Monday, December 31, 2012

Three Great Ladies of Word

Today I am featuring three wonderfully talented writers. Please read about their books, then go to their websites to learn more about them and their other publications.


Vonnie Hughes


When Alexandra Tallis sets free the attractive man her sister foolishly tried to hold captive, her actions lead not only to a love she never thought to find, but also to a horrific family secret that threatens the fledgling love.

When Alexandra Tallis discovers that her witless sister has imprisoned their father’s nemesis, Theo Crombie in their attic, she quickly frees him, fighting an unladylike impulse to keep him as her own special captive. Despite the brutal beating she receives from her father for her actions, Alexandra continues to yearn for the delicious Mr. Crombie even though she knows that nothing will ever come of her dreams.

Injured and shackled in a stranger’s attic, Theo unexpectedly discovers the woman of his dreams. But how can he pursue those dreams when her bizarre family’s complex relationships threaten the very foundation of his existence? Somehow Theo must find a way through this maze to claim his lady.

Find out more about Vonnie and her books:


Susan Lodge

Only a Hero Will do

Hetty’s desperate gamble to avoid an odious match lands her all at sea. Can an overbearing ship’s physician really be the hero she needs to escape her treacherous family?

Marriage to a cruel dandy is not how Hetty Avebury envisions spending the rest of her life. Determined to raise funds to escape the match she earns money the only way she knows how—gambling. Her plans go astray and she finds herself onboard a man-of-war under the care of its stern physician. But Hetty soon realizes that the disapproving Doctor Withington is not at all the man she had first imagined.

If it wasn’t bad enough declaring one of the pressed men as a woman, Robert has been tasked with the tiresome job of returning her safely back to her dysfunctional family. It was ten years ago when his father gambled away his inheritance, home, and any chance of marrying the woman he loved. So when Robert discovers Hetty gambling he takes drastic action to cure her of the habit.

Learn more about Susan:


Ann Montclair


Lady in Deed

Piety or passion... What's a lady to do?
Lady Mary Rutherford believed she would live her entire life as a nun. But when King Henry VIII’s reformist movement makes practicing religion a dangerous proposition, Mary is forced to begin a new life with a family she doesn’t know. Worse, she must become lady of the manor, a role for which she feels sorely unprepared.

After a decade of service to his king, Lord Trenton Stanley returns home to find his estate in ruins, his fortune depleted, and his doddering father drooling over Mary—a woman Trent fears has been installed to replace his mother. Trent strives to rebuild his life, but his desire for Mary becomes a serious distraction he can’t seem to ignore.

Though Mary is anxious to prove she’s a worthy lady, she’s tempted by the rakish Trent into deeds most unladylike…
Learn more about Ann and her other books:

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Masquerade, by Sloane Taylor

We welcome Sloane Taylor to bayou land. She's here to tell about her latest release, Masquerade. Nope, not set in New Orleans, but in Italy. And with a masked Italian stranger in the plot, it's sure to be a steamy romantic read.

Behind Every Mask is a Fragment of Truth
Chicagoan Clancy Marshall has planned her dream vacation in Venice down to the last detail. From gondola rides to masked balls, and anything else that just happens along, she is determined to experience all pleasures. But those careful plans fly out the door when she literally falls into the arms of a masked stranger.

Vittore Ricci comes from an old Venetian family that claims two doges in their lineage. A straight-laced Count and owner of a prestigious hotel, he never does anything without serious consideration. Until a sexy American tourist offers an opportunity no man can refuse.
Green eyes sparkling behind delicate shades of purple feathers held him hostage. Vittore thought he had recognized her the moment she walked onto the pier. When she spoke, he knew his search had finally ended. Determination and desire had persevered. The gods had delivered her into his hands and he wanted to learn more about this mystery woman with her gay laugh and quick wit, even if it was only for one night.

 Clancy opened her door, then switched on the entry light. At the bedroom, she glanced over her shoulder, the long plumes brushing her creamy bare shoulder. “Make yourself comfortable. I’ll be just a moment.”
He wandered around the room, straightening the pillows on the sofa, adjusting a wing backed chair and, finally, the magazines scattered across the pecan desktop. It was there he found a handwritten note caught between the pages. A little guilt crept in for snooping, but he shoved it aside, eager to discover more about this sensual woman who intrigued him.

Note to Self — Loving Venice

1. Ride in a gondola
2. Climb the Campanile in St. Mark’s Square
3. Attend a masked ball
4. Dance under the stars in St. Mark’s Square
5. Tour a professional kitchen
6. Buy one special piece of Murano glass
. Fall in love—at least for the night
8. Hear a Vivaldi Concert
9. Attend an opera at the Fenice
Vittore reread the paper, paying close attention to number seven. He looked out at the waning moon and sent a prayer of thanks to Raphael the Archangel, the patron saint of happy meetings, for his good fortune.

On a whoosh of material, he slid the list back under a book.
“Vittore, I have a suggestion, a little game to add to the Carnaval mystique. Sort of an adult Twenty Questions. Are you willing to play?”

“You spark my interest.” He liked games, particularly in the bedroom. A myriad of erotic foreplay flitted through his mind. Before they said farewell, his princessa would experience pleasures she had never imagined. “What are the rules?”
You can purchase Masquerade at Musa Publishing or wherever e-books are sold.


About Sloane

Sloane's a sensual woman who believes humor and sex are healthy aspects of our everyday lives and carries that philosophy into her books. She writes sexually explicit romances that takes you right into the bedroom. Being a true romantic, all her stories have a happy ever after.
Her books are set in Europe where the men are all male and the North American women they encounter are both feminine and strong. They also bring more than lust to their men’s lives.

Taylor was born and raised on the Southside of Chicago. As a young adult she lived in the Pullman neighborhood created by that old curmudgeon George Pullman. Studly, her mate for life, and Sloane now live in a small home in Indiana and enjoy the change from hectic city life.

She is an avid cook. Check out “It’s Wednesday. So What’s Cooking?” with complete menus posted once a week on her blog The recipes are user friendly menus, meaning easy. Feel free to email her at  to be included on the Cooking Pals list. These are people who receive an advance email of the new menu.


Wednesday, December 19, 2012

May Finds a Way: Peril in Paris, by K.C. Frantzen

Today I welcome my friend, K.C. (Karen) Frantzen to the bayou. She is celebrating her second middle grade book in her May the K-9 Spy series. Actually, the book is written by May, the schnauzer, but since May doesn't have thumbs, her mom has to do the actual typing.

Dognapped! An enterprising escape, a perilous mission…
After going astray during K9 Service boot camp, May is captured and tries to find a way to the American Embassy in Paris.
Join her and Léonce, a feral cat, as they sniff out an evil plot leading from Benjamin Franklin’s park through the historic Passy Cemetery to The Pantheon… including a journey under the city!
“Kids of all ages will thrill to this fast-paced adventure as May encounters the heart of friendship, the nobility of sacrifice and love of country.” Vince Mooney, retired Air Force K9 flight leader, handler and trainer of two magnificent German Shepherds featured in NATO Day dog shows

Listen to an excerpt

KC and May worked with TW Vanya, the illustrator, to create this beautifully written and illustrated hard cover book.


Reader comments:

“I have to tell you that you are one special lady … reaching out to kids and sharing ‘some basic truths’ through your books.”
“Thank you for May Finds a Way. Very enjoyable. Waiting for Book 3, coming soon I hope.”

"Sat down yesterday to start reading your Second book...did not move until I was finished. It was just WONDERFUL !!! Felt like I was in Paris with you Miss May !!! Great read...Highly recommend both Miss May's books to everyone !! Love Ya !!!! Woof, Woof!!"
"I just finished May's second book. What a great read. I'm ordering several as Christmas gifts for my grandchildren. Lots of life lessons and making good decisions from a position of strength. My granddaughters gave the first book 4 thumbs up. I can't wait to see their faces when they discover the second book under their tree."
“I’m only on the first page and it already has me hooked.”

Check out May's web site

All photographs © KC Frantzen

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Clarissa Johal - Between

Welcome to the bayou, Clarissa. A great place to talk about the paranormal. Tell us a little about why you wrote Between.


Thank you for hosting me in your blog, Rita!

I fell into the genre of paranormal by accident. I started out writing young adult fantasy. Half-way through the second installment of my series, I was hit by two characters that didn’t belong in a young adult fantasy novel. Ghosts? Guardian and Death Spirits? What kind of wacky ideas were these? I kept setting the ideas and characters aside, but they would come back, stronger than ever. And so I started BETWEEN, a paranormal story for adults. I had the rough draft in a month and the complete finished novel a year later. I must say, I’ve been pulled into the Otherworld permanently. The ideas come faster than I can type them and I love presenting the paranormal in new and intriguing ways. Enjoy! J

How far would you go to redeem yourself?


As a young girl, Lucinda was able to see spirits, a gift that didn't come without its problems. Now, a dedicated young veterinarian, she is committed to the idea that every life can be saved.

After a devastating accident, Lucinda tries to escape her past by moving to a small town. There, she meets a newcomer and feels an immediate connection with him. But there is another mysterious stranger to the small town, one that stirs within her a mixture of unease and desire.

As Lucinda is drawn into a bitter tug-a-war from the forces around her, she is likewise pulled into a dangerous twist of past and present events. Forced to make difficult choices, she finds that the two men are locked in not only a battle for her life...but a battle for their salvation.


A young woman stood beside the bed, anguish on her face. She looked vaguely familiar, though Lucinda couldn’t place her. The forgotten colors of her blousy dress had faded into indistinct shades of grey. The woman grasped Lucinda’s hand and pressed a key into it. Lucinda felt the jagged, metal edges pricking her skin. Somewhere in the distance, a car engine roared to life. The woman’s lips moved but the growling engine drowned out all other sound. The sound became louder.

Growling. Darwin was growling.

Darwin?” Lucinda woke with a start.

The shepherd growled again and hopped off the bed, padding into the living room.

A quiet knock sounded from the front door. Lucinda rolled out of bed to answer it.

Pushing Darwin aside to open the door, she peered sleepily into the moonlit night. A breeze blew across the clearing, stirring the grass. Confused, she shut the door before the breeze could make its way inside.

“Come on back to bed, Darwin. Nobody there.”

As she pulled the blanket up to her chin, the knocking started again.

Lucinda slipped out of bed and walked back into the living room. The sound clearly came from the other side of the door, faint but unmistakable. She slid her hand quietly over the knob. At once, the knocking stopped. Turning the knob slowly, she pulled the door open a crack, heart pounding in her chest.

“Hello?” An icy breeze slipped by her thigh as the scent of ozone assailed her senses. Her heart beat erratically. “Darwin, no!” The dog tried to push past her, growling once more. Rattled, Lucinda closed the door with a bang and locked it.

Lucinda lay in bed and shivered, unable to get warm. A chill slipped under her covers, stealing up her spine. The smell of roses clung to her blanket, the warmth from their scent seemed to be at war with the cold. An hour passed and she finally dropped off to sleep.

For the remainder of the night, the two unseen presences in her room remained at an impasse.

 Sounds pretty spooky, Clarissa. I definitely want to read the book!

 About the author:

Clarissa Johal has worked as a veterinary assistant, zoo-keeper aide and vegetarian chef. Writing has always been her passion. When she’s not listening to the ghosts in her head, she’s dancing or taking photographs of gargoyles.

Clarissa shares her life with her husband, two daughters and every stray animal that darkens the doorstep. One day, she expects that a wayward troll will wander into her yard, but that hasn’t happened yet.

To contact Clarissa

Web site:


Buy Links Below

Musa Publishing:



Thursday, December 6, 2012

Roger Rabbit Returns

Everyone at Musa Publishing is excited, including me. Why?

Because my publisher, a fairly new independent digital publisher, just landed a major deal with Gary K. Wolf and Roger Rabbit.

Who Whacked Roger Rabbit, will be the third book in Wolf's Roger Rabbit series.

Following is Musa's press release just days ago.

Musa Publishing, an independent digital-first publisher, has announced today that they will publish Who Wacked Roger Rabbit? by author Gary K. Wolf, the third book featuring Wolf's iconic character, Roger Rabbit, and the denizens of Toontown.

"When I first got a submission in the inbox from Gary K. Wolf, creator of Roger Rabbit, I must admit that I didn't take it seriously. After all, why would such a well-known author be coming to Musa?" confesses Musa Editorial Director, Celina Summers. "But after I read his submission, all my doubts were erased. No other author in the world has that distinct narrative voice. Rather quickly, we accepted two novels from Gary—The Late Great Show! and Typical Day—and Gary became part of the Musa family. But even then, I never expected he'd bring us a Roger Rabbit novel. "

Who Wacked Roger Rabbit? is the culmination of a twenty year wait for fans of the world that Wolf first created in his 1981 Hugo-winning Who Censored Roger Rabbit? The third installment in the series has been promised to fans for a long time but never released. Now, with the 25th anniversary of Who Framed Roger Rabbit? on the horizon in 2013 and and confirmation of a completed Roger Rabbit 2 script by director Robert Zemeckis last week stirring up excitement among Roger Rabbit fans, the collaboration between Wolf and Musa is coming at a significant time.

"I could easily have published Who Wacked Roger Rabbit? through a major print publishing house. Instead, I choose to make this the first book of the Roger Rabbit series to be published digitally," Wolf states. "That decision evolves directly from the way I work, from the core philosophy of what I write and why I write it. I always push the boundaries in my writing. I invent worlds that nobody else ever thought about. I create unique characters and situations. I try to always be at the forefront of my craft. That includes the way my writing is presented to my readers. Digital publishing is clearly the future. It’s the way books are headed, so I’m heading that way, too."

With his first book at Musa,
The Late Great Show!, released in October and his second novel, Typical Day, coming out on December 7, Wolf is no stranger to the Musa system. "I especially like the way Musa has taken digital publishing into areas that I never thought of. Using proprietary software, I’m able to interact with them electronically in real time. My editor, the publicity department, the art department, and everybody else involved with my work all have instant access to everything I submit. And vice versa."

Wolf isn't the only well-known author bringing his works to Musa. USA Today bestselling author Sharon De Vita has a multi-book deal with the publisher, and her romantic mystery The Estrogen Posse has been increasing in sales since its release in October, 2011. Science fiction up-and-comer Gini Koch's serial—The Martian Alliance—is being published by Musa, along with new and backlisted works from well-known authors like Cindi Myers, Vella Munn, Helen Hardt, and Julia Parks. In addition, Musa is responsible for the Homer Eon Flint project, where the entire body of work of this lost American science fiction author is being saved from crumbling 1920s pulp magazines and disintegrating newspaper copy and published as e-books.

"Even two or three years ago, it would have been thought impossible to lure these writers to a small, young publisher," Summers explains. "But because of our author-friendly policies and transparent business model, small publishers like Musa are able to release books like Who Wacked Roger Rabbit? digitally, with both a better product and prices far below what traditional publishers set for their e-books."

Both Summers and Wolf are optimistic about the prospects for Who Wacked Roger Rabbit? The novel reunites all the old fan favorites—Eddie Valiant, his fuzzy sidekick Roger Rabbit, Baby Herman, and Roger’s va-va-voom mate Jessica, who continue their madcap human and Toonian adventures. This time, Eddie is hired to bodyguard for Gary Cooper and Roger Rabbit, the stars of a new movie that's been receiving dire threats—shut down the film or else.

"Musa is thrilled to publish the next installment in the Roger Rabbit world," Summers says. "Toontown and e-publishing are destined to work well together. Gary has such an innovative mind. He takes risks daily with his fiction—he enjoys taking creative risks. He can do that comfortably at Musa because we encourage all our authors to reach further, to attempt things they normally wouldn't. E-publishing is all about trying things that traditional publishers might be uncertain about."

With the release of Who Wacked Roger Rabbit? set for November of 2013, Musa and Wolf are poised to gratify millions of Roger Rabbit fans across the world. The entertainment franchise is worth over $500,000,000 and the fandom is as eager as ever to follow their beloved Roger Rabbit and Eddie Valiant into new adventures—including e-publishing.

"Digital publishing is the wave of the future, and I’ve always been a wave of the future kind of guy," Wolf states matter-of-factly. "For me, going digital wasn’t in any way a last resort. It was a necessity."

Gary Wolf is the NYT Bestselling author of numerous book, articles, and short stories including Who Censored Roger Rabbit?, Who P-P-P-Plugged Roger Rabbit?, Space Vulture, and The Late Great Show! His movie credits include Who Framed Roger Rabbit?, the three Roger Rabbit cartoons Tummy Trouble, Rollercoaster Rabbit, and Trail Mix-up, and—coming in 2014—screen adaptations of his science fiction novels The Resurrectionist and Killerball. Awards for Wolf’s work include the Hugo Award, British Science Fiction Award, SF Chronicle Award, and 4 Academy Awards. Wolf is an avid Yoga enthusiast and lives in Boston where he is a full-time author, screenwriter, lecturer, entertainment consultant, and consummate “grown-up kid.” Look for his next Roger Rabbit installment to be released November, 2013 by Musa Publishing.

Wolf's website is

The Late Great Show! and Typical Day are available through Musa Publishing,, and e-tailers worldwide.

More information available from Musa Publishing at and
While you're checking out Wolf's new books, take a look at The Legend of Ghost Dog Island also!

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Escucha Means Listen


by Talia Aikens-Nuñez

 Today, I'd like to welcome one of Musa's new picture book writers, Talia Aikens-Nuñez. Welcome Talia, and congratulations on your release! Tell us a little about Escucha Means Listen.

Thank you. To give you a little background, Escucha Means Listen introduces children and toddlers to all the sounds around them. From the mowing of the lawn to the splish-splashing of rain puddles, it takes you on a journey through your environment (with or without a child) in English and Spanish. I wrote this 'first experience' book to introduce my daughter to Spanish. I am a limited Spanish speaker but I wanted her to be exposed to another language besides English. Thus I created this book, and a few others, that are written mostly in English but sprinkled with Spanish. It starts loudly and ends softly so it is also a nice and calming bedtime book.

The book sounds wonderful, Talia, and so needed for young children to be exposed to other languages, as well as for Hispanic children to have something to relate to. Tell us a little about yourself.

I wanted to be a meteorologist, a politician and a lawyer. I never thought I would be a writer. It was the birth of my daughter that caused me to start writing. Raising a bilingual child inspired me to write lyrical children’s books. These ‘first experience’ books introduce Spanish to children and parents too! My family loves nature so much that me and my husband vowed that we will always try to live close to water. My husband and I live on a river in Connecticut with our daughter Isabella.

Children are such a great inspiration, Talia. It's always nice to know the story behind the story. Here is an excerpt from Escucha Means Listen:

Buzz. Buzz. Qué oyes? (What do you hear?)
Las abejas (The bees) circling the flowers.

Woosh. Woosh. What do you hear?
El viento (The wind) is whistling by.

Shh. Shh. Qué oyes? (What do you hear?)
Las hojas (The leaves) are dancing on the trees.

Thank you so much for being here to share your story, Talia, and good luck with Escucha Means Listen, and your future books.

To learn more about Talia and her new book, visit her website:

Escucha Means Listen can be purchases at, or wherever e-books are sold.

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Crawfish, their Burrows, and Yummy Recipes

Recently I was asked what these little mud chimneys were. So I decided it was a good subject for a Louisiana tidbit blog post.

Crawfish Burrows

If you live in Louisiana, you have certainly seen one of these little crawfish “chimneys.”

The most common species of crawfish builds their little burrows during the late summer and spends most of the fall and winter underground in water-filled tunnels. They move to open water in the spring where they can be found in roadside ditches and swamps, ponds, bayous, and lakes.

Why do crawfish build burrows?

It is thought that the crawfish has to burrow in order to keep warm and safe through the winter months. They have to stay in the water, so they dig deep enough that they are below the water table. Their “home” then becomes submerged in water. If the weather becomes too dry or too cold, they burrow deeper. Their tunnels can be as deep as three feet. Sometimes they burrow straight down and sometimes they have little side tunnels with rooms. The female crawfish will give birth in her burrow and carry them under her tail until she releases them in open water in the spring.

What are crawfish good for?

Crawfish are good at breaking down organic material. They eat on leaves and stems. They get their protein from microscopic organisms.

Crawfish are an important part of the Louisiana economy, where they keep fisherman working, as well as packing plants and restaurants. These little critters are shipped to restaurants around the nation so everyone can enjoy crawfish dishes, such as etoufee.

In Louisiana, it is a commonplace summer activity to invite your family and friends to a crawfish boil, where they are cooked in a large pot with vegetables.
Below are a couple of Louisiana crawfish dishes.