blog delving into the mystery of our guest author

Today I’m interviewing multi-talented author, Lynn Cahoon. Lynn is a member of my amazing goal setting group and is one of the few people left from our original group who still posts her goals.  And I think that may be one reason why she’s so successful! Lynn writes romance featuring everything from bull riders to the fae, and while she’s a fabulous romance author, she’s here today talking about her third book in the Tourist Trap cozy mystery series which comes out on Monday, November 10th! I’m a huge fan of cozy mysteries, nothing like a murder to keep me entertained for hours, and I loved Lynn’s first book GUIDEBOOK TO MURDER. Please welcome Lynn Cahoon to Jessica Aspen Writes!

Hi, I’m Lynn Cahoon, author of The Tourist Trap mysteries along with several romances that feature hot cowboys, warlocks, and surfer dudes, not in the same book. Yet. My third release in the mystery series hits e-readers on November 10th and is called If the Shoe Kills.

    • The tourist town of South Cove, California, is a lovely place to spend the holidays. But this year, shop owner Jill Gardner discovers there’s no place like home for homicide. . .


As owner of Coffee, Books, and More, Jill Gardner looks forward to the hustle and bustle of holiday shoppers. But when the mayor ropes her into being liaison for a new work program, ’tis the season to be wary. Local businesses are afraid the interns will be delinquents, punks, or worse. For Jill, nothing’s worse than Ted Hendricks–the jerk who runs the program. After a few run-ins, Jill’s ready to kill the guy. That, however, turns out to be unnecessary when she finds Ted in his car–dead as a doornail. Officer Greg assumes it’s a suicide. Jill thinks it’s murder. And if the holidays weren’t stressful enough, a spoiled blonde wants to sue the city for breaking her heel. Jill has to act fast to solve this mess–before the other shoe drops. . .

  • Hi Lynn, what are your hobbies or other interests that get you away from the stress of writing?
    • My husband and I have made 2014 the year of fun. We bought ATV’s for trail riding for our anniversary. And now, we just purchased a lot and trailer (which from now on is officially called The Cabin) in a recreational subdivision in Central Missouri. I love finding flowers and animals while I ride.
    • I used to play darts 2-3 times a week and I’m pretty good, for a girl.
  • What made you decide to write and furthermore what pushed you to be a published author?
    • I knew I had stories to tell, but thought I’d do it someday. When the kid was grown, when I retired, when I wasn’t busy with life. When I was diagnosed with breast cancer, I realized someday may never come. So I started writing and selling essays and short stories. Then I tried my hand at novel writing. One victory spurred another and on June 4th, 2012 – my first full length book was published.
  • Give two random thoughts, quotes, or surprising tidbits about yourself, something that might surprise your readers
    • Positive thinking creates a doorway through which opportunity loves to walk.
    • Never give up, never surrender.
  • I love that quote, it’s one of my favorites too! Do you have a writing mentor? Do you mentor anyone?
    • I have a writing mentor which now has turned into more of a friendship/accountability partner. Laura Bradford, the author –not the agent, writes cozy mysteries and romance. Her first bit of advice she ever gave me? Finish a book. Any book. At that time I had 4-5 chapters on 4-5 projects.  Now we set and report weekly goals, successes and opportunities.  I’m blessed to have her in my life for the friendship as well as the career guidance.
  • Have you faced big challenges in your writing?
    • I feel like I’m challenged every time I start a book or hit the saggy middle in the WIP. I learned a big lesson with my last book that I just turned in on September 30th. If I write daily or consistently, I do better with the story and the edits. I’m not a binge writer. I need to set down every day and just start writing, even if I’m convinced I don’t know where the story is going. Writing will lead me down the right path, and if it’s a dead end? That’s for editing time.
  • Describe your working environment. You can include things about your day/schedule.
    • I have a day job, so I have to be protective of my off work hours. I ‘read’ by listening to audio books during my commute. I work each morning for at least a ½ hour, then again at night when I get home (after I work out.) My goal is 10,000 words a week – which if I get 2K a day, I don’t have to work weekends. But I typically do.  Except for Sunday. Sunday is up to me if I write or not, even if I haven’t met my weekly goal. I call it No-Guilt Sunday.
  • Pantser/Plotter/or both? Tell us how you work.
    • I think you can see from my answers above, I’m a Pantser. But I do outline, in my own way. I have a notebook page with 25 chapters written out on one side. Chap 1, Chap 2…Etc. Then under each chapter heading, I put in what I think is going to happen. Like Dead Body under Chapter 3’s heading. Even if I don’t put that in the specific chapter, I make sure I work in it somewhere. And I keep track of page numbers as I want my chapters to be at least 10 pages. Which is about 2500 words. Crazy, but it works for me. About 1/3 of the way through the book I write up a new cleaner list with only the chapters I need to write. So that page might start on chapter 12 and be two columns instead of three. As I finish a chapter, I cross it off.  Makes me feel like I’m moving forward. Then I do it again, especially if I’m  procrastinating writing.
  • Have you had many rejections? How did you deal with them? How did they push you?
    • I’ve come so close with Harlequin American I could scream. I get great revise and resubmit letters. Of course, I didn’t understand them when I got the letter, but I think I’m honing in on what works for them. My theory is if you get rejected, you find somewhere else to send the story to or you self-publish. I’ve also been writing shorts for Woman’s World. That’s a graduate level course in rejection. I have sold two stories in the last three years, but I get many rejections due to ‘implausible’ plot or actions. With WW shorts, when a rejection comes in the mail, I write and send a new story out. I’m determined to crack the code again.
  • I tried with Women’s World. Congrats on getting in, they’re tough! Do you have a writing schedule? How do you juggle writing, family, work, and life’s surprises?
    • I’d love to give you the secret, but I think it depends. I believe in balance. I only have a bit of time every day that I can write, however, I love the days when I can put down 2K a day for a week or so. It really keeps me in the story. I’ve mentioned before I have a goal accountability partner. I’m also on two different goal groups. I hate it when I have to admit my time has been spent more in front of the television than the computer screen. Right now I’m writing (or editing) first thing in the morning when I’m fresh. I write a blog at lunch at work (IF I take lunch) and then I either write at night to hit my word goal or write another blog. I spend way too much time refreshing Facebook and my email.
  • Are you self-publishing? Why or why not?
    • I am and I will in a bigger way in 2015. I released a winter novella set in The Bull Rider’s world of Shawnee Idaho. I wanted Cash, who gets dumped in book one, to have his own HEA. Shawnee Holiday is available exclusively on Kindle (for now.)
  • What’s unique about this particular book.
    • If The Shoe Kills features a work experience program called Work Today. I attended one of these how to find a job programs when I was fresh out of college. Combine my gratitude for their experience with my own work experience in the social service field, I have a lot of knowledge and respect for the programs. I hope others spread the Christmas spirit this year with those less fortunate.
  • Was there anything that surprised you while writing this book?
    • I’m always surprised with the ending. J I typically know who the culprit is, but the why, that’s what I struggle with because I truly don’t think like a killer. At least on my good days.
  • Loved book number one, so let us know will there be any sequels to this book?
    • Yep, If the Shoe Kills is Book 3. Guidebook to Murder released in April and Mission to Murder in July. Both have hit the USA Today best seller list and Guidebook hit the NYT list at #21. I’ll release three more Tourist Trap Mysteries starting in March 2015.

 If The Shoe Kills

if the shoe kills by author lynn cahoonThe tourist town of South Cove, California, is a lovely place to spend the holidays. But this year, shop owner Jill Gardner discovers there’s no place like home for homicide. . .

As owner of Coffee, Books, and More, Jill Gardner looks forward to the hustle and bustle of holiday shoppers. But when the mayor ropes her into being liaison for a new work program, ’tis the season to be wary. Local businesses are afraid the interns will be delinquents, punks, or worse. For Jill, nothing’s worse than Ted Hendricks–the jerk who runs the program. After a few run-ins, Jill’s ready to kill the guy. That, however, turns out to be unnecessary when she finds Ted in his car–dead as a doornail. Officer Greg assumes it’s a suicide. Jill thinks it’s murder. And if the holidays weren’t stressful enough, a spoiled blonde wants to sue the city for breaking her heel. Jill has to act fast to solve this mess–before the other shoe drops. . .


Cozy Mystery

ISBN-10: 1601833067

ISBN-13: 978-1601833068

214 pages

Amazon – 

Nook –    

November 10, 2014



lynn cahoon authorUSA Today and New York Times, best-selling author, Lynn Cahoon is an Idaho native. If you’d visit the town where she grew up, you’d understand why her mysteries and romance novels focus around the depth and experience of small town life. Currently, she’s living in a small historic town on the banks of the Mississippi river where her imagination tends to wander. She lives with her husband and four fur babies.


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Lexi Post #romance #author Interview and #Giveaway

Whimsical Wednesdays

romance author interview

Purple stick 2Please welcome erotic romance author, Lexi Post to Jessica Aspen Writes. And today, Lexi is generously giving away a Venetian mask, so please read throug the post, answer Lexi’s question in the comments, and enter to win! Don’t forget to check out the sexy cover for her latest romance Passion of Sleepy Hollow. Yowza!

  • Hi Lexi, how long have you been writing? What is your main writing genre? Do you write in more than one genre and why?

I’ve been writing for about six years. I only write romance though I write many subgenres of it. All my current published books are erotic romance, though among those there are paranormals, a Sci-fi and a January 2015 release with a contemporary cowboy. I write in many subgenres because I write erotic romance inspired by the classics. So whatever the original story inspires is what I write. For example, when I decided to write Passion of Sleepy Hollow, I used Washington Irving’s “The Legend of Sleepy Hollow” for my inspiration. That story just begged for a paranormal bent, so it not only had ghosts, a witch and a curse, it also had a hero from present day and a heroine trapped in the 1790s.


  • Tell us the story behind your pen name? Do you have more than one?


I only have one pen name, Lexi Post. Lexi came from my family. They called me Lexi when I was little and actually still do. When I was a teenager, my siblings started calling me Sexy Lexi which embarrassed me at the time, but it gave me the idea to use the name for my erotic romance. Post is actually the last name of my biological father. I figured that way I wouldn’t embarrass any of my family members. As it turns out, all of them, including my extended family are thrilled by my writing career.


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


I want my readers to feel completely satisfied to the point they have a “book hangover” as one of my fans stated. That’s what happens when you have read a great romance and the characters just stay with you and you are hesitant to pick up another romance right away because you are still emotionally connected to them. I love it when I get one of these and I’m absolutely thrilled when my readers have this happen.


Most of all, I want to reinforce the age old ideals that good wins over evil and love conquerors all, even if none of us our perfect. Having spent most of my life reading and teaching classic literature which 9 times out of 10 will have a sad ending, I wanted to write stories that would end happily and give hope.


  • What inspires you?


For my erotic romances, it is classic literature. I know, that sounds strange given what I just said.  But the fact is, the classics are classic for a reason. They are good. They just tend to have sad endings. So I get my inspiration from the original stories and write an entirely new story with pieces from the old that are key. In Passion of Sleepy Hollow, I kept the setting, the main characters (or their descendants) and the superstition that was prevalent in the original.


  • What do you come up with first in starting a story: Title? Characters? Plot? Setting? Conflict?


I definitely start with my characters, deciding who from the original story will be used and what their goals, motivation and inner and outer conflicts will be. This is often simultaneous with deciding on my setting. Then I focus on what the pivotal black moment will be, that conflict in values that tears the couple apart. Once I have these pieces, I just start writing as I am a pantser at heart.


  • Are you self-publishing? Why or why not?


I am. I just released my first self-published novella that started my erotic sci-fi series; however, my agent will continue to submit to publishers. The reason I started with self-publishing was so I would have control over when some of my books come out. I didn’t want my readers to forget me :-} By time my second year anniversary of being published rolls around, I will have six books out, two of which are self-published. I am hoping that I can increase that number in my third year.


  • Did you have a favorite scene in Passion of Sleepy Hollow?


Yes, I did. It was a scene I hadn’t known would be in the story, but I just followed the characters, actually the hero, Braden. It is a very touching sex scene where he uses a mirror to show Katrina how beautiful she is. It isn’t that she has a poor image of herself. It is just that she’s never really thought about it with all her responsibilities. Braeden is absolutely wonderful as Kat realizes she’s pretty all over.


  • What are you releasing next, and when?


My next book is titled Cowboys Never Fold. It is a contemporary cowboy story that will be part of a multi-author Cowboy 12 Pack coming out in January. This novella was inspired by Bret Harte’s “Outcasts of Poker Flat” and takes place on a new nudist resort, a place this cowboy, Wade, isn’t excited about working at until he meets the owner, Kendra.

 In celebration of Halloween, I will give a hand decorated, Venetian mask made in Italy to one lucky commenter who tells me what genre of romance they like best.


Passion of Sleepy Hollow blurb:


passionofsleepyhollow_msr (2)Recluse Braeden Van Brunt is not happy to be the Headless Horseman…until he meets Katrina Van Tassel, owner of the Sleepy Hollow Inn, whose allure bewitches him from the front desk into the bedroom. When he discovers Kat and the village of Sleepy Hollow are cursed to exist in the present day for only one weekend a year, he realizes the sacrifice he must make if he wants to keep her.


Katrina Van Tassel lives between slivers of time. She thought she was through grieving her betrothed’s death, but her dreams flare to life when his mirror image arrives, requesting a room. Drawn to Braeden, she is taken to more erotic heights of intimacy than she ever imagined, but she can’t be sure if her heart is with him or the love from her past.


Knowing he has to conquer both time and ghosts to keep the only woman he’s ever loved, Braeden must put the past to rest. But the dead may not rest in Sleepy Hollow.


Link to Excerpt from Passion of Sleepy Hollow


About Lexi Post:

Lexi Post photo Lexi Post spent years in higher education taking and teaching courses about the classical literature she loved. From Edgar Allan Poe’s short story “The Masque of the Red Death” to the 20th century American epic The Grapes of Wrath, from War and Peace to the Bhagavad Gita, she’s read, studied, and taught wonderful classics.

But Lexi’s first love is romance novels. In an effort to marry her two first loves, she started writing erotic romance inspired by the classics and found she loved it. Lexi feels there is no end to the romantic inspiration she can find in great literature for her sexy love stories. Her books are known as “erotic romance with a whole lot of story.”

Lexi is living her own happily ever after with her husband and her cat in Florida. She makes her own ice cream every weekend, loves bright colors, and you will never see her without a hat (unless she is going incognito).
To contact her, send an email to




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Seduced by A Sinner

 Whimsical Wednesday

a blog to meet new authors!

Today I’m lucky enough to interview fellow romance author Cynthia Woolf here today on Jessica Aspen Writes. Cynthia has been on the blog before with her sci-fi romance, but she also writes killer western romances and is very well known for her Bride Series, including Tame a Wild Bride. She’s also a fellow member of Colorado Romance Writers and will be at our CRW tea in October partying it up and signing books.

Hi Cynthia, Tell us a little about yourself and your book.

I write historical western and sci-fi romance. I’m concentrating on the westerns because that is what sells. This book, Seduced by a Sinner, is the third in the Destiny in Deadwood series. It completes the story arc for the villain introduced in the first book, Redeemed by a Rebel. It also tells the story of Zach, the middle of the three Anderson brothers.

What is your writing environment like? I write at my desk and it’s totally cluttered with stuff. I have my keyboard in a tray underneath the desk, so the top of the desk holds research, calendars, calculator, snacks, whatever else I want or need.

Do you have cheerleaders supporting you as a writer? My husband is my greatest cheerleader.

What do you love about writing? Hate about it? I love the initial writing of the story, but have a love/hate relationship with the editing portion. I love it in that I see the editing making my story stronger. I hate it in that I want the story done right now.

Pantser/Plotter/or both? Tell us how you work.  I’m a pantser. I write a little bit, maybe a page or two about the characters and the basic plot.

What do you come up with first in starting a story: Title? Characters? Plot? Setting? Conflict? The first thing I do it come up with the setting, then I do initial research on that. Second is the plot followed by the characters and the conflict. The title is last for me. One of my critique partners is the opposite. For her, she can’t do anything without the title first.

How do you research the time period, setting, plot specifics, character specifics? I use the internet a lot. If I can, I go visit the place, like Deadwood, SD for my latest work. Then I use the resource materials that I get at the location, history books, old newspapers, train schedules, whatever I need for the plot and character specifics.

Are you self-publishing? Why or why not? I am self publishing because I like the control. I like writing to my own schedule and answering only to myself.

What made you choose to go the indie route and what are some of the things you love about it? Challenges? I went the indie route because I was tired of trying to get published the traditional way and being told that westerns are dead or we can’t place you. The best part is being able to set your own pace and write what you want. The worst part about it is having to promote yourself so much, but I guess even those that are traditionally published have to do their own promotion these days. Unless, of course, you’re Nora Roberts.

Is this a series? Will there be any sequels to this book? This is the third in the Destiny in Deadwood series. As to sequels, none are planned, but you just never know.

What are you releasing next, and when? My next series is about mail order brides in San Francisco in 1867, after the Civil War, when men were scarce in the east. The first of those books is titled The Brides of San Francisco – Nellie and will be out in November 2014.

Seduced by a Sinner

seduced by a sinner by cynthia woolfZach Anderson is a desperate man. He needs to find a killer before the man destroys Zach’s entire family. He also must convince one Lily Sutter, the woman he loves, that she loves him and wants to marry him.

Neither task is an easy one.

Lily Sutter is a sinner. Just ask anyone in Deadwood. She had a baby out of wedlock and she doesn’t deny it. She was seduced and left by one man; she refuses to be taken in by another. The fact that Zach makes her blood boil and her heart race, just by being near, has nothing to do with anything.

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Seduced by a Sinner, historical western romance, 978-1-938887-47-5, indie published, release date September 2014


cynthia woolf, authorCynthia Woolf is the award winning and best-selling author of nine historical western romance books and one short story with more books on the way. She was born in Denver, Colorado and raised in the mountains west of Golden. She spent her early years running wild around the mountain side with her friends.
Their closest neighbor was one quarter of a mile away, so her little brother was her playmate and her best friend. That fierce friendship lasted until his death in 2006.
Cynthia was and is an avid reader. Her mother was a librarian and brought new books home each week. This is where young Cynthia first got the storytelling bug. She wrote her first story at the age of ten. A romance about a little boy she liked at the time.
Cynthia loves writing and reading romance. Her first western romance Tame A Wild Heart, was inspired by the story her mother told her of meeting Cynthia’s father on a ranch in Creede, Colorado. Although Tame A Wild Heart takes place in Creede that is the only similarity between the stories. Her father was a cowboy not a bounty hunter and her mother was a nursemaid (called a nanny now) not the ranch owner.


Cynthia credits her wonderfully supportive husband Jim and the great friends she’s made at CRW for saving her sanity and allowing her to explore her creativity.



SEDUCED BY A SINNER (Book 3, Destiny in Deadwood series)

HEALED BY A HEART (Book 2, Destiny in Deadwood series)

REDEEMED BY A REBEL (Book 1, Destiny in Deadwood series)

CAPITAL BRIDE (Book 1, Matchmaker & Co. series)

HEIRESS BRIDE (Book 2, Matchmaker & Co. series)

FIERY BRIDE (Book 3, Matchmaker & Co. series)

TAME A WILD HEART (Book 1, Tame series)

TAME A WILD WIND (Book 2, Tame series)

TAME A WILD BRIDE (Book 3, Tame series)

TAME A SUMMER HEART (short story, Tame series)



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Must Love Breeches, Time Travel Romance author Angela Quarles

Moonday Mania

a blog venturing into the mists of time

Welcome to Moonday Mania and my guest author, Angela Quarles. Angela is a fellow member of the Romance Writers of America and the Fantasy, Futuristic & Paranormal romance writers chapter where we delve into everything from wizards and witches to love in space. Her first book, Beer and Groping in Las Vegas, came out in 2012. Now she’s ventured into the world of paranormal romance and I’m thrilled to say readers are eating it up! Here she is talking about writing, life and her latest book, Must Love Breeches. Please welcome romance author, Angela Quarles!

  • How long have you been writing? What is your main writing genre? Do you write in more than one genre and why?

I’ve been working on a nonfiction book since the early 1990s, but didn’t start dabbling in fiction until 2005 (except for a very brief attempt to write a romance in the 90s). In 2005, I started writing Jane Austen fan fiction, but didn’t really set out to write a novel until 2008. I completed my first novel in 2009, which is currently trunked 🙂 I wrote the first draft of Must Love Breeches in 2010 and set about revising it. I think writing fiction offers an opportunity for me to use my creativity and imagination in a way that was challenging enough to keep my interest. Plus, it allows me to use and fuse my interests in different ways and in different stories. It’s a way for me to “act” out other characters and personalities and to time travel 🙂 If there was one sub-genre under romance that would cover what I write it’d be paranormal. Mainly time travel, but also other types of romance where I can incorporate something a little out of the ordinary, whether it’s a wish-granting djinn, or steampunk, or meta fiction—a ‘What If’ that can’t actually happen in real life. Usually, though, it’s a little dabble that is inserted into the normal world, but has big consequences. In my time travel romance, Must Love Breeches, it’s a wish made on a calling card case that brings her back in time, but then that’s it as far as paranormal events. With Beer and Groping in Las Vegas, it’s an accidental wish made with a djinn, and except for little things they notice during the story, it takes place in our normal world.

  • Tell us the story behind your pen name? Do you have more than one?

I definitely wanted to keep my first name to avoid confusion when someone might be calling out for me and I don’t realize it because I’m not used to the name. So Angela was a given. I wanted something for a last name that had some personal meaning and was also distinctive enough that I would be able to claim my pen name on the social media outlets and that didn’t have authors already populating Amazon and Google. Quarles fit that bill as it’s an old family name in Virginia. Some ancestors of mine there married into the Quarles family, so there you go!


  • What theme or message in your book? Does it run through all your books?

In Must Love Breeches it’s about Home, specifically What is home? What makes a home for someone and how do you find it? It runs as a minor theme in my other books too. Probably the theme or message that is most prevalent is learning to love and accept yourself before you can find love and happiness.


  • Pantser/Plotter/or both? Tell us how you work.

I’m a Plantser, a little of both, but that only came about after several books. My first two books were pantsed, which includes Must Love Breeches, but by my third full-length I realized I needed to get a little more organized to save myself a lot of revision work, and so with Steam Me Up, Rawley, my steampunk romance coming out in the beginning of 2015, I pre-plotted as much as I could stand and that was basically working out the world, the goals of the hero and heroine and a bit of their background, and the major turning points. Since then, I’ve been most comfortable that way. I can’t go as far as a full outline, because some things I can’t figure out until I’m actually wading into it, but I push myself to nail down what I can before I start.

  • Do you get writer’s block and if so how do you get past it?

Sometimes. I’m a FastDrafter, meaning I try to write my first draft as fast as I can. I wrote the first draft of Steam in 14 days, but generally I take 30… This means I really don’t have time to get stuck, which is great as it forces me to go on. Before I started FastDrafting, I never completed my first novel because I was always suffering from Writer’s Block, which at that time was just pure fear. Now, when I do get it, it’s because I don’t know where the story is going and so I’ll stop and break for a day or two and type up all that I know about the characters and what’s happening, the plot points, etc.—generally all the things a Plotter would put down on paper before they ever started. Then I take out my notebook and a pen and just start writing out what I’m stuck on—literally. For instance, I’ll write out: “Okay, so such and such is doing this and that and I need to figure out why he’s doing this, what could be the reason…” and then I’ll just start bulletpointing ideas on paper and running with them until something comes out of it. That generally works for me.

  • How do you research the time period, setting, plot specifics, character specifics?

First it might be figuring out what country or time period and then narrowing it down from there. For instance, with Must Love Breeches I vaguely knew I wanted to go back to the early 1800s and did some superficial research until I came across Ada Lovelace and I knew she had to be a character, so that narrowed down my research to a very specific time period. With Must Love Chainmail, I only knew it needed to be in the medieval era when mail armor was still worn before plate armor became popular. I nosed around on some forums talking about armor and a commenter suggested Wales might provide a fertile ground with the Edwardian wars there, so then I started reading general histories on Wales until a specific historical event spoke to me (Madog’s Rebellion in 1294) and then I narrowed my focus and even found the perfect castle to base the beginning of the story in. The next in the series, Must Love Kilts, I just started reading some general histories this week on Scotland (I’ve read many in the past, but not with plotting a book in mind) to see if a specific time period or historical event pops out for me and then I’ll narrow my focus. Going into this, I had a specific feud in mind between the Campbells and MacDonalds in mind, but I don’t know if that will work best or not, so I want to do this stage of research to see if anything else speaks to me more.

  • What made you choose to go the indie route and what are some of the things you love about it? Challenges?

I started out on the traditional route with Must Love Breeches and queried agents in 2012 and ended up with three offers of representation. However, when it went on submission in early 2013, we had a tough time selling it. It did get as far as a second read with Grand Central as well as Berkeley Intermix, but ultimately it came down to two main problems: debut author + not-hot genre. If it had been a contemporary…. But it wasn’t, and publishing is a business and it was deemed too risky to take a chance on, and I understand that. It did get offers from two small presses, but ultimately, after much debate, we decided to turn them down and self-publish, as the risk and reward worked out better for me that way. I was just too worried about whether I’d get good editors, a good cover, etc., and in the end, realized that the potential risks weren’t worth it for what they could bring to the table–I wasn’t convinced that the extra readers they’d bring would offset that risk or the loss in revenue. So I took the scary step of vetting and hiring my own team of editors and a book cover designer, and fronting the cost for that and I’m so glad I did! I love the control over the product and the promotion, and once it all sank in, I scrapped my plans to seek a traditional home for Steam Me Up, Rawley and am putting it through the editing paces right now for a planned release in January/February.

  • Did you have a scene that was particularly hard to write? Why?

Yes, her realization that she had gone back in time. I think because the idea of it is so farfetched and yet accepted in fiction, but I wanted to write it like how someone would realistically react to that, but how would you react? LOL. I just remember it being painstaking for me as I was also still so new to writing fiction then and I just worried that it wouldn’t ring true. Anyway, I slogged through it and came out the other end J

  • Is this a series? Will there be any sequels to this book?

Yes, this is Book One in the Must Love Series. Book Two will be Must Love Chainmail, then Must Love Kilts, and then perhaps Must Love Buckskin.

  • What are you releasing next, and when?

Next will be Steam Me Up, Rawley, a New Adult steampunk romance set in the Deep South in 1890. It’s a spin off from the Must Love Series, since the ramifications of Book One creates the steampunk world this is set in. I plan to release it in January or early February of 2015.

  • Love that! Can’t wait. Thanks, Angela, for joining me today. Now here’s the blurb for Must Love Breeches!

AngelaQuarles_MustLoveBreeches_200pxMust Love Breeches

She’s finally met the man of her dreams. There’s only one problem: he lives in a different century.

“A fresh, charming new voice” – New York Times bestselling author Tessa Dare


A mysterious artifact zaps Isabelle Rochon to pre-Victorian England, but before she understands the card case’s significance a thief steals it. Now she must find the artifact, navigate the pitfalls of a stiffly polite London, keep her time-traveling origins a secret, and resist her growing attraction to Lord Montagu, the Vicious Viscount so hot, he curls her toes.

To Lord Montagu nothing makes more sense than keeping his distance from the strange but lovely Colonial. However, when his scheme for revenge reaches a stalemate, he convinces Isabelle to masquerade as his fiancée. What he did not bargain on is being drawn to her intellectually as well as physically.

Lord Montagu’s now constant presence overthrows her equilibrium and her common sense. Isabelle thought all she wanted was to return home, but as passion flares between them, she must decide when her true home—as well as her heart—lies.


Must Love Breeches: Time Travel Romance

Release Date: Sep 3 2014

Length: Novel (98,000 words)

Ebook Price: $4.99

ISBN: 978-0-9905400-0-7




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angela quarles, authorBIO

Angela Quarles is a geek girl romance writer whose works includes Must Love Breeches, a time travel romance, and Beer & Groping in Las Vegas, a geek romantic comedy in novelette form. She has a B.A. in Anthropology and International Studies with a minor in German from Emory University, and a Masters in Heritage Preservation from Georgia State University. She currently resides in a historic house in the beautiful and quirky town of Mobile, AL.



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Allie Quinn on Being a Writer

Whimsical Wednesdays

Please welcome guest author, Allie Quinn. to Jessica Aspen Writes. Allie not only writes erotic romance about vampires, but she also moonlights in paranormal suspense under the pen name, Allie Harrison. Today she’s sharing with us what it’s like to write erotic in the real world.


under the cover of moonlight by allie quinnHi! I’m Allie Quinn.  I write erotic romance. I also write as paranormal/suspense as Allie Harrison. UNDER THE COVER OF MOONLIGHT by Allie Quinn, released June 10, 2014, by Loose Id, is the second in my Moonlight Assassins series. My Moonlight Assassins are the good guys. Never mind they are also vampires, and not your run of the mill vampires, either. No, my vamps can be out in the sunlight and can eat regular food. Do not get on the bad side of my vamps!

In UTCOM, Zack McCullin travels to a small mountain town determined to stop Rachel Maxwell, who he believes has stolen his research information. What he soon discovers—besides his attraction to Rachel—is something far more deadly.

I’m careful who I tell I’m a author, even more I’m an erotic writer. A fellow high school graduate congratulated me when I told him I was an author. When he introduced me to his wife, however, whom I’d never seen before, and told her I’m a published author, she looked at me and said, “Oh, I’ll bet you write smut.”

I smiled and said, “I write award-winning novels.”

Writing has always been my stress relief. After a bad day anywhere, I can sit down, place my fingers on the keyboard, fall deep into another world, and fall in love or kill off someone I don’t like. I miss gothic stories and Stephen King is my first true hero, creating stories I couldn’t stop reading until the end. My goal is to scare you like he does, but make you fall in love, too. I never planned to write erotic romance. It kind of fell into my lap with the rejection of a fun ghost story. So here I am. Some people make fun of erotic, but I can honestly say keeping the sex fresh is very hard (no pun intended).

I don’t believe in writer’s block. I believe sometimes the words come and sometimes they don’t. I don’t believe in wasting my time since I’m only given a certain number of minutes. So if the words aren’t coming, I get up and do something else. I keep a notebook, pen and flashlight by my bed for when the words come in the middle of the night. I prefer to write with colored pens, usually purple or blue. I also think the use of blues and purples on covers go over well.

I’m usually inspired by characters I see around me. I can stand in line at WalMart, watch people and play the ‘what if’ game.

Of course I’ve had rejections. If I get feedback from them, I use it. Such is the case when my ghost story was rejected. I see a rejection as a new path I’m supposed to take, not as a road block. It’s like getting laid off. You aren’t meant to be there. You’re meant to be somewhere better. Never be afraid to try a new path and never stop looking ahead.

Under Cover of Moonlight

When Zack McCullen thinks his research program has been stolen by Rachel Maxwell, he wants nothing more than to kill her. At the very least, he wants her arrested. But something about her photo haunts him and makes his heart pound. He even dreams about her. When he finally meets her in person, he’s blindsided by his burning desire for her. As hard as he fights it, with one touch of her hand, he loses the battle.

After one passion-filled night, Zack knows she’s the soulmate destiny has chosen for him. There’s no way in hell he can allow her to be taken from him, much less arrested; he can’t live without her. Then he discovers who the true thief is, and anger gives way to terror. Terror of the thief, but more, terror that neither he, nor the passion he’s discovered with Rachel, will survive under the cover of moonlight.

Find Under the Cover of Moonlight at:

Amazon and LooseId

When Allie Quinn isn’t watering flowers, reading, doing crafts or other fun things with her kids and husband in Southern Illinois, she’s dreaming up the next spooky story.

Allie Quinn

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Filed under guest post, Whimsical Wednesdays

Hope: The Final Frontier

Whimsical Wednesdays

 guest author Tameri Etherton

Today on Jessica Aspen Writes I’m excited to fantasy romance author Tameri Etherton. Tameri is one of those people I’ve met through the Fantasy, Futuristic & Paranormal online chapter of Romance Writers of America, and I also had the opportunity to work with her on the RWA PRO Steering Committee, so it was very exciting to finally meet her face to face this year in San Antonio, where I found her to be just the kind of person I’d thought she’d be: warm, funny, and very into paranormal romance. Please welcome…Tameri Etherton!

I want to thank Jessica for having me here today! It’s been great fun getting to know Jessica online, and then meeting her in person at the RWA National Conference in San Antonio was a special treat. And now I’m here, at her place!

As a special thanks to Jessica’s readers, I’d like to offer either a $10 Starbucks gift card, a $10 Amazon gift card, or a secret surprise, and some cool swag for one lucky commenter. On Sunday, September 28th, I’ll choose one random commenter to win. So please leave your email if you’d like to be included in the drawing!

Hope: The Final Frontier

Hope. Such a simple word filled with immense power.

There are all manner of things we as writers can do to our characters. Kill them, hang them from the edge of a cliff (either physical or mental), seduce them, maim them, give them a loving partner, we can create whatever scenarios we like. They are, after all, our creations.

But no matter what we do to them, they still need to have hope. For without that one little thing, all is lost. Think about it, if the characters don’t have hope, then why keep trying? And if they don’t have hope, why should I? What’s keeping me reading?

I don’t know about you, but I’ve been known to throw a book against the wall in frustration because the characters do or say something so ridiculous that I want to hate them. Then, five minutes or five hours later, I’ll pick up the book and start reading. Why? Because I have hope that whatever crazy thing the writer is going to throw at the characters next, they will prevail.

At least, I hope so.

It’s the books that leave me with a satisfied smile that stay with me the longest. The books that took me to the edge of the universe and back, made me laugh, cry, and cringe, but always left me with a sense of hope that everything would be okay in the end, those are on my favorite bookshelf.

It’s the books that leave me hanging that I loathe the most. The ones that toy with my emotions, mess with me mentally, then end without any resolution. The bad guy doesn’t get punished, the heroine doesn’t get what she needs. The hero is left for dead. It’s those books I never recommend to friends and quietly shuttle off to the land of Books Without Hope.

As you’ve probably guessed by now, I’m a hopeful romantic.

I need my hero and heroine to prevail in the end. I crave the adventure and all the shenanigans that lead up to the climactic ending, but there absolutely must be a happy ending or I’m left wanting.

Is this unrealistic? Perhaps. But that’s why I read and write. To escape the real world and enter a place where wrongs are righted and villains are punished.

If their heads explode in a shower of gore, all the better!

What about you? Do you prefer grittier, real life stories that may or may not end happily, or are you like me and want a happily ever after? Or, at the very least, a happy for now?


Thank you again to Jessica for hosting me today! Be sure to comment to win some groovy stuff. I hope to see you around, be sure to find me on social media where we can chat about hope and all sorts of crazy stuff.

The first book in my Song of the Swords series is out now. It’s available at Amazon, B&N, iTunes, and other fine retailers. Here’s a little peek at The Stones of Kaldaar:

The Stones of Kaldaar by Tameri EthertonSome say she’s the one of prophecy,

that she’ll bring balance to the world.

Others say she’s the destroyer,

meant to bring an end to Aelinae.

They’re both right.

Everything Taryn knew was a lie. Her life on Earth, the man she thought was her grandfather, even her age, were all fabrications meant to protect her, to keep her hidden until she could return to her home world. Once on Aelinae, Taryn realizes she has more to fear than the creeping darkness that threatens to suffocate her.

Unwilling to become a pawn in the machinations of her scheming family and the world she now calls home, Taryn sets out to learn about her mysterious powers. Reluctantly, she accepts the help of Rhoane, a man who promises to protect her, but whom she’s not sure she can trust.

As tensions mount and her loved ones are threatened, Taryn must confront an ancient enemy and stop a sinister plan to bring back a banished god.

On Aelinae they say there can be no Light without Dark and no darkness without light. If Taryn fails, there will be only Blackness. Absolute. Binding. Without end.

Failure is simply not an option.


Tameri Etherton Bio:

Tameri EthertonRocker of sparkly tiaras, friend of dragons, and lover of all things sexy, Tameri Etherton leaves a trail of glitter in her wake as she creates and conquers new worlds and the villains who inhabit them. When not masquerading as a mom and writer, rumor has it she travels to far off places, drinking tea and finding inspiration for her kickass heroines—and the rogues who steal their hearts—with her own Prince Charming by her side.

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Filed under Fantasy Romance, guest post, romance, Whimsical Wednesdays

Werewolves in the Kitchen…Oh My!

Whimsical Wednesdays

guest post

Today on Jessica Aspen Writes, I’m interviewing author, Shauna Aura Knight. Besides having the coolest author name ever, she also has a pretty hot cover and a seriously hot book! You might also be interested in her non-fiction books on dreamwork, rituals, and goddesses. Please welcome, Shauna, to the blog

Hi Shauna and thanks for being my guest today on Jessica Aspen Writes. Let’s get started on the interview, shall we? What do you come up with first in starting a story: Title? Characters? Plot? Setting? Conflict?

I’d say characters and conflict. I often hit right in the middle of the story, particularly when one of my stories comes from an idea from one of my epic dreams.


Have you had many rejections? How did you deal with them? How did they push you?

I haven’t had many rejections, but I also waited until I was a really solid writer to submit my work. This is speaking both as a nonfiction and a fiction author. I did recently have a rejection that devastated me at first. However, having a beta reader go through my rejected novel helped me figure out what was wrong with it. In the act of defining the villain more clearly, I not only improved that story, but I came up with the villain/primary conflict for at least three or four other books that I had started, yet I wasn’t sure what the motivation for the villain was. So that rejection ended up being really good for me!


Are you self-publishing? Why or why not?

I have self published some of  my nonfiction, and I’m working on a fiction story to self publish. I like working with publishers as it helps to get my work out to a broader audience, and it’s nice to not have to manage all the details. Plus, the experience of having my work edited has tremendously improved my writing. However, I am looking to self publish some fiction just to get a more direct idea of what promotion efforts are working. I do a lot of social media, and I’m never sure what is actually helping to sell my books. I’d like to spend more time writing, and less time promoting, so the only way to do that is to get more strategic about it.

 What’s unique about this particular book.

The book is has some very intensely sexy moments, particularly when all three of them are having sex together…but what really made the characters come alive for me is how funny Jake and Kyle are together. I had no clue when I started writing the story that the two of them would be so clueless about how to seduce Ellie. Writing them made me laugh out loud.


Was there anything that surprised you while writing this book?

I was surprised that Jake and Kyle were werewolves. I wrote the scene of the three of them hooking up first. By the time I finished writing that very erotic scene, I knew that they were werewolves. I’ve always been more into vampires, to this was a surprise.


Werewolves in the Kitchen by Shauna Aura KnightDid you have a favorite scene?

I do; it’s this hilarious interchange between Jake and Kyle. I don’t even know where it came from, but it still cracks me up when I read it. These two incredibly sexy werewolves are trying to seduce Ellie and completely failing at it.


“Was she running away from us?”


Jake folded his arms. “You scared her off.”


“Me? I’m not the one who was all, ‘Would you like some lemonade?’ No, that didn’t spook her.”


“You were about to force feed her pie.”


“I was just offering.” Kyle tugged his apron off.


“She does run away from us though.” Jake and Kyle headed outside. “Why do we scare her?”


“We’ve never gone feral in front of her….”

Is this a series? Will there be any sequels to this book?

I didn’t intend this book as a series when I wrote it, however, I now have three novels I’m working on that all take place at the SpiralStone retreat center where Werewolves takes place. In A Golden Heart of Glass, Angel is a devotee of the goddess Aphrodite, but as she and Benjamin grow closer, they both find themselves sought after by creatures that want their magic. Jake, Kyle, and Ellie make appearances, and I’m also working on a freebie short story about the threesome from Werewolves. Jake and Kyle ambush Ellie with a feast of chocolate…delicious smut ensues.

What are you releasing next, and when?

My next release will be A Fading Amaranth. Alexandra’s psychic abilities have made it impossible for her to be in a relationship until she meets Nathaniel, a vampire who has lost his muse. When a Faerie monster begins stalking the streets of Chicago, they have to face dark magic and danger. I don’t have a release date just yet but it’ll be out soon!

 BOOK BLURB: Werewolves in the Kitchen

When Ellie moved to the SpiralStone retreat center to figure out her life, she expected peace, quiet, and spiritual practice. She had no idea that the two sexy men running the kitchen would seduce her…much less at the same time. Kyle and Jake turn out to be wilder than they seem and Ellie finds herself wrapped up in devastating magic. She must choose: stay with Jake and Kyle and risk who she has been, accepting the dangerous world of shapeshifters? Or leave them and risk madness, or worse?


Excerpt on my Blog:


To buy Werewolves in the Kitchen:

Jupiter Gardens Press:




 Werewolves in the Kitchen is a paranormal romance with a M/F/M ménage.

ISBN:  #978-1-938257-65-0

 shauna aura knight, authorBIO: Shauna Aura Knight

An artist, author, and presenter, Shauna’s work is inspired by the mythic stories of heroes and magic, and of the darkness we each must overcome. She’s a fantasy artist and author of paranormal romance and urban fantasy including Werewolves in the Kitchen, A Winter Knight’s Vigil, and The White Dress, the Autumn Leaves. Her mythic artwork and designs are used for magazine covers, book covers, and illustrations.She travels nationally offering intensive education in the transformative arts of community leadership, facilitation, and personal transformation, and is the author of numerous articles and books on those subjects.



Author Web Site:

Fiction Blog:



Amazon Author Page:


Filed under guest post, Whimsical Wednesdays, Writer's Journey