Look Who Dropped By Today: Jackie M. Smith

Every now and then, life surprises me, and nothing was a bigger surprise than getting this post ready for you today. I’d like you all to say hello to fellow Canadian author, Jackie M. Smith, who literally lives a hop, skip, and a jump away from where I do! Having so many author friends who live far away, it never occurred to me that someone lived nearby. Small world! Like myself, Jackie comes from a blended family, only in my case, my mother was French-speaking, not my dad, although over the years, he’s done quite well. Mom’s now fluently bilingual.

Jackie MalletBIOGRAPHY

Jackie M. Smith was born in the Maritimes of French-speaking father and English-speaking mother. She has three younger sisters. Jackie has always loved reading her mother’s romance books. After moving to Montreal, she worked as a customer service representative. But her love for writing romances has never stopped.

Since 2010, she has been a full-time writer in both English and French languages. When she’s not writing her next great romance, she enjoys watching movies, listening to music, and of course promoting her work.

Happy reading!



Reviewer quotes for her current books

ASoldiersVow_MEDA Soldier’s Vow

Romancing the Book rated it 5 of 5 stars

Review by Desere: We all know that sending a loved one off to war is one of the hardest things in life to do and the only hope you can have is that they will return safely. In A Soldier’s Vow by Jackie M. Smith, we travel with the couple (whose names to me are so unique as I have never read a book before containing these names so I’ll keep those a surprise) on a journey of passion, love, honor and an everlasting promise.

You can feel the emotion right throughout the book so intensely that it truly does feel like you are the heroine waiting on your hero to come home. I cried, I laughed, and I rejoiced in this stunning novel. Jackie you have truly outdone yourself. And to those of you who have ever had the illusion that a war related romance novel is too much emotion or just not your style, I can tell you you’re missing out for with A Soldier’s Vow you cannot go wrong and you will want to share it with the world afterwards it is a true romantics dream.

ForeverYours_MED (1)Forever Yours

4.0 out of 5 stars Sweetly Romantic, February 18, 2013

By Lauren K. (New York, NY)

This review is from: Forever Yours (Paperback)

Jackie M. Smith’s story, Forever Yours, tells the stories of two lovers torn apart by war. The heroine is unique, as she is a pilot for the Royal Air Force, and her lover, Philip, is a childhood friend who falls in love with her as they head into battle. Unsure of whether she will return to his arms, Philip holds fast to his love as the reader holds fast to the hope that the two will reunite. Romantic and thrilling.



CollidingHearts_MEDColliding Hearts

Ryan raked a hand through his hair and bent his head in prayer for her life. Panic and fear knotted his gut. Staring at Alice’s pale face, he knew bullet wounds could cause infection when not treated in time. Blood soaked her jacket and blouse. What the hell happened?

“Ryan,” Alice whispered.

“Yes, love?”

She lifted her head. “You need to tell my father where I am so he doesn’t worry.”

He kissed her fingers. “Isabel is telling him now. You must rest.”

Alice closed her eyes. Ryan stared at her while the doctor placed more bandages against her wound.

“Your wife will be fine.”

“She—I know,” Ryan decided to say. This wasn’t the time or the place to correct the doctor. Alice would make a wonderful wife, he mused. The idea of marrying her did appeal to him, but he wasn’t ready for marriage— not yet. Before he thought of marriage again, he wanted to know more about her. Since they met, he’d thought of her often and dreamed of her. Somehow, she’d managed to erase the horrible memories of his last relationship—almost.

“Let’s get her into surgery before she loses more blood,” the doctor said, breaking into Ryan’s daydreaming as they arrived at the hospital.

Ryan kissed Alice’s chilled fingers. “I’ll be here when you wake,” he murmured in her ear before pressing his lips against her cheek.

“Please have a sit, sir. We’ll come for you shortly,” the doctor said with a reassuring tone.

Glancing once more at Alice, he released her small hand and sat on one of the chairs lining the wall. Placing his hands across his face, he prayed in silence. Keep her safe. With all the blood seeping from her wound, he worried. She was too young to die. He rose and walked to the window. Staring outside, he looked at the rainy horizon and hoped to see Alice soon. Thanks to the doctor and nurse caring for her, she was in good hands, but he didn’t like seeing her in such a frail condition.

“Sir?” the doctor spoke behind him.

He turned, holding a breath. “How’s Alice?”

“The bullet went through her shoulder. She will be up and about in a few days. We expect a full recovery.”

Ryan blew out the air in his lungs. “Thank you. May I see her?”

“Of course but only for a while. She lost a lot of blood and is resting now. Follow me please.”

With every step he took down the long white corridor, Ryan felt his gut knot a bit more. Screams from the grand recovery room reached his ears. He thanked the doctor in silence for placing Alice in a private room, away from all the suffering. When they reached the end of the corridor, tall windows on each side of the bed illuminated a small room. Ryan froze and brought a hand against his mouth. Alice’s pale face frightened him to his core. The doctor had reassured him, but until she recovered he feared for her life. He pulled out the chair and placed it beside the bed. Taking her small hand between his, he brought her fingers to his lips.

“You’ll be all right in no time,” he said with confidence.

Painful memories of his mother in a hospital bed resurfaced. He had almost lost her when he was a child and since then thanked the stars above for sparing her life. With the back of his hand, he touched Alice’s cheek, feeling the coolness. Thick bandages covered her shoulder. Her long auburn hair fanned out on the pillow. An angel slept. His angel on Earth. For the longest time, he had dreamed of the same woman. Yet, Ryan had never been able to see her face. All he saw was the Ethereal light around her, shining, guiding him toward her. Was he seeing Alice? Before he met this enchanting woman, he stopped believed in love after his relationship with Ashley. Now, he wondered if a chance at love smiled upon him.

While Ryan watched Alice sleep, a smile formed on his lips. His trousers tightened with thoughts of her sweet lips. Desire for her grew with each passing day. He knew madness played a role in his clouded judgment, but he didn’t care. He had one life to live, and he wanted to know more about Alice. Her courage and strength called out to him. The way she kissed him back the other day told him no other man claimed her heart. But he wanted—needed—certainty before he took a chance. Bringing her fingers against his mouth, he pressed a gentle kiss, feeling the coolness of her skin. Who hurt you, Alice? He wanted to know. Anger rose within him.

Around town, he heard about women marching for voting rights and the police officers watching them, but he never thought someone would use their firearms. Women had their reasons and had as much as rights as men when it came to voting. They had their say. What happened today for the constables to shoot at a peaceful march? No matter. Next time, he would accompany Alice and Isabel. That way, they would have someone to protect them. The need to be there for Alice overtook reason. He knew they barely knew each other, but the times they spent together working and talking, Ryan grew to appreciate her and like her more every day.

For now, they kept their relationship on a professional level. Yet, he couldn’t deny his strong attraction for her.

With great care, he smoothed a strand of hair. Her lips beckoned him. He wanted to taste her again.

Not yet, he reasoned. Instead, he kissed her cool brow. “I’m here, Alice. I’ll be here for as long as you need me.”

 Other books by Jackie M. Smith include:

Klondike Winter Cover1 couple in love over dark background HealingHearts_MED  

Tower Bridge




Jackie Online






Where to buy Jackie’s books



Print versions

Klondike Winter      https://www.createspace.com/3788923

A Soldier’s Vow      https://www.createspace.com/3890325

Forever Yours         https://www.createspace.com/3928776

Hidden Desire          https://www.createspace.com/4074802

On His Honor                    https://www.createspace.com/4373465

Take time to check out any one of these fine books!


Mid Week Tease: Another Taste of The White Lily

MWTease15Good morning. Thanks for dropping by today. As always, many thanks to Sandra Bunino and all of the other talented authors who make this weekly blog hop so much fun. I’m six days away from The White Lily’s release, and fingers crossed that everyone who read The White Carnation will want to read its sequel!

Next Monday is also Canadian Thanksgiving. Among all of the things for which I’m grateful this year is this weekly chance to share my work with you and get a peek at your work, too.

Last week’s tease, from the prologue, was intense. This week, I’ll slow it down a notch and introduce you to Jacob.

About the Book:The White Lily

The Harvester is out there … watching, waiting, biding his time.

FBI cult specialist Lilith Munroe lives in dread that one day the man who tortured her when a case went bad will find her again. So leaving her sanctuary in Quantico to join the Harvester Task Force in Boston is her version of hell. But the Harvester is kidnapping babies, and Lilith’s profiling skills may mean the difference between life and death for the most innocent in society.

Australian millionaire and former member of the New Horizon commune Jacob Andrews returns to the United States searching for his sister. Instead of the happy reunion he expects, he discovers she is dead and his twin brother may be responsible. He agrees to lend his law enforcement skills to help find his former cult leader before the man can implement his plan to kill millions.

Now uneasy partners, Jacob and Lilith must learn to trust each other even as they fight their growing attraction. But when Lilith’s greatest fears materialize, will Jacob be able to set aside his anger and save the woman he loves?

Sensuality Level: Sensual

Buy Links

 Amazon.com: http://www.amazon.com/White-Lily-Susanne-Matthews-ebook/dp/B015P79XZ0/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1443387932&sr=8-1&keywords=The+White+Lily+Susanne+Matthews

 B&N: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-white-lily-susanne-matthews/1122682664?ean=9781440591228

 KOBO: https://store.kobobooks.com/en-ca/ebook/the-white-lily

 This week’s tease:

The elevator doors slid open, and Jacob stepped back, bumping into the detective who’d moved behind him. Standing in front of the door were four men, one of whom could probably give any professional wrestler a run for his money—all of them with Glocks pointed directly at Jacob’s chest.

“Bloody hell …”

“Charade’s over, you bastard,” said Detective Halliday, grabbing his arm from behind, snapping a handcuff on his wrist, and pulling his other arm behind his back to cuff it, too. Once he was restrained, the men put their guns down, but the wrestler came forward, grabbed him by the head, and pinched Jacob’s nose, forcing him to open his mouth if he wanted to breathe.

Had the members of the Boston Police Department gone crazy?

A uniformed officer grabbed his jaw, pulling it open so wide it hurt, and examined his teeth.

“He’s clean. Good dental work, by the way, not like the rest of them.”

The man released his jaw at the same time the wrestler released his nose and head. Jacob drew a deep, shaky breath and gulped air, no longer worried only about Eloise but concerned for his own safety. Either all these detectives were insane, which was unlikely, or his sister had stumbled into a hell of a mess.

“Have you all gone mad? What’s going on here? I don’t know what you think I’ve done or who you think I am,” although since Eloise had mentioned Jimmy, they might be mistaking him for his twin brother, “but I can assure you I’ve only been in the United States since yesterday afternoon.”

“Sure, Mr. Andrews,” Detective Halliday said, stressing the name as if it left a bad taste in his mouth. “Or perhaps I should say Colchester? Which one of the Chosen are you? Or maybe I should call you Prophet? Great disguise. That accent’s almost believable. You had me going with the farmer line. Pretty funny. You’re just ballsy enough to walk in like this and think we’d be too stupid to realize who you are. Take him into room three, empty his pockets, take off his shoes and belt, and for Christ’s sake, don’t take your eyes off him for a second. I don’t want another dead body on our hands.”

Jacob jerked his arm loose from the man holding him.

“Dead body? Where is my sister, Detective?”

“Eloise Colchester is your sister?” the detective snarled. “That’s rich. If she’s your sister, you sick son of a bitch, you know damn well where she is. She’s on a slab in the morgue where your fixer put her after he slit her throat and that of at least four others.”

“No! God, no,” Jacob cried out in anguish, dropping to his knees, breaking the other man’s hold on his arm. He was too late. His baby sister was dead, and it was his fault. “When? How?’

“Cut the theatrics. I’m not buying the act, but to refresh your memory, you had her executed nine weeks ago, the day we stormed your little horse farm and rescued the women you had there.”

Jacob straightened, shook off the officer’s attempt to grab his arm again, and stared into the detective’s eyes, taken aback by the hatred there.

“I don’t know what the hell you’re talking about, Detective. You’ve obviously got the wrong man. What women? What horse farm? You’ve got kangaroos loose in the top paddock.”

“Drop the phony accent and shut up before I lose my temper and beat the crap out of you.” The detective turned to the two uniformed officers. “Get him out of my sight and tie him down. If he gives you any trouble, shoot the son of a bitch. You’ll be doing the world a favor.”

That’s it for today!

Please take the time to visit and read teases from these fine authors:


Tuesday Tales: From a picture this week.

Badge for TT - very small (1)Good morning. This is a busy week for me, but not too busy to miss out on this week’s Tuesday tales.  Once a month, instead of working from a word prompt, we have a picture. This week, I was able to incorporate it into Hello Again, which has firmly become a paranormal suspense romance.

So here’s the picture prompt. Looks good, doesn’t it?

beef stew

“Whoa!” Bill cried out as the frail bundle of pink collapsed, catching her just before she hit her head once more. “What the hell happened?’

Shirley chuckled. “I may have put a bit too much of the sleeping draught in her tea. Well, don’t just stand there with your mouth open. Carry her into the room so I can stitch up her leg.”

“You pretty sure of yourself, aren’t you?”

“I am,” Shirley said and smiled. “Now, I have some rabbit stew with biscuits ready for us. Charley’s eaten and she’ll sleep for a while yet.”

She tilted her head to the side looking at him, no through him as if she was examining his soul.

“I see Frank’s clothes fit. They look good on you. He’d be proud to have you wear them.”

“Thanks, Shirley,” he said and licked his lips. There was something about this woman that defied explanation.

“Now, since I’m starving, let’s eat.

She carried two bowls of bread covered stew to the table.

Bill took a deep breath. “I haven’t had rabbit stew in years.”

“Good, and while we eat, you can tell me how you got yourself shot in the chest like that. I thought you wore fancy vests.”

“Sometimes, a vest isn’t enough.”

Well, that’s it for this week. Now, please drop by and visit all the Tuesday Tales

Look Who Dropped By Today: Kiera Jones from Lucky Traveler

Good morning, and welcome to Living the Dream. It’s a beautiful, sunny fall day, the perfect kind of day for raking leaves and then curling up with a good book. I suggest you check out Bad Traveler by Lola Kerns, available now from Amazon. Here’s the blurb.

51873Fw9CYL._SX331_BO1,204,203,200_Recipes are a way of life for Gwen Jones. Take one single mother, her infant daughter and a business plan for a small town bakery. Combine with an eventful cross-country flight, chance encounter with her college crush and a dash of motion sickness. Stir in a few nuts, or family members, and large quantities of chocolate. Will this recipe be an oven oops, or as delicious as her alma mater’s newest coach?

Having survived an attack in Afghanistan that cost him a leg and a wife, Kyle Collins developed a strategy to find meaning in life. He may be an assistant basketball coach but he refuses to sit on the sidelines. When he runs into the woman whose lips are as unforgettable as her brownies, Kyle decides to spice up Gwen’s recipes.

When a secret ingredient is thrown into the mix, can their recipe for a happily-ever-after rise to the occasion, or will it end up a hot mess?

The reason for suggesting Bad Traveler is that in its pages, you’ll meet today’s guest,

Kiera Jones, the main character from Lola Karns’ new novel Lucky Traveler.

Start by telling me a bit about yourself.

Hi Susanne. Thank you for inviting me over today. I work for the school district as a specialty teacher and normally call west-central Ohio home.

When it comes to romantic sparks, what do you like best about Logan? Logan always finds new ways to surprise me, whether by doing something sweet or something scandalous. In case you can’t tell from the cover, that man is walking sin. No one makes me madder or makes me smile more.

This story is a contemporary romance, how do current social values impact you? I love technology, I am a school district technology specialist after all, but it is a double edged sword. The internet is full of lists of things you must do by a certain age. I’m as guilty as anyone of comparing myself to those fun lists but then I get depressed when I think of all the things I haven’t done. I’m trying not to let “Fear of Missing Out” dominate my decisions, but it is a process.

What’s more important to you, the things a person says or the things a person does? Tough question. Once, I would have said what a person does, no contest, but I’ve come to appreciate the value of honest words.

Are there children in this story? If so, how do they impact your romance? No. I absolutely adore children, especially my niece, and I can’t wait to meet my nephew. I really want children of my own. My sister says I’m baby obsessed but after being with Logan, I’m trying to be more patient.

How did the author choose the title to your story? Lola introduced me in her novel Bad Traveler. My sister, Gwen, needed a little nudge to go after the dishy new basketball coach in town and I was happy to oblige. My story is set in Las Vegas and luck certainly has a role, although whether good or bad, I’m still not sure.

Did your author listen to you when you tried to redirect her/him or make suggestions? She tried to get Logan and me together in a novel for a long time. One day, I had enough of her pestering and told her that under no circumstance would I appear in a story with him after I caught him pawing the wrong bridesmaid at my sister’s wedding. It made me so mad! We hadn’t discussed a formal commitment, but for him to do that with another woman. I was aghast. Somehow she managed to get me into a hotel room with him and I’m no longer mad at the author even though she tricked me.

Thank you so much for stopping by, and best of luck with both of your “traveler” books!

Thanks for having me!

Lucky-Traveler-300About Lucky Traveler: 

 Nearly a year after she found her boyfriend with his hand up someone else’s dress, Midwestern school teacher Keira Jones contacts a dating service in a faraway town for a much-needed confidence boost and night of adoration.

Logan Collins doesn’t remember much about the night he screwed up his cousin’s wedding and his life. But with five months of sobriety under his belt and most of his amends made, he celebrates with a 1Night Stand.

When Madame Eve sends these ex-lovers to the same Las Vegas hotel room, the two of them must discover whether good luck or bad luck guides their travels.                            

Buy Links:

Amazon  AllRomanceEbooks  iTunes

Brief Bio: Lola Karns

Having held myriad jobs as Lola Karns moved through Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, New Jersey, Georgia, and Virginia, she decided she needed a portable career. Writing fit the bill.

Lola currently resides in Minnesota with her husband, two children, two hairless cats and a fluffy ex-stray cat. When not writing, she enjoys baking, reading and drinking coffee.

She is the author of Lucky Traveler, Bad Traveler and Winter Fairy.

Media links:

Website/blog www.lolakarns.com

Twitter   @lolakarns https://twitter.com/LolaKarns

Facebook        https://www.facebook.com/LolaKarns

Goodreads       https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6451976.Lola_Karns

Google+          https://plus.google.com/u/0/+LolaKarns/about/p/pub

Pinterest          http://www.pinterest.com/lolakarns/

Look Who Dropped By Today: K.C. Sprayberry

About the Author:
Born and raised in Southern California’s Los Angeles basin, K.C. Sprayberry spent years traveling the United States and Europe while in the Air Force before settling in Northwest Georgia. A new empty nester with her husband of more than twenty years, she spends her days figuring out new ways to torment her characters and coming up with innovative tales from the South and beyond.
She’s a multi-genre author who comes up with ideas from the strangest sources. Some of her short stories have appeared in anthologies, others in magazines. Three of her books (Softly Say Goodbye, Who Am I?, and Mama’s Advice) are Amazon bestsellers. Her other books are: Take Chances, Where U @, The Wrong One, Pony Dreams, Evil Eyes, Inits, Canoples Investigations Tackles Space Pirates, The Call Chronicles 1: The Griswold Gang, The Curse of Grungy Gulley, Paradox Lost: Their Path, Canoples Investigations Versus Spacers Rule and Starlight. Additionally, she has shorts available on Amazon: Grace, Secret From the Flames, Family Curse … Times Two, Right Wrong Nothing In Between, and The Ghost Catcher.
Ghosts are popping up all over Landry. The town is being overrun and no one knows why—least of all Hailey Hatmaker and her Ghosties crew. Only none of these ghosts are talking. They’re terrified of something that only Hailey and her team can figure out. Something which could prove disastrous for them all.
It felt so good to discover ghostly action in Landry once again. The Ghosties had just finished a dry spell like no other we had ever seen. We’d just gone through five months with nary a ghost to bother us. No goo oozing out of heating vents, or papers flying out of hands to plaster against the ceiling.
The call this morning had me, the fantastic, fabulous Hailey Hatmaker, gathering my group together lickety-split. We met up on the run, and raced all the way over to Bank of Landry. Once there, we had almost danced with glee at what greeted us. That was an hour ago. This particular ghost was proving far more difficult to exterminate than we had anticipated.
We could have got harsh long ago. I grinned. I sure don’t want this to end any time soon. I’m having fun again.
“You won’t stick around. No ghost has ever ignored me.”
I planted my pink and white beret more firmly on my head and darted forward. When I put on white jeans and a peppermint pink t-shirt this morning, I never expected an emergency call. Nope, I wasn’t a cop, a firefighter, or even a paramedic. I
had my thirteenth birthday just before Halloween and started dealing with ghosts nine years ago. Me and my fellow Ghosties had helped Landry, Georgia deal with weird hauntings, and this one proved we had a lot mor
e ghostbusting to do in the future.
“Banks don’t give out free samples,” I yelled. “Tell me who you are, and what you want.”
That should have worked, except for one little thing. The wispy man behind the counter wearing a baggy black coat, vest, and pants with a white shirt ignored me. With a frantic expression and a bobble of his checkered bow tie as he swallowed, he tossed more money in the air. It was the worst thing to do when the Ghosties carried weapons that brought instant obedience from the other ghosts we had encountered.
I signaled the other Ghosties over. They gathered in a circle, two on each side of me.
“Did you get the dirt?” I asked.
“The manager said he worked here in 1912,” Annie Knott
said. “He went bonkers after the Titanic sank.”
She tucked one side of her chin length, light red hair behind an ear after delivering the current info in a clipped voice. Her green eyes darted from side to side when the ghost cackled.
“Did he do this when it happened?” Freddie Conders asked.
“Of course,” she replied. “I’m pretty sure that he won’t quit because we asked nice. Lemon juice and salt?”
“No other way to handle it.” I pulled out a spritzer from a fanny pack. “Sly, Freddie, take the left. Annie, you’re in the middle. Tink and I will handle the right. Don’t miss.”
Sylvia ‘Sly’ Cherboom broke into giggles while Tinker ‘Tink’ Kacklin groaned. None of the others ever lost a chance to remind him about the day he doused one of our sworn enemies. He still claimed that it was an accident.
Like the rest of us wouldn’t have loved to cover Suzie in lemon juice and salt. Tink really needs to explain that better than he has.
“Places,” I said.
Tink held up a salt sprayer, a baby bottle with the tip of the nipple sliced off. I stood beside him with a spritzer filled to the brim with lemon juice. Annie faced our target. She had a weapon in each hand since she was such a great shot. Sly and Freddie hauled out their containers and skidded to their position.
“One last chance,” I said to the spook. “Leave. Don’t come back.”
The ghost tossed a bundle of hundreds into the air. The Ghosties fired. Our target sizzled and howled before vanishing.

Social Media Links:

Look Who Dropped By Today: A.B. Funkhauser

heart shaped flagThis morning, Living the Dream welcomes a fellow Canadian author, A.B. Funkhauser. Ever wonder what those initials stand for? Well, A. is still a mystery, but I solved B.

Allow me to present Belle. She and I had a wonderful conversation about both herself and her work. 

Thank you so much, Susanne, for making room for me in what has to be a very busy schedule.

Some days are busier than others, but it’s always nice to talk to new people. Please share a little about yourself, your genres, any other pen names you use.

Baby MeWell, first off, I was born shy, but through sheer force of will have grown into an accomplished ham! Maybe that’s where my character’s strange intro/extrovertedness comes from? The other night, I appeared before a live audience with my fellow Durham County authors to do some open mic. It was the first time EVER that I didn’t have a racing heart. I was so comfortable in my skin that I really enjoyed myself!

The other thing is that I’m a wildlife/portrait artist, which really helps with my writing in the sense that if I need time to mull, I can do it over pen, paint or charcoal.

As far as genres go, I’m currently enmeshed in paranormal-gonzo with a hint of old Aesop. There’s a lot going on in front of the reader and behind the scenes. What the reader perceives is what they get, which is why HEUER means different things to different people. I like that a lot.

Tell us a little about your latest release.

HEUER LOST AND FOUND is a metaphysical journey of two people: one living, the other dead. But it’s handled in what I hope is a light but sensitive ELEVATOR PROMOway. A man is dead in his home, and rather than being found right away, he is left to moulder with his mortal coil while speculating on where his friends have got to. At the funeral home where his body will ultimately wind up, h
is paranormal residue ‘haunts’ the living, breathing Enid Engler Krause. She is not only his mortician, but she is also an old girlfriend who has not seen him in twenty years…until now. In the body of Heuer rests her greatest fear: having to deal with the remains of someone she used to love. How can she take care of him sensitively and professionally without losing her mind? And how can he help her do this?

I’ll post more about your book when we finish the interview, so stay tuned, everyone. 

Are you a mom (or parent)?

Yes! I have two teenagers who keep me on my toes and on the road. I can’t wait for them to get their driver’s licenses. Lol.

When that happens, you can kiss your car goodbye, and probably never see it with gas in it again. Do you find it hard to juggle writing and parenting?

belle at deskNo. The timing just worked out. Just as I began to grow on paper, they began to grow as people. Jobs, friends, opinions, fashion; it’s all there to be explored and lived. I have ample time during the day to focus on what I call The Job. Whether I’m blogging, tweeting, promoting or —joy of joys—creating new material, there is time for both. Of course it helps that I was able to take time off from full time work to devote to writing by day and family by night. I’ve  been working since I was sixteen so you might say I earned my place at my writing desk!

Since I’m retired, I fully understand that luxury. Have you ever based your book or characters on actual events or people from your own life?

I think every writer does, but in varying degrees. My characters are composites—at least the human ones are! I also make liberal use of buildings, classic cars and Rattus norvegicus (the common rat) as characters. I like to have fun with the writing and basing characters too closely on actual people would impede that. Imagination for me is everything.

Is there a theme or message in your work that you would like readers to connect to?

HammockThere are several and they strike readers differently, which is very exciting to me. A reviewer said that my message was a poignant one: that beauty and elegance is present though not always noticed even when they are right in front of us. By this, I think he means that I want the reader to keep searching because there will always be something powerful to be found.

I think an author is successful if he or she can do that. Bravo. What would your readers be surprised to learn about you?

I would choose a cross country road trip in a convertible over a cruise ship on an aquamarine sea. There’s something about the wind across the windshield that keeps me stoked.

When you’re not writing what do you do? Do you have any hobbies or guilty pleasures?

ForestI grew up with brothers, so ‘boy’ things are kind of ingrained in me. I like the north. I like being outside. Bonfires at any time of year are welcome. And I love a slow march through the woods. Outside is everything.

My guilty pleasure is Netflix. I get so much more out of a series when I can binge watch it. Nothing gets lost, especially with detailed series like GAME OF THRONES or BORGIA. Both offer huge international casts and a lot of back story which keeps me on my toes. I also get some valuable insights into plotting epics with multiple POVs. Luv that!

Guilty of that , too, but my sinful pleasures are Criminal Minds, Bones, Castle, and Blue Bloods with a smattering of NCIS thrown in. LOL

Which romance book or series (or other genre, if you don’t write romance) do you wish you had written?

Master and CommanderI loved Poldark. Adored anything written by Thomas Hardy. I did the Austen thing when I was 16 – 20. But Patrick O’Brian’s Master and Commander Series with good ol’ Captain Jack Aubrey takes first place. While this is not romance, the character truly is as demonstrated by Russell Crowe in the film. :D *sigh*

Agreed. Love Russell Crowe, too. Definitely swoon worthy.

Is there a genre(s) that you’d like to write that you haven’t tackled yet?

THE HEUER EFFECT is third in the series and takes a radical departure from the first two. In it, the characters are alive and vital in the 1980s and, at times, do terrible things to each other. So far, it’s coming off rather romantically and it’s nice. But knowing the muse, this won’t last for long. There’s an imp at work that insists things go sideways, whether it be a flat tire or a less than satisfying physical encounter: “She’d never seen one up close and for real before and could not help but think of the hagfish parasite she’d seen hanging off the backs of sharks on Mutual of Omaha’s Wild Kingdom.”

One day…one day…I might play it straight…but not now.

LOL, that’s quite the description! Of all the characters you’ve ever written, who is your favorite and why?

My vote goes to Jocasta Binns, who started out as a two dimensional cardboard villain and grew into her own book (POOR UNDERTAKER). My writing group—the esteemed BROOKLIN 7—kept on me about why she was the way she was. What was her story? So in book 4, I had to go back farther, beginning with her birth in 1947. Such a sweet girl. So much promise. Naturally, it cannot last. ;)

If this book is part of a series…what is the next book? Any details you can share?

scooterThe Series is called Unapologetic Lives for the reason that I wanted to see grown-ups careening out of control with little or no concern toward limited liability, torts, class action lawsuits or political correctness. They’re of age, and they have one crack at this life. The second novel is called SCOOTER NATION and its tone is completely different. Set two years after HEUER in the same funeral parlor, it focuses on Scooter Creighton and Carla Moretto Salinger Blue. Both are funeral directors, and both have critical walk ons in the first novel.

Here’s my elevator pitch:

When a scooter bound gang of septuagenarians terrorize a neighborhood, local businesses align in self defense.

It’s a story about identity, finding your place in society, and treating your fellow man with dignity…and GONZO!

Sounds interesting. What is next for you? Do you have any scheduled upcoming releases or works in progress?

I’m promoting HEUER (promotion is FOREVER, you know) while refining SCOOTER for submission. Come November and NaNoWriMo, I hope to complete part II of POOR UNDERTAKER. I’m very excited, although my head is a bit crowded. LOL.

I know exactly how that feels! Any last words? 

Are there really any for a writer? I want to stress the importance of blogging and of hosting fellow writers. Success (and we all have different definitions for that) is best enjoyed in a group I think. And I’m very much married to the idea that if you work with others, the cumulative results will shine favorably on all concerned. So far it’s proved true.

Thank you so much for dropping by, Belle, and best wishes for many sales and success.  Now, as promised, here’s a peak at more for HEUER.

Heuer Lost And Found, Unapologetic Lives, Book 

Genre: Adult, Contemporary, Fiction, Metaphysical, Paranormal, Dark Humor

Publisher: Solstice Publishing

Date of Publication:  April 23, 2015

Formats available:  Electronic, Paper Back

Cover Artist: Michelle Crocker

Book Description:     Heuer Book Cover

Unrepentant cooze hound lawyer Jürgen Heuer dies suddenly and unexpectedly in his litter-strewn home. Undiscovered, he rages against God, Nazis, deep fryers and analogous women who disappoint him.

At last found, he is delivered to Weibigand Brothers Funeral Home, a ramshackle establishment peopled with above average eccentrics, including boozy Enid, a former girl friend with serious denial issues. With her help and the help of a wise cracking spirit guide, Heuer will try to move on to the next plane. But before he can do this, he must endure an inept embalming, feral whispers, and Enid’s flawed recollections of their murky past.

Is it really worth it?

“Heuer” as in “lawyer”: Heuer the Lawyer

Short Excerpt:

Two Weeks Ago

The house, like the man who lived in it, was remarkable: a 1950s clapboard-brick number with a metal garage door that needed serious painting. Likewise, the windows, which had been replaced once in the Seventies under some home improvement program, then never again. They were wooden and they were cracked, allowing wasps and other insects inside.

This was of little consequence to him.

The neighbors, whom Heuer prodigiously ignored, would stare at the place. Greek, Italian, and house proud, they found the man’s disdain for his own home objectionable. He could see it on their faces when he looked out at them through dirty windows.

To hell with them.

If the neighbors disapproved of the moss green roof with its tar shingles that habitually blew off, then let them replace it. Money didn’t fall from the sky and if it did, he wouldn’t spend it on improvements to please strangers.

They were insects.

And yet there were times when Jürgen Heuer was forced to compromise. Money, he learned, could solve just about anything. But not where the willful and the pernicious were concerned. These, once singled out, required special attention.

Alfons Vermiglia, the Genovese neighbor next door, had taken great offense to his acacia tree, a towering twenty-five foot behemoth that had grown from a cutting given to him by a lodge brother. The acacia was esteemed in Masonic lore appearing often in ritual, rendering it so much more than just mere tree. In practical terms, it provided relief, offering shade on hot days to the little things beneath it. And it bloomed semi-annually, whimsically releasing a preponderance of white petals that carried on the wind mystical scent—the same found in sacred incense and parfums.

What horseshit.

It was a dirty son of a bitch of a tree that dropped its leaves continuously from spring to fall, shedding tiny branches from its diffident margins. These were covered in nasty little thorns that damaged vinyl pool liners and soft feet alike. They also did a pretty amazing job of clogging Alfons’ pool filter, turning his twenty-five hundred gallon toy pool green overnight.

This chemistry compromised the neighbor’s pleasure and it heightened his passions, blinding Alfons to the true nature of his enemy. He crossed over onto Heuer’s property and drove copper nails into the root system. It was an old trick, Byzantine in its treachery; the copper would kill the tree slowly over time leading no one to suspect foul play.

But Heuer was cagey and suspicious by nature, so when the tree displayed signs of failure, he knew where to look.

The acacia recovered and Alfons said nothing. Heuer planted aralia—the “Devil’s Walking Stick”—along the fence line and this served as an even thornier reminder that he knew. And if there was any doubt at all, he went further by coating his neighbor’s corkscrew hazel with a generous dose of Wipe Out.

Intrusive neighbors and their misplaced curiosities were, by turns, annoying and amusing and their interest, though unwanted, did not go unappreciated. The Greeks on the other side of him weren’t combative in the least and they offered gardening advice whenever they caught him out of doors. The man, Panos, talked politics and cars, and expressed interest in the vehicle that sat shrouded and silent on Heuer’s driveway. He spoke long and colorfully about the glory days of Detroit muscle cars and how it all got bungled and bargained away.

“They sacrificed an industry to please a bunch of big mouths in Hollywood,” Panos would rant in complete disregard for history: Al Gore and Global Warming didn’t kill the GTO; the OPEC oil crisis did. But there was no point in telling him that.

Panos was an armchair car guy and incurable conspiracy theorist. He also kept to his side of the fence, unlike his wife, Stavroula, who was driven by natural instinct. Not content to leave an unmarried man alone, she routinely crossed Heuer’s weedy lawn, banging on the door with offers of food and a good housecleaning.

Heuer had no trouble accepting her cooking. But he declined her brush and broom. Was it kindness, or was she trying to see inside? He suspected the latter.

No one was ever seen entering Heuer’s house and while this piqued public interest, he never gave in, not even to those who were kind to him. He liked Panos and Stavroula and he regretted poisoning their cat.

But not enough to let them in to his home.

Others on the street had less contact with him. Canvassers at election time would disturb him, in spite of the lawn sign warning the solicitous away. That this didn’t apply to neighbor kids brave enough to pedal cookies and magazine subscriptions in spite of the sign, was a testament, perhaps, to some residual soft spot in his heart that endured.

Even so, he knew that people talked about him and, frankly, he had trouble accounting for their fascination. Short, curt, bespectacled, he courted an ethos that favored enforced detachment. When people got close enough to hear him speak, they detected a trace of an accent. Now faded after years of U.S. residency, his speech still bore the unmistakable patterns of someone undeniably foreign. Elaborate, overwrought and heavy on the adverbs, he spoke very much like his neighbors. Yet the distance between them was incalculable…

Funky2About the Author:

A.B. Funkhauser is a funeral director, classic car nut and wildlife enthusiast living in Ontario, Canada. Like most funeral directors, she is governed by a strong sense of altruism fueled by the belief that life chooses us and we not it.

“Were it not for the calling, I would have just as likely remained an office assistant shuffling files around, and would have been happy doing so.”

Life had another plan. After a long day at the funeral home in the waning months of winter 2010, she looked down the long hall joining the director’s office to the back door leading three steps up and out into the parking lot. At that moment a thought occurred: What if a slightly life-challenged mortician tripped over her man shoes and landed squarely on her posterior, only to learn that someone she once knew and cared about had died, and that she was next on the staff roster to care for his remains?

Like funeral directing, the writing called, and four years and several drafts later, Heuer Lost and Found was born.

What’s a Heuer? Beyond a word rhyming with “lawyer,” Heuer the lawyer is a man conflicted. Complex, layered, and very dead, he counts on the ministrations of the funeral director to set him free. A labor of love and a quintessential muse, Heuer has gone on to inspire four other full length works and over a dozen short stories.

“To my husband John and my children Adam and Melina, I owe thanks for the encouragement, the support, and the belief that what I was doing was as important as anything I’ve tackled before at work or in art.”

Funkhauser is currently working on a new manuscript begun in November during NaNoWriMo 2014.

Website: www.abfunkhauser.com

Twitter: https://twitter.com/iamfunkhauser

Facebook: www.facebook.com/heuerlostandfound

Publisher: http://solsticepublishing.com/

Goodreads: http://bit.ly/1FPJXcO

FAQ’s: http://abfunkhauser.com/faqs/

Book Trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X-C5qBpb0Yc

Interview Part 1: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g2yhaXfh-ns

Interview Part 2: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WoPthI1Hvmo

Email: a.b.funkhauser@rogers.com

Geo Buy Link: http://myBook.to/heuerlostandfound


 “The macabre black comedy Heuer Lost And Found, written by A.B. Funkhauser, is definitely a different sort of book!  You will enjoy this book with its mixture of horror and humour.”

—Diana Harrison, Author ALWAYS AND FOREVER

“This beautifully written, quirky, sad, but also often humorous story of Heuer and Enid gives us a glimpse into the fascinating, closed world of the funeral director.”

—Yvonne Hess, Charter Member, The Brooklin 7

“The book runs the gamut of emotions. One minute you want to cry for the characters, the next you are uncontrollably laughing out loud, and your husband is looking at you like you lost your mind, at least mine did.”


“The writing style is racy with no words wasted.”


“For a story centered around death, it is full of life.”


“Like Breaking Bad’s Walter White, Heuer is not a likeable man, but I somehow found myself rooting for him. A strange, complicated character.”

—Kasey Balko, Pickering, Ontario

Raw, clever, organic, intriguing and morbid at the same … breathing life and laughter into a world of death.

—Josie Montano, Author VEILED SECRETS

Release Day for A Marriage of Inconvenience by Elise Hepner

Best wishes and congratulations to fellow author Elise Hepner whose book, A Marriage of Inconvenience was released today.


Izzy Thorton’s mother is dying.

Her best friend, Sebastian Leery, made Izzy’s mother’s dying wish come true.

Now Izzy and Sebastian are getting hitched in a quickie ceremony.

Among the myriad of problems for Izzy including her new husband’s little black book, his workaholic tendencies, and his hidden, although not so secret love of BDSM—she’s actually in love with him. Caught with the task of proving to him that his self-perceived sins hide a man only his secretly submissive best friend could accept, can she convince Bash before he pushes her away for good?

Sebastian Leery’s mother was murdered in front of him. To spare his best friend pain he’ll renounce his playboy ways. Now he needs to be a man he never thought he was capable of becoming—for his wife.

But his difficulties have only begun when his demons rise to the surface and tap dance all over his new marriage—with the potential to scare away the most important woman in his life. When Izzy insists she’s in love with him, he yearns to rip off the mask of normalcy, and bare it all so she knows the monster behind the man. Torn between her vision of him and his reality, Sebastian must walk a thin line. Can he convince Izzy that she’s in love with a mirage, without destroying their relationship in the process?

Tied together for life, will they choose to tighten the ropes, or break their bonds for good?

Buy Links:





“Whoa, easy there, buddy.” Bash laughed. “You can’t kill me with a look, no matter how much you try.”

She came close to clawing out his trachea.

“Where in the hell are we going to find wedding dresses? Where are we going to find a ring? A tux? Someone to marry us? Huh, Einstein? Did you even think this through at all?” she spat out pushing him backward as he stumbled into the wall with a laugh that only infuriated her even more. “It’s not even close to funny!”

“It really, really is, Izzy. Why’d you agree to marry me so soon, anyway? Kind of a strange agreement for someone who’s now pissed about it, wouldn’t you say?”

“Just shut up.” Izobel thrust both hands through her hair and raked her nails down her scalp.

With a huge huff she moved to brush past him and head off to the parking lot before his hand shot out snatching around her wrist. Izobel made a small, strangled noise of surprise.

“Come. Here.”

Two seconds later, she was locked in his arms, surrounded by the inescapable warmth of his muscular, lean build. Her fingers tingled where they pressed into his well-built chest, while she was caught in the deep pools of his blueish-gray eyes. His smirk only intensified as shadows from the overhead lighting played down the to-die-for angles of his cheekbones. Her brain short-circuited as her pulse throbbed in her skull blocking out all other sounds or thoughts.


“No, you shut up,” Bash whispered and kneaded his fingers into her lower back until she had two jelly doughnuts below where her knees used to be. Her eyes must have been wide and epically confused, because he licked his lips with the hint of a smile. “We’re going to do this properly.”

There was a twinge in his voice, a register she’d never heard before that made the hairs on the back of her neck prickle, and a shudder rolled down her spine. Whatever was happening between them, she hadn’t gotten the memo.


“What did I say?” The sudden authority to his tone brooked no argument, and Izobel attempted to pull backward only for him to yank her forward until the last inch between them was history. “Don’t argue with me.”

Forced to confront the buildup of muscular man fantasy she’d been missing out on for years, she was in no way disappointed by the solid warmth pressed up against her from knee to neck. But Sebastian didn’t need to know that. Unfortunately, she was positive her face projected her feelings like the Hubbell telescope on steroids. One of his hands trailed up her back, fingers teasing her sensitive skin through her thin shirt, and she let out a small noise. When he cupped the back of her neck in a show of absolute dominance she stopped breathing.

“I’m going to kiss you. You’re going to kiss me back, do you understand?”

This was it. It was happening. Izobel squeaked, and either Bash didn’t notice or didn’t care because his mouth crushed down on hers, and nothing else mattered.

His tongue swept over her lips demanding entry, and despite her verbal jabs she went pliant in his arms. Boneless beneath his greedy, take charge attitude, Izobel allowed him to ravage her mouth while dizzying desire pooled low in her belly. He was a man used to getting what he wanted—and for a single second, Izzy really liked being what he wanted most of all. Beneath the crushing, delicious torment she became swept up in him. When his fingers tightened to bruising on the back of her neck she repaid him by biting his lower lip until she tasted pennies. But he merely growled, intensifying the kiss. She was drowning in him. Unsure what was real or fantasy as his free hand roamed over her ass and back to her waist as she curled her hands into his motorcycle jacket.

He took advantage of her mouth in every way imaginable until she could only hope to keep up, and the rest of her body screamed for release. She was at his mercy. Aware of every inch of him pressed tight, eager, and ready. Each of his movements was a claim, almost angry in his possession as he took her against him. But there was no part of her that she tried to hold back, to keep safe. Despite her mind’s knowledge that it was a bad idea, her body was all in, uncaring of what happened so long as they stayed locked together for one more second.

She didn’t pull away. Not until she was resting back on her feet and Bash’s hand eased around her hip as if to steady her, still so close she could sense his warm breath on the tip of her nose. The sharp sound of applause broke the moment into a million pieces. They both swiveled around toward the nurses’ station where the employees were clapping and wolf whistling behind the desk giving loud shouts of encouragement.

“There’s no need to stop on our account. That’s the best thing we’ve seen all day.” A passing nurse remarked, tucking back a lock of red hair with a waggle of her eyebrows.

“Shit,” Bash muttered rubbing the back of his neck.

Was he actually embarrassed? Izobel could count on one hand the number of times she’d seen him embarrassed—of course, right now she couldn’t count at all until her head stopped spinning. When she licked her lips, she tasted him. Peppermint, vanilla, and something…masculine. Spicy, maybe? His fingers dug into her hip. But when she looked back into his face, she saw no consciousness of his action.

“Well, at least we know we won’t have one problem in our marriage,” he exhaled and dropped his hand as if he’d suddenly realized he was still touching her and shoved it in his pocket. “I guess you should go back to your car, right? I’ll be over soon. Quick.”

“Uh, sure.” Izobel narrowed her eyes, still not processing much past the tingling of her lips and the streak of pinkish red lighting up Bash’s high cheekbones. “Are you…?”

Bash waved with one hand, turned on his heel, and all but ran in the opposite direction. His long legs made quick work of the never-ending hallway. Before she knew it, she was standing alone with her mouth opening and closing like a fish seeing nothing of her surroundings.

“A word of advice?” A woman wearing scrubs elbowed her in the ribs. “Don’t let that man go, you got it?”

“We’re getting married in two days,” she said in an eerie monotone, still processing the slow burn that was working its way through her veins from his touch.

With that as the start of their new relationship, whatever else she had to look forward to flashed across her brain in a naughty tussle of limbs, lips, tongue, and teeth.

“What have I gotten myself into?” she breathed.

“Something you don’t want out of, trust me,” said the nurse.

But that was the problem, wasn’t it?


About the Author:

Elise Hepner lives in Pennsylvania with two spastic, co-dependent cats and her dachshund soulmate, Quinn. She’s a multi-published erotic and erotic romance author with several e-presses as well as in print. When not writing BDSM erotica she can be found ogling Jamie from Outlander, binge watching Netflix, or doing historical research for fun. For more information about her work see her website: http://www.ehepner.com.

 Other Social Media links:

Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/EHepner

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Elise-Hepner-Author-Page-311925106401/timeline/

Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/elisehepner/


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