Sunday, October 12, 2014



Check out these authors and their books

Love and hatred, magic and superstition, murder and repentanceShadows of the Pastby Carmen Stefanescu #Wild Child Books #Paranormal Romance

A sloe-eyed vixen out for revenge targets storekeeper in this #historical western romance by Dorothy A. Bell.#

Discover for yourself what it means to be a Spirit Summoner. An#EpicFantasy by Matt Campbell. #WildChildBooks

Tears of Heaven by RA McCandless. Angel assassins are among us.‪#‎urbanfantasy‬ ‪#‎WildChildBooks‬ 

Friday, March 7, 2014

"Virtual NBtM Book Tour: The Nun & the Narc

Critters at the Keyboard 


The Nun & the Narc by Catherine Castle

Catherine will be awarding a $25 Amazon GC to a randomly drawn commenter between this tour and her Virtual Book tour.

Follow the tour and the more you comment; the  better your chances of winning. The tour dates can be found here: 

Some words on
Creating Unique Characters
By Catherine Castle

I’ve done quite a few author interviews and one of the questions I keep running into is how do you create your characters? Inquiring minds want to know:
·         How did you come up with the names for your characters?
·         Do your characters look like real people?
·         Where do you find inspiration for your characters’ habits, hang-ups and fears?
·         Are your characters a thinly disguised version of you or someone you know?
·         Do your characters like the same things as you?
The simple answers to these questions are yes, no, and everywhere.
Every writer has his or her own way of creating characters. For me, it’s a mix of things. I take a little bit of me, a little bit of someone I know, a little bit of something I’d like to be, a few traits that my character needs in order to do certain things, a fatal flaw, real or imagined, that is going to cause big trouble for my character, find some humorous element I can use with them, and I roll everything together into a unique character who has his or her own personality.
Sometimes the addition of personality traits is a subconscious process. I don’t even realize that I’m including something about me, or someone I know, until the character is on the page saying, “I hate_____”, or I find them scrubbing the kitchen furiously in times of sorrow. Other times I set out to create a specific behavior quirk for my character and I have to twist things until they fit.
Since I’ve been asked several times about how I created the characters for this book, I thought I’d
give readers a peek into Sister Margaret Mary and the inspirations behind her creation.
I am not a nun, nor have I ever been a novice. But Sister Margaret Mary, the heroine of my book The Nun and the Narc, is a novice. To create her nun side I had to do research, but to create her quirks and personality I drew from other places, some places that I know well.
Here are the answers to the questions above about how I found inspiration for my feisty heroine, Sister Margaret Mary, affectionately known to the hero as Maggie.
·         Is she named after a real person? Nope. I just happen to love alliteration. If you haven’t figured that out yet, by my pen name, the title of the book, and the heroine’s name, you haven’t been paying attention. In fact, I originally named the good sister Mary Margaret, but Jed kept calling her Maggie, so I changed her name. Sometimes it’s wise to listen to your characters when they speak to you.
·         Does Sister Margaret look like anyone I know? Yes and no. She’s a redhead. I have redheaded nieces and a redheaded nephew, but that’s as far as her resemblance to them goes. She’s also the same height as me, but that’s as far as our resemblance goes, too.
·         Where did I find Sister Margaret’s hang-ups and fears? I drew a bit on myself for this one. Sister Margaret and I both hate granddaddy longleggers. You’ve seen them I’m sure—those oversized, gangly arachnid looking bugs that hang around under picnic tables. Like Sister Margaret, I can chase and stomp on most any bug, roaches included. I will pick up tomato hornworms, earthworms, smack mosquitoes silly, and scoop up and dispose of most creepy crawlers. But don’t put me anywhere near a granddaddy longlegger. Those gawky, spider-like bugs freak me out. Sister Margaret hates them, too, and Jed finds this out when he’s trapped in a dirt hidey hole with her.
·         Is Maggie a thinly veiled version of me? Hardly. I’m not nearly as brave as she is, and I love my creature comforts, like air conditioning, way too much to go to a tropical climate and do physical work. We do, however, both love the Lord and we have empathy for others. As for being a replica of someone I know, it’s not wise to pattern your character exactly like someone else. There’s always the risk they will recognize themselves in your book and be upset instead of flattered.
·         Does the good sister like the same things as me? Not really. She’s much more adventurous. Using the example of the contestants of the reality show The Amazing Race, who have to constantly do things they normally wouldn’t do in order to win, I pushed my character way beyond my comfort zone. The adventurous novice easily chomps down on a skewer of chapalines for brunch when she misses breakfast. You won’t see me eating exotic, exoskeletoned cuisine that I would normally step on, no matter how much chili powder and grease they are cooked in. Alligator is my limit, and it doesn’t agree with me.

Creating character personality traits is easier than you might think. Just look around. A snapshot of something striking, a look, a word, an emotion, the spoken phrase are all fodder for your story and can help you create unique characters readers will love. Like the tee shirt my daughter gave me for Christmas says, Watch out or I’ll put you in my novel.

What about you? Do you have a trick you use to create your characters?

The Nun & the Narc Blurb

Where novice Sister Margaret Mary goes, trouble follows. When she barges into a drug deal the local Mexican drug lord captures her. To escape she must depend on undercover DEA agent Jed Bond. Jed’s attitude toward her is exasperating, but when she finds herself inexplicable attracted to him he becomes more dangerous than the men who have captured them, because he is making her doubt her decision to take her final vows. Escape back to the nunnery is imperative, but life at the convent, if she can still take her final vows, will never be the same.

Nuns shouldn’t look, talk, act, or kiss like Sister Margaret Mary O’Connor—at least that’s what

Jed Bond thinks. She hampers his escape plans with her compulsiveness and compassion and in the process makes Jed question his own beliefs. After years of walling up his emotions in an attempt to become the best agent possible, Sister Margaret is crumbling Jed’s defenses and opening his heart. To lure her away from the church would be unforgivable—to lose her unbearable.

Please enjoy this excerpt 

Margaret inched forward, hoping to hear what they were saying. A mariachi band nearby blared out a tune, the polka-like melody destroying any hope of eavesdropping. The shriek of off-key brass sent chills up her spine. She covered her ears and moved closer to Rafael and the stranger.

After a couple of minutes of conversation, the man removed an envelope from his jacket and pulled out a handful of bills. He folded them in half and then slipped them into Rafael’s extended hand. With a furtive glance around, Rafael moved closer to the man, blocking Margaret’s direct view, and handed something to the stranger.

A wave of apprehension swept over Margaret. The chapulines she’d snacked on earlier that morning threatened to see the light of day.

A drug deal! Of all the things Rafael could do, this was the worst.

Esperanza had fought so hard to keep her son away from bad influences. Now he appeared to be involved in the very thing she’d hated most. Margaret imagined Esperanza banging on the gates of purgatory, trying to get out and rescue her son.

She hesitated for a moment, hearing Mother Superior’s admonishment. Stay out of trouble while you are in Mexico, Sister. 

Silencing the nagging voice in her head, Margaret charged forward, protective instincts in full swing.

Stopping Rafael and talking to him about the dangers of drugs surely wouldn’t qualify as trouble. Bluntness, maybe, but not trouble. It was more like saving. Yes, that’s it. I’m saving him.

About the Author

 Catherine Castle has been writing all her life. Before beginning her career as a romance writer she worked part-time as a freelance writer. She has over 600 articles and photographs to her credit, under her real name, in the Christian and secular market. Besides writing, Catherine loves traveling with her husband, singing, and attending theatre. In the winter she loves to quilt and has a lot of UFOs (unfinished objects) in her sewing case. In the summer her favorite place to be is in her garden. She’s passionate about gardening and even won a “Best Hillside Garden” award from the local gardening club.

Her debut inspiration romantic suspense, The Nun and the Narc, from  Soul Mate Publishing was an ACFW Genesis Finalist and is a 2013 EPIC finalist.

Buy links:

Print version:

Catherine’s website:

Catherine’s blog:

Catherine’s Amazon author page:

Catherine’s Goodreads page:

Twitter: @AuthorCCastle


Thursday, January 30, 2014

"Virtual Blurb Blitz Tour: The Opposite of Wild by Kylie Gilmore"

Critters at the Keyboard
The Opposite of Wild by Kylie Gilmore

Kylie will be awarding a $25 Amazon gift card + The Opposite of Wild Romance Trading Card to a randomly drawn commenter during the tour, and a $10 Amazon gift card with The Opposite of Wild Romance Trading Card to two randomly drawn hosts.

The Opposite of Wild
by Kylie Gilmore



Unleash the wild woman…?

Ex-cop Ryan O'Hare takes one look at buttoned-up control freak Liz Garner and just itches to loosen the woman up. Not that he’s into her. Because a woman like that comes with way too many expectations. Not to mention, she practically works for him, and he didn’t hire Liz to watch after his beloved Harley-stealing Gran so he could turn Liz loose in his bed. Still, there’s something about her, a hidden wild side, that makes him wonder what it would take.

Liz must be crazy to work for the insensitive, arrogant, horriblyhot man she's avoided for years. Unfortunately, she needs the money and Ryan's grandmother needs a keeper. (Midnight tango lessons and ziplines with Gran, anyone?) Ryan's rare smile and swaggering confidence have Liz torn between throwing her favorite pinot grigio at his head or throwing herself at him. Can this control freak find a way to let loose with the tough, no-strings guy who once broke her heart?


Excerpt One:

Ryan just stood there, his sharp eyes studying her. "You're a puzzle, Liz."

"I am?"

He reached out and smoothed a lock of hair behind her ear, and her heart caught in her throat at the gentle gesture. "You seem souptight," he said. She stiffened and took a step back. "But I know you were checking me out when I was mowing."

She flushed, but rallied quickly. "I was only bringing you water." She crossed her arms and said primly, "You surprised me when you dumped the water on your head. I was merely looking to see if you were going to do any othersurprising things."

His lips twitched. "You're like a librarian just waiting to let loose."

"Is that supposed to be a compliment?" she bristled, hands on her hips.

"There it is." He smiled and stepped close, crowding her space. She drew in a quick breath, but held her
ground. "The puzzle—fire and ice."

She put both hands on his solid chest and pushed him out the door. "Next time, mail it." She shut the door in his face, turned and leaned against it. "Urgh!"

"That's what I'm talking about," he said through the door.

She ripped open the door. "Go away."

His head cocked to the side while he bit back a smile. "Is that any way to talk to your employer?"

"Gah!" She slammed the door and locked it. She heard his low laugh as he walked away.

Excerpt Two:

Ryan handed her the check. "Not going to let me in?"

"I'm having a movie night with Daisy."

"You know I've met Daisy before. She was only a grade behind me."

"Thank you for the check."

He put a hand on the doorframe above her head and leaned close. "Gran says she's having fun with you." His silky voice sent shivers through her.

"Yes," she breathed. He was so close she could see the golden flecks in his hazel eyes framed by those long lashes.

He grinned. "So you do know how to have fun."

She stiffened at his teasing tone, whirled around and grabbed the doorknob. He placed a hand over hers on the knob. She looked at his large hand covering her smaller one and her heart seemed to stop and lurch painfully forward. "I'm not a puzzle," she told him quietly. "I’m not fire and ice. You just don't know me."

"I think I do."

She could feel the heat of his body on her back. If she turned around, she'd be in his arms.

"If you hand deliver my next paycheck"—she scrambled to think of a suitable threat—"I'll-I'll—"

"You'll what?" His breath was hot on her ear.

"I'll dump ice on you!" She slipped inside and shut the door. Again she heard his low laugh as he walked away. She wanted to rip open the door and yell at him some more, but stopped herself because she didn't want Daisy to see the insanity he provoked in her.


AUTHOR Bio and Links:

Kylie Gilmore was lucky enough to discover romance novels at a young age as they were strewn all over the house (thanks, Mom!). She writes quirky, tender romance with a solid dose of humor. Her first book in the Clover Park series, The Opposite of Wild, will launch in January 2014 featuring the oldest of three brothers and his lady love. The next two books in the series give each brother his dream girl (eventually).

Kylie lives in New York with her family, two cats, and a nutso dog. When she's not writing, wrangling kids, or dutifully taking notes at writing conferences, you can find her flexing her muscles all the way to the high cabinet for her secret chocolate stash.


FB page:


Good Reads:


Barnes & Noble:

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Tuesday, January 28, 2014


Critters at the Keyboard

RoseAnn will be awarding a $25 Amazon GC to a randomly drawn commenter during the tour.


When Emma Grant returns to her family's Audubon Springs beach house to fulfill the stipulations of her father's will, she has every intention of forcing her former lover out of the house for good. She's never fit into her wealthy family and would prefer avoiding her past, but with her brother threatening to reveal her young daughter, she has no choice. Rafe Iuliano has other plans. The wealthy Grants tried to bribe him out of Emma's life years ago, but he's determined to prove once and for all that a master carpenter is worthy of Emma and the house. Their ridiculous and steamy battle for the house reignites the love and passion that bloomed between them years ago. But when Rafe discovers she's kept their daughter a secret for two years, can he overcome anger and pride to claim his family and the love of his life, or will the deception drive a final wedge between them?


 “It’s good to see you too, Emma.” Rafe smiled. A flash of dimples tugged on her memory and heart. “Is falling into men’s flower beds a habit or should I feel special?” 

“As it happens, I don’t see this as your flower bed, but rather my own.”

Covered in dirt, Emma feasted her eyes on Rafe. She didn’t try to stand. Instead she pushed her hands further into the sticky mulch, needing something to hold on to, momentarily thankful to be on solid ground. She licked her lips. He looked good. “Finally here to claim what’s yours?”

 “Are you going to help me up or not?” Rafe took a deep breath, and reached out a hand. When they touched, the same powerful jolt of electricity that used to exist between them ran up her arm and straight to her heart. He pulled harder than necessary and Emma slammed into his chest. She took a quick step back, needing space, and almost landed in the garden again. Rafe held on and steadied her.

“Whoa, easy. I don’t think the shrubs can take anymore.” Her stomach twitched at the sound of his voice, so close it resonated in her ear and vibrated down her spine. His scent, masculine and fresh from-a-shower-clean, mesmerized her. He surrounded her even though he only stood in front of her, balancing her. 

“Let go of me,” she whispered. He complied by raising his hands, palms out, in the air as if they’d been burned. His heat lingered on her skin, and she ached with the loss of his touch.  Emma went to work brushing the gritty mulch from her shaking hands. 

“You always were a bit clumsy, huh, Ems?”

 She snapped her head up, and her eyes landed on his playful grin.

The Author's idea writing space

Hello and thank you for having me as a guest at Critters at the Keyboard! Today I have been asked to describe my ideal writing space. It could be old man winter has me down and feeling rather like a shut-in, but honestly when I think of my ideal writing space, I think of Emma and Rafe’s ocean side home in my fictional town, Audubon Springs.  The town is a fictionalized version of my personal favorite Jersey shore town, Spring Lake. The house itself is a mix of two homes you’d find on pristine Ocean Ave.  The homes are lovely sprawling Victorians with large covered porches and amazing views of the ocean.

So what does the ideal space within the home look like? The office is on the second story of the house with a set of French doors leading to a porch that boasts a white wraparound railing. This setting affords me the opportunity to work indoors with the doors flung open wide, the long white curtains billowing in the wind, carrying the fresh scent of the sea into the room for inspiration. Outside on the porch, I’d have a chaise lounge for when I take a break to read, or from where I can work on my printed edits. The porch would also have a table with chairs so I could sit and have a meal while jotting down notes for my current work in progress.  The sights from the porch, that of the ocean and nature, and knowing my family was close by within the homethat is my ideal setting in which to write.  


RoseAnn DeFranco grew up in upstate NY with her nose in a book and a song in her heart. Following the pursuit of a musical theatre career in NYC, she turned her creative energy to writing romance. RoseAnn blogs about her writing experiences with her critique partners at www.the A NJ shore transplant, she enjoys time spent at the beach with her family. She would love to one day live in a quaint shore town like the fictional town Audubon Springs from her BROTHERS OF AUDUBON SPRINGS series.  More information about these Contemporary Romantic 

Comedies can be found at 

Web links: www.radefranco;