Wednesday, February 27, 2013

#BookReview ~ Hidden Under Her Heart

Title:      Hidden Under Her Heart
Author:  Rachelle Ayala
Genre:   Women's fiction
Rating:   5/5 stars

I loved this book! Rachelle Ayala is one of my critique partners, so I got to read the beginning of this book in its first stages and then the entire completed book all at once. In my opinion, this is her best work yet.

First off, I really like Lucas. He has his flaws and is perhaps a bit extreme in some of his views, but deep down he is a loving, caring man who was someone I could really relate to and admire. He stands by his convictions and tries to do the right thing. He is a jokester and some of his jokes go a little extreme, but it shows his playful, fun side too. My favorite part about Lucas was the growth his character took in the book. 

Maryanne is also a realistic character. Even though her opinions are at the different end of the spectrum from mine, I could feel her turmoil and enjoyed her journey and watching her conflicts. She has a lot of growing up to do throughout the book, and I found it fascinating to watch her journey. It was almost better because I didn't agree with her viewpoint. 

The cast of supporting characters was enjoyable too, complete with difficult family members and friends who sometimes caused more harm than help.

For me, this book was pretty intense. When I got the final version I read it in just 2 evenings because I had to find out what happened. This story touched me and also made me really think about my opinions on abortion and why I feel the way I do. Overall, the romance between Maryanne and Lucas was satisfying and the action parts were exciting and fun to read. This one is a hit, and my favorite book of Ayala's so far. Can't wait for her next book!

Happy reading, everyone!
~~ Chantel~~

Monday, February 25, 2013

#Interview ~ Author Versus Character ~ Torin

I'm pleased to welcome back Dariel Raye to my blog. Today, she is here because her newest release Dark Sentinels Book Two: Torin just came out. She dragged her leading man, Torin DuMont, over here to speak with us. First, let's see the details on Torin's book:

When greedy land developers set their sights on Dark Sentinel land, Torin turns to attorney Stephanie Bates for help, but she’ll need his protection to stay alive long enough to save his land.

Real estate lawyer, Stephanie Bates, has risen to the top of her field through meticulous sacrifice and goal setting. She has no time for distractions – and that includes pets, messy relationships, and loose ends. 

Torin DuMont is a forensic scientist who chose the profession to avoid dealing with people as much as possible. Raised by a stepfather who hated him, he’s been forced to live a life of solitude, fueled by anger and distrust. When wolves and shifters start turning up dead, Torin must battle an enemy bent on destroying those he was born to protect. His greatest challenge, however, is Attorney Bates and the surprising affect she has on his heart.

“Dark Sentinels Book Two: Torin” at Amazon

Let's jump right into the interview. Tell me how you two met and how long ago that was.

Torin: Who are you again?

Dariel: Torin, I already told you she’s a friend of mine. She’s an author, too. You promised to be cordial.
Torin: Dariel works with “Defenders of Wildlife.” I met her at one of the committee meetings, full of opinions as usual.

What was your first impression of each other?

(Dariel gives Torin a side glance and presses her lips together) He didn’t say much, mostly sat there scowling at everybody, kind of like he’s doing now, and when he decided to speak, it was out of order.

(Torin rolls his eyes, interrupting Dariel) and she was talking more than everybody. I had to interrupt her to get a word in. She’s not even a shifter, but you’d think she knows more about us than I do.

She's an author. We're all know-it-all's if you get stuck in one of our books. That's just the way we are. Sorry, Torin. 

Dariel, what does Torin do that annoys you the most?

Just one thing? He talks over you like you’re not talking.

And Torin, if you could say just one thing to Dariel, what would it be?

So you’re not gonna ask me what she does to annoy me? What am I gonna say to little miss know-it-all? She’s gonna do what she’s gonna do, and I’m gonna do what comes naturally to me. Stop trying to control what I do and say.

Wow! I'm sorry...totally didn't mean to cause trouble, Torin. This is just a friendly little chat we're having. Let's see...I'm already in the doghouse, so to speak, so I'll just keep going. Why don't you tell me the most embarrassing thing that’s happened between you two?

Dariel: (smiles and looks away)

Torin: I’m not talking about that, and she promised to never bring it up again.

Must've been good! Guess we'll skip that question. Dariel, what do you feel the worst about doing to Torin?
Not giving him a heads-up before he met Stephanie. He’d never had to handle anything like that before.
Stephanie? Who’s Stephanie?

Torin: She’s this little uppity human lawyer – a lot like Dariel, actually, except Dariel’s not a lawyer. She’s worse.

Dariel: (laughs) Stephanie is a brilliant lawyer who nearly knocked him off his feet before he even saw her.

Do you think you two will meet again in the future?

(glances at Dariel with a shit eating grin on his face) I’m pretty sure she’ll drag me through something else. She gets her kicks that way.

Well, I really do appreciate you both coming here today. I hope after this interview we are all still friends :-)

About the Author
Dariel is a classically trained pianist and vocalist with a degree in piano and vocal performance and a master’s in counseling psychology from The University of Georgia. She also completed studies and passed comprehensives for a Ph.D. (ABD). She loves animals, nature, all things paranormal, and presently lives with 2 large dogs and a passel of black cats. Dariel is currently writing “Dark Sentinels Book Three” and two Nephilim series: “The Alerians – Dark Progeny” and “Children of Cain.”

Want to by this book? Here are the links again:

Post a comment on this blog with your email address and click here to enter TWO Rafflecopters (“Torin” tour Rafflecopter and The Romance Troupe Rafflecopter) for books, gift cards, even coffee :-)

Thanks for stopping by, everyone! Have a great week and happy reading!

Friday, February 22, 2013

#Interview ~ Author versus Character ~ Lexa Wright's Dating Sights

Okay, everyone. I know I've been out of the blogging loop for a few days and I do apologize. On a positive note, I've got Rebeccah Giltrow here today who brought along the main character in her book, Alexana (Lexa) Wright,  for another author versus character interview! These are my favorites!  

First, let me tell you about her book, Lexa Wright's Dating Sights.

Alexana (Lexa) Wright is 30 years old, unemployed, single, and lives in her deceased, paternal grandmother’s bungalow, with her shi-tzu, Beryl. She is a self-confessed procrastinator and that isn’t a particularly positive trait to possess, especially when she is trying to write her first novel, which she intends to be a semi-fictional account of her own life. 

Unhappily single, Lexa hopes to eventually meet the man of her dreams by chance, like people do in films. Because of this, she has ignored her best friend Louise’s suggestions to join the online dating site, MatesDates. One day, Lexa turns on her computer to start writing her novel, but procrastination takes over and she spring cleans her e-mail inbox instead. She opens an e-mail from Louise, inviting her to try the dating site. Curious, Lexa joins and starts to fill in her profile. 

After a bad date, Louise visits Lexa and stays the night. Unable to sleep, Louise finishes Lexa’s MatesDates profile, unbeknownst to her friend, and sends out messages to men on her behalf. Lexa chats to one of these men online, Gregory, and arranges to meet him for a date. With her parents, Karen and Tom, dogsitting Beryl, Lexa meets Gregory at a local pub, with Louise and her colleague, Safa, sitting nearby for moral support. Cutting the date short to help his sister out of trouble, Gregory arranges another date with Lexa. The next day, Lexa collects Beryl from her parents’ house and takes her for a walk through the park on the way home. Beryl runs off, pulling her extending lead to its full length and tangles it around a man’s legs. Lexa offers to buy the man a coffee as an apology. The man introduces himself as William and asks her out on a date, and Lexa accepts. 

Lexa, not used to dating one man, has no idea what to do with two, but as everything seems casual, she continues to date both of them. Unable to choose between the two, she carries on seeing them both. She knows she has to choose one of them, but she can't make her mind up between them. 

In order to take her mind off men, Lexa puts her energies into tidying her house and garden shed. While doing this, she discovers her grandmother’s diary, plus photos, letters, and newspaper articles, all pointing to her grandmother’s youth. The more she delves, the more she discovers about her grandmother that the family knew nothing of. She uses this information to write a semi-fictional account of her grandmother’s life. 

Alright ladies, thanks for being here. Let's dive right in! How did you two meet and how long ago was it?

Rebeccah: We’ve known each other for years.

Lexa: Yeah, we’ve known each other since we were children. I can’t remember when we first met, but it seems like we’ve known each other since birth. I’ve got pictures of us both at my 1st birthday party.

Rebeccah: You have?

Lexa: Yep, and my 2nd, and 3rd. In fact, at every one of my birthday parties. With the clowns, and the petting zoo, and Louise’s broken leg after the roller-blading accident of 1990.

Rebeccah: I must be getting old. I don’t remember any of that.

Lexa: Oi, I’m not old.

Rebeccah: You’re the same age as me, and I’m old.

Lexa: Well if you’re the same age as me, and I’m not old, you can’t be old either.

Rebeccah: I feel like it sometimes.

Lexa: Stop moaning, you old biddy.

Rebeccah: Who are you calling an old biddy?

Lexa: I’m sorry Chantel. Back to your question. If my young memory serves me correctly, we met as children and we grew up together.

Rebeccah: I really should pay more attention to my own life.

Lexa: Glad I’ve made such an impact on you!

Rebeccah: *pokes her tongue out at Lexa*

Lexa: Mature.

Rebeccah: Sorry Chantal, next question.

Well, you certainly act like lifelong friends, that's for sure. So, what was your first impression of each other?

Rebeccah: Like I said before, I can’t remember meeting Lexa, so I don’t really have any first impressions. She’s just always been a part of my life.

Lexa: Bossy.


Rebeccah: What?

Lexa: My first impression of you was that you were bossy!

Rebeccah: How was I bossy?

Lexa: Every time we played, we had to have rules, and you got in a right strop if we didn’t play by the rules.

Rebeccah: I did not get in a strop.

Lexa: Yes you did. Your voice would get all high-pitched and screechy, and your face would go bright red.

Rebeccah: That did not happen.

Lexa: Yes it did, and it sounds like it’s happening again.

Rebeccah: *takes a deep breath* Rules are a good thing. The keep everything controlled, and you can keep score of who wins when there are rules.

Lexa: You don’t need to win at things all the time.

Rebeccah: *mumbles* I do.

Lexa: She can be a bit bossy and controlling and competitive, but I guess she can’t be that bad, otherwise I wouldn’t have kept her around for so long.

Rebeccah: Oi, I think I’m the one keeping you around.

Lexa: Where would you be without me?

Rebeccah: Let’s find out. Where’s that delete key?

Lexa: Let’s not be too hasty. I love you really.

Rebeccah: Hmm.

Wait a minute! Back away from the delete key! I don't need that kind of violence on my conscious. Let's move along, shall we? Rebeccah, what does Lexa do that annoys you the most?

Rebeccah: Well, as you can see so far, she’s a bit argumentative.

Lexa: No I’m not.

Rebeccah: And she interrupts questions that aren’t even directed towards her.

Lexa: *folds her arms*

Rebeccah: Can I speak?

Lexa: *looks at the ceiling*

Rebeccah: Thank you. I think the thing I find most annoying is that she doesn’t cook.

Lexa: I do.

Rebeccah: Putting your mum’s leftover shepherd’s pie in the microwave is not cooking.

Lexa: Hmm.

Rebeccah: I mean, you are thirty-one years old. You should be able to cook for yourself by now.

Lexa: Well you’re my author. You could write a scene where I cook.

Rebeccah: You know I like to let my characters write their own story, so perhaps you could step away from the microwave and make something from scratch.

Lexa: You’re so lazy.

Rebeccah: Says the woman who would rather walk to her parents’ house for lunch than actually cook her own.

Lexa: I make toast.

Rebeccah: Making toast is not cooking!

I actually don't blame you, Lexa. I'm not real big on cooking, either. So, Lexa, if you could say just one thing to Rebeccah, what would it be?

Lexa: Thank you for finding me a decent man.

Rebeccah: You’re welcome.

Lexa: I won’t say who it is; I like to leave a bit of mystery in my life.

Rebeccah: Ah, good thinking. We don’t want to give the story away, otherwise no-one will want to buy the book!

Lexa: Were you going to blurt out his name?

Rebeccah: *looks away* No, of course not.

Lexa: Yes you were. I think you’ve got a bit of a crush on him anyway.

Rebeccah: Have not.

Lexa: Yes you have. Look, you’re blushing.

Rebeccah: *puts her hands to her cheeks* Well even if I have got a crush on him, it’s not like I can do anything about it. He’s just a character in my book.

Lexa: He may be ‘just a character’ to you, but he’s real to me, so you keep your filthy paws off him.

Rebeccah: Well my ‘filthy paws’ need to get close to him in order to write him. Or do you want me to use telepathy to produce my next book?

Lexa: Ok, I’ll let you use your fingers to touch the computer keys to write about him, but that’s as far as it goes.

Rebeccah: *salutes* Sir, yes sir!

It is much more fun to write a hero when you have a crush on him. Both of you have fun in the sequel! Let's see...what’s the most embarrassing thing that’s happened between you two?

Lexa: For some reason, Rebeccah insists on writing about what goes on *whispers* in the bathroom.

Rebeccah: What?

Lexa: You always need to note down whenever I go to the toilet.

Rebeccah: Everyone goes to the toilet.

Lexa: I know, but you don’t need to tell everyone every time I go.

Rebeccah: But wouldn’t it seem weird if you went through your day to day routines of eating and drinking, and never went to the toilet. The readers would think there was something wrong with you.

Lexa: No they wouldn’t.

Rebeccah: So if you read a book about someone, anyone, and they didn’t go to the toilet, you’d think that was perfectly normal?

Lexa: Well, no, but …

Rebeccah: But nothing. I go to the toilet. You go to the toilet. The whole world goes to the toilet.

Lexa: Ok, ok, can we stop talking about going to the toilet?

Rebeccah: You brought it up.

Lexa: Oh shush.

Rebeccah, what do you feel the worst about doing to Lexa?

Rebeccah: I feel terrible about sending Lexa out on awful dates with idiotic men she met on the internet.

Lexa: And so you should.

Rebeccah: I am sorry, but I can’t have the readers thinking that internet dating is a breeze and that everyone you meet on there is charming and handsome.

Lexa: I guess.

Rebeccah: I like things to be realistic. That’s why I tell everyone about you going to the toilet.

Lexa: *sighs*

Rebeccah: Sorry. And I am sorry about letting those dreadful people into your life. I know it upset you, but life has a funny way of working out for the best.

Lexa: *grins* It sure does.

I think you sorted of hinted about this before, but do you think you two will meet again in the future?

Rebeccah: Oh of course. We’ve known each other for so long, I don’t think I could walk away from her now.

Lexa: Just make sure nothing bad happens to me, like those idiot internet men.

Rebeccah: I can’t promise anything.

Lexa: Please! Just one happy ending, like in films.

Rebeccah: We’ll see …

Looks like that's all the time we have, ladies. Thanks for being here!

About Rebeccah:
Rebeccah is a writer by trade, with skills of varying degrees in knitting, baking, EFL teaching, performing, photography, dog-walking, sleeping, painting, and procrastinating. 

Rebeccah has been a writer since she can remember, but after graduation from University of Essex in 2005 with B.A. (hons) English Language & Literature, and again in 2008 with M.A. Literature: Creative Writing, she decided to take the craft more seriously. She honed her writing skills and became an avid follower of the Oulipo. 

As well as writing, she regularly performs at the New Words, Fresh Voices open mic night at The Seagull Theatre in Lowestoft, where she reads her poetry and short stories. 

Rebeccah is an active member of Lowestoft Library Book Group and Lowestoft Library Writing Group. She has been attending these groups since 2009, and in September 2012 she set up a writing group for teen writers (aged between 11 and 17) at Lowestoft Library. 

When she's not writing, Rebeccah enjoys producing visual art, and occasionally takes photos, paints pictures, and makes collages. Her work has been shown at The Halesworth Gallery, The Ferini Gallery, and Lowestoft Arts Centre.

Want to connect with Rebeccah?




Linked In:




Amazon author page:

Happy reading everyone! Have a good weekend!

Thursday, February 14, 2013

#NewRelease ~ Denise Moncrief ~ Crisis of Identity

I'm pleased to welcome Denise Moncrief back to my blog today to announce her newly release romanctic suspense book, Crisis of Identity.

Crisis of Identity: 
Tess Copeland is an operator. Her motto? Necessity is the mother of a good a con. When Hurricane Irving slams into the Texas Gulf coast, Tess seizes the opportunity to escape her past by hijacking a dead woman’s life, but Shelby Coleman’s was the wrong identity to steal. And the cop that trails her? He’s a U.S. Marshall with the Fugitive Task Force for the northern district of Illinois. Tess left Chicago because the criminal justice system gave her no choice. Now she’s on the run from ghosts of misdeeds past—both hers and Shelby’s.

Enter Trevor Smith, a pseudo-cowboy from Houston, Texas, with good looks, a quick tongue, and testosterone poisoning. Will Tess succumb to his questionable charms and become his damsel in distress? She doesn’t have to faint at his feet—she’s capable of handling just about anything. But will she choose to let Trevor be the man? When Tess kidnaps her niece, her life changes. She must make some hard decisions. Does she trust the lawman that promises her redemption, or does she trust the cowboy that promises her nothing but himself?

Buy Links


5 Prince Publishing:


Barnes & Noble:


Bio for Denise Moncrief 
Denise wrote her first story when she was in high school—seventeen hand-written pages on school-ruled paper and an obvious rip-off of the last romance novel she read. She earned a degree in accounting, giving her some nice skills to earn a little money, but her passion has always been writing. She has written numerous short stories and more than a few full-length novels. Her favorite pastimes when she’s not writing are spending time with her family, traveling, reading, and scrapbooking. She lives in Louisiana with her husband, two children, and one very chubby dog. 

How to contact Denise Moncrief: 
Twitter: @dmoncrief0131 

Denis is sharing a portion of an excerpt from Crisis of Identity on each stop of her blog tour. For a complete listing of each stop visit ( )

~ Today's excerpt ~ 

Jake stretched out on his cot. “There’s a boat out of here tomorrow. It’s taking volunteers back to the mainland.” Galveston was in ruins. The thin strips of concrete that once connected the island to civilization lay scattered on the beach looking somewhat like a child's building blocks.

“There is?” I tried not to appear too interested.

“You didn’t know?” A different question danced in his eyes—a challenge of sorts. “So how long have you lived in Galveston?”

“Not long. My brother found a job. So I moved here a few months ago to be with him.”

“Where’s your brother now?”

I blinked at him. “He’s gone.”

His stern countenance wavered, but before I could embrace his presumed compassion, his expression settled into severity once again. “Now you’ll have to start your life over…again.” His eyes captured mine. A shiver of dread slithered down my spine. It was as if he knewme, even though he didn’t seem to know me. “Are you going to sleep?” He nodded toward my pillow as if he didn’t think my conscience would allow rest.

“I never sleep.”

Within minutes, he emitted soft puffs of breath, in and out, obviously lacking any guilt to keep him awake.

The shadows lengthened and receded over the locker room, drifting in and out of the grimy, shattered windows as if the world was still revolving around its axis on schedule. But I was sure it had stopped turning. I was the fugitive he sought.

As an added treat, Denise is giving away 2 signed copies of Crisis of Identity. To enter, simply comment below and leave your e-mail address in the comment and then enter the Rafflecopter link. 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Happy reading everyone! Thanks for stopping by!
~~ Chantel ~~

Monday, February 11, 2013

#NewRelease ~ Paranormal Romance ~ Revelation of Abaddon

New Release: Revelation of Abaddon 

Author: annamaria bazzi 

Genre: Paranormal Romance 

Release Date: February 7, 2013 

Photographer: Owen DeValk 

Cover Designer: Amanda Bazzi 

Book Blurb:
Freelance programmer, Mia notices two men moving into the house across the street. She’s immediately attracted to Andrew. Handsome and charming, he sweeps her off her feet—yet there’s something else about him, too. Whenever she’s close to him, her mind and body crave pain. Confusion overwhelms her senses. Will falling in love with such a strange man be worth it? 

About the Author:
Although born in the United States, Annamaria Bazzi spent a great deal of her childhood in Sicily, Italy, in a town called Sciacca. Italian was the language spoken at home. Therefore, she had no problems when she found herself growing up in a strange country. 

Upon returning to the states, she promised herself she would speak without an accent.  

She attended Wayne State University in Detroit Michigan, where she obtained her Bachelor of Science in Computers with a minor in Spanish. 

Annamaria spent twenty years programming systems for large corporations, creating innovative solution, and addressing customer problems. During those years, she raised four daughters and one husband. Annamaria lives in Richmond Virginia with her small family where she now dedicates a good part of her day writing. 

Barnes & Noble:


Also, check out Annamaria's other short story - A Simple Matter of Justice:

Thanks for stopping by, everyone! Happy reading and have a great week!

Friday, February 8, 2013

#Interview - Fantasy author A.D. Trosper

Upon looking for authors to interview for my Friday slot, it occurred to me that although I did a press release announcement for her, I'd never interviewed the awesome fantasy writer A.D. Trosper. Do you guys like fantasy books? Love dragons? Check out her book!

Amazon Product Page
“A ray of light, a stain of shadow, shall endure to breathe life and death into the future” 

The war between the Guardians and the Shadow Riders ended in total devastation. The final battle killed all the dragons and left nothing but fields of ash. A small clutch of dragon eggs was all that remained to provide hope for the future.

Five hundred years later, the ability to use magic is a death sentence and dragons are remembered as a curse. But the unhatched dragons sing for their riders...and soon six lives will be changed forever.

The elements of magic are drawn together as the dragons’ call leads them on an epic and dangerous journey of discovery. They soon learn everything they've been taught to believe about magic and dragons is wrong.

With the last of the dragons and the world at stake, they will risk everything to heed the call.

But an evil from the past soon threatens their discovery and new found joy. Shadow Dragons ride the dawn once more... 

I'm so glad you agreed to be here today! Let's get right to the questions! Aside from writing, what do you enjoy doing on your spare time? I garden (I grow and preserve most of my own vegetables) I spend time with my dairy goats and love sit and watch the chickens, they are very entertaining. And of course, I love to spend time with my kids. 

State a random fact about yourself that would surprise your readers. I once ran and danced naked down the road under a full moon. Okay, it was a deserted road in the middle of nowhere, but it was exhilarating. Everyone should dance naked under a full moon at least once in their lives. 
Book Two's Cover, which will hopefully
be out this summer!

What are your guilty pleasures? Chocolate and paranormal romance.

Are you a plotter or a pantzer? Pantzer, all the way. I know the beginning and the end and two or three scenes in the middle. Other than that, my characters control the story and how things come about. 

What’s your favorite part of writing a book? My favorite part is seeing how my characters decide to get from A to B. They surprise me a lot. 

Did you do any research before start or during of the writing of the books? Oh yes. I studied the terminology for airplane wings so I would know what to call certain things when it came to dragon wings. There wasn’t a lot that ended up in the book, but still necessary. My father was most helpful with that since he has studied airplanes extensively all of his life. I also studied the symptoms of concussions and more recently, the proper terminology for different parts of castles. 

Do you have an all time favorite book? Yes I do. The Heavely Horse from the Outer Most West by Mary Stanton. I first read it when I was 10 although it was above my age level and loved it. A perfect blend of horses and fantasy. I still love to revisit the story and I always feel like I am getting reacquainted with old friends whom I love dearly. 

Do you prefer Twitter or Facebook? Facebook. I am still not good at using Twitter. 

Morning person or night owl? Night owl, definitely. Night time is when I write best too. 

How many more books can we expect in this series? The series has three books total. The second book, Tears of War will hopefully be out by summer. 

I'm reading the first book now! I'm so glad to know that I won't have to wait too long for the next in the series! Thanks for being here and happy writing! 

Born in Kansas, I spent a lot of my childhood moving around. I've lived in Kansas, Oklahoma, Washington State (around Seattle), and southern California. I had many great adventures growing up. I'm now settled down in Kansas with my wonderful husband, three children, my wonderful dog Katie, assorted cats, dairy goats and small flock of chickens.

I've been an avid lover of fantasy since I was young child. Dragons, elves, fairies, dwarves, and other denizens of the fantasy world as well as magic have always fascinated me. As I grew up, I developed an interest in vampires, zombies and my interests branched out to take in paranormal and urban fantasy.

I don't have any special writing credits to my name other than a wildly active imagination and the ability to form that imagination into written stories. 


Monday, February 4, 2013

#NewRelease ~ Winter Story by Barbara Winkes

Title:       Winter Storm (sequel to Autumn Leaves)
Author:   Barbara Winkes
Genre:    F/F (lesbian) Romance
Release Date:  February 1, 2013

Rebecca and Callie have made a commitment to their relationship. New challenges arise as Rebecca continues to find her identity, and Callie is confronted with an ex she would have preferred to avoid. Nicole wants to be back together with Callie, and she uses all her manipulative skills trying to achieve that goal.

With a new, less open-minded minister in Autumn Leaves and an unexpected threat, Rebecca and Callie will face an even worse predicament. How much can their new-found love take?

Amazon Product Link

About the author:
Barbara Winkes is a psychologist/trauma counselor by training and a writer by choice who moved from a small town in Germany to Qu├ębec City where she lives with her wife. She writes lesbian romance and mystery. Her novel Autumn Leaves was published by Eternal Press in 2012.
Winter Storm, the sequel, will be released February 1st 2013.

Want to buy Winter Storm? It's available at:
Eternal Press:
Amazon Author Page:

To connect with Barbara, you can find her these places:

Happy reading everyone! Have a good week!

Friday, February 1, 2013

#Interview ~ Author versus Character ~ Rachelle and Lucas

I've been having such a fun time with these author versus character interviews! Lucky for all of us, Rachelle Ayala and the hero from her newest novel, Lucas Knight, agreed to stop in today and treat us with yet another one. First, let me tell you about the book! 

Maryanne Torres is a compassionate nurse who fails at relationships. After a string of losers, she swears off premarital sex, hoping to land a marrying type of man. 

Lucas Knight, a law-school dropout, moves to California to train for the Ironman Triathlon. He's smart, sweet, and everything Maryanne wants in a man, but their relationship suffers from his dedication to the sport. Seeking consolation in the arms of a handsome preacher's son, Maryanne attends a church party where she is raped. 

Maryanne is pregnant from the rape and plans to abort. But the identity of her rapist is hidden in her baby's DNA. Lucas asks Maryanne to seek alternatives and pledges to support her through the pregnancy. When Lucas becomes the prime suspect, Maryanne must clear his name and make a life changing decision. 

The rapist has other ideas. In order to destroy the evidence, he offers Maryanne an illegal offshore abortion. With Maryanne's life in danger, Lucas races to save her and her baby. However, Maryanne hides a secret that threatens to tear them apart forever. 

A 99,000-word women's fiction, HIDDEN UNDER HER HEART deals with the consequences of rape and abortion.

First off, thank you both for coming. I really enjoyed the story and I'm anxious to find out more about how this relationship came about. Why don't you tell me how you two met and how long ago it was? 

Lucas: I think we met at Pescadero State Beach about a month ago when I first moved to California.

Rachelle: Yes, and you were surprised how warm it was for a winter day. 

Lucas: You Californians think it’s cold when the temperature’s below 50. 

Rachelle: It was windy, you’ll have to admit. But can’t beat the scenery. 

Lucas: The waves were so foamy, crashing off those rocks. Love it, and California. 

I have to admit, I love the California coastline the few times I've been there myself. Enough about the scenery. What was your first impression of each other? 

Rachelle: I saw a nice young man who offered me an arm when we climbed down the rocky path to the beach and thought, what a gentleman. 

Lucas Knight
Lucas: My mother always taught me manners. Once I found out you were a writer, I made a wish. I thought it’d be neat to be the hero in a real novel. 

Rachelle: Little did he know. 

Chantel: Ha, ha. Fiction isn't all it's cracked up to be. So, what does Lucas do that annoys you the most? 

Rachelle: Ah… he’s such a sweetie, but he definitely keeps you on your toes, don’t you, Lucas? 

Chantel: In what way? 

Rachelle: Practical jokes and pranks. He knew better than to try that CPR scene on me, but he’s got me checking for Saran wrap on my toilet seats and sniffing for Icy Hot before applying toothpaste. I can’t believe you got Maryanne with that baby powder in the blower dryer one. 

Lucas: Ha, ha, you should have seen the video. 

Rachelle: And she’s still with you? I would have replaced your contact solution with vinegar. 

Lucas: *rubs eyes* What? She told me I had an eye infection! 

Chantel and Rachelle: *laughs* 

Chantel: Lucas, if you could say just one thing to Rachelle, what would it be? 

Lucas: Even though you put me through a lot of pain, I believe I am a better person, more willing to understand a person first before barging in with my opinion. I love Maryanne more than anything in this world, and I absolutely cherish her and her little girl. I used to run from my problems, but they will never see me walking away again. 

Chantel: That's very sweet. What’s the most embarrassing thing that’s happened between you two? 

Lucas: The physical details Rachelle put in when my ex-girlfriend tried to seduce me. I’m a normal man, and it took a lot of willpower to step back. 

Chantel: Well, the important thing was you exercised your willpower. Rachelle, what do you feel the worst about doing to Lucas? 

Rachelle: The intense agony Lucas experienced after seeing the rape video. The feeling that the woman he loved was destroyed coupled with the guilt of not being there for her and having pushed her away. It’s hard to imagine how anyone would react to seeing that visual. I was amazed at his fortitude to go to her with the intention of cheering her up and showing her that she’s a worthwhile and valuable person. 

Chantel: If the characters aren't tortured, you're not doing your job as a writer though. :-) Do you think you two will meet again in the future? 

Lucas: Rachelle promised me walk-on roles in the future. I’ll need to be there to support my training partner go through his horrific adventure. I hope I can be a help to him. 

Rachelle: Definitely. Lucas, you’re a wonderful friend and possibly the sweetest, most romantic male character I’ve worked with so far. Many readers tell me to send a Lucas their way, and one of my readers said after all her troubles with the Barry’s of the world, she finally found her Lucas. 

I certainly think Lucas is great! So glad to hear we can expect to see a bit more of him in the future. Thank you both for being here!

Author Bio: 
Rachelle Ayala was a software engineer until she discovered storytelling works better in fiction than real code. She has over thirty years of writing experience and has always lived in a multi-cultural environment. 

Rachelle is an active member of online critique group, Critique Circle, and a volunteer for the World Literary Cafe. She is a very happy woman and lives in California with her husband. She has three children and has taught violin and made mountain dulcimers. 

Visit her at: or follow @AyalaRachelle on Twitter. 

Buy Her Books 

Stalk the Author 

Happy reading, my friends! Have a fantastic Friday!