W: My name is J. Arlene Culiner and I write what I want to read. I want to be transported to unusual settings. I want unconventional, passionate heroes and heroines, people who refuse the roles society sets out for them. I want to learn about things I don’t know — history, music, foreign countries, snakes, and spiders. And I need a good plot.
Can discovery, adventure, and history be mixed with Contemporary Romance? Absolutely. That definitely happens in my latest romance, The Turkish Affair.
My heroes and heroines are always over the age of 40 because I think falling in love later in life is more interesting. I also write unromantic mysteries, short stories, and narrative non-fiction, but that’s another world altogether. And, if anyone wants to listen in, I tell true stories right here on my podcast: https://soundcloud.com/j-arlene-culiner
I: I am also an amateur musician and play in several orchestras — one for 19th century classical music, and one in which we all play period instruments and music from the 17th century. I also play in two bands, and often get together with several friends to play duets, trios, as well as to gossip. What instruments do I play? Oboe, baroque oboe, baroque taille, English horn, tuba, flute, piccolo, recorder, and Breton bombarde (a very noisy bagpipe without the bag.)
N: Never will anyone encounter super-heroes or super-heroines in my stories. There will be no impossible rescues, no ideal families. For me, what’s important in a romance is reading about that first, very tentative gentleness, and those early stirrings of love.
D: My desk? Oh dear. It’s a disaster. So what? You should see what’s going on inside my closets, or garden, or pockets. Inside my head, nothing is very tidy either. Does it matter? Not to me.
O: I continue doing what I’ve always done, crossing Europe alone on foot, sleeping in fields, getting lost in snowstorms in countries where I can’t speak a word of the language. I’ve worked as a belly dancer in Turkey, as a storyteller on the radio in France. I’ve delivered newspapers in Germany, painted walls in Algeria. Most of my adult life, I’ve been a contemporary artist creating social critical work, and living in a former inn and café, in France. The inn closed a long, long time ago, but there are still strange things going on in all those rooms. Just click on a window: http://www.jill-culiner.com
W: What do I see outside my window at the moment? Nothing. Why? Because, I write in a closet, and there is no window. In here, it’s quiet enough for me to record my audiobooks. Is it raining outside? Snowing? Is there a flood, or a tornado? I have no idea. In this closet, a place of dark corners and shadow, I’m free to invent a whole world. And, I certainly have a whale of a time, too.
The Turkish Affair
Priceless artifacts are disappearing from the ancient Hittite site of Karakuyu in Turkey, and the site director has vanished. Called in to solve the mystery, archaeologist Renaud Townsend is hindered by both his inability to speak the language and the knowledge that the local police are corrupt. His attraction to translator Anne Pierson is immediate, although he is troubled by her refusal to talk about the past and her fear of public scandal. But when murder enters the picture, both Anne and Renaud realize that the risk of falling in love is not the only danger.
A delicious breeze tickled the air, and the little boat rocked gently. A fine line appeared between his brows, and his blue eyes were, once again, serious. “I need your help.”
She stared. “My help? With what? Translating?”
“No. With something else. I have to find out who is behind the thefts at Karakuyu.”
The feeling of dread returned, but she forced herself to sound casual. “How could I possibly help you with that?”
“I don’t know.” He sighed. “I suppose I just don’t want to feel that I’m alone in this.”
What could she say to that? Tell him she was the last person he should team up with? That long ago, she’d escaped arrest by the skin of her teeth? If she did so, this splendid moment would be over. The silver-foil glimmer of romance would be tarnished forever. He’d row back to shore, drive back to Gülkale, get rid of her as quickly as possible.
“Anne?” He reached out to caress her bare arm. “Come back from wherever you are.”
“You know nothing about me,” she said jaggedly.
“Nothing,” he agreed.
She swallowed. “I could be involved in the thefts for all you know. Why ask for my help? Why choose me?”
He smiled faintly. “A good question. I suppose, quite simply, I need—or want—to trust you.”
She felt utterly miserable. Why was life always like this? Wanting someone and not being able to have them? Wanting trust, but seeing it snatched away before it came close?
“Okay, then.” His voice was surprisingly tender. “If I promise not to probe into secrets, do I have the right to ask one question?”
She nodded with resignation.
“Can I trust you?”
The answer to that was simple enough. “Yes. Of course you can.”
His returning smile was radiant. “Good.”
She stared helplessly at the strong, angular features highlighted by the merciless sun. “That’s crazy. You’re willing to take my word for it? I could be lying.”
He leaned forward, cupped her chin in his hand, and met her gaze evenly. “No way. Not with a face as expressive as yours.”
Writer, photographer, social critical artist, musician, and occasional actress, J. Arlene Culiner, was born in New York and raised in Toronto. She has crossed much of Europe on foot, has lived in a Hungarian mud house, a Bavarian castle, a Turkish cave-dwelling, on a Dutch canal, and in a haunted house on the English moors. She now resides in a 400-year-old former inn in a French village of no interest and, much to local dismay, protects all creatures, especially spiders and snakes. She particularly enjoys incorporating into short stories, mysteries, narrative non-fiction, and romances, her experiences in out-of-the-way communities, and her conversations with strange characters.
Web site: http://www.j-arleneculiner.com
Storytelling Podcast: https://soundcloud.com/j-arlene-culiner
Amazon Author page https://www.amazon.com/author/jarleneculiner-quirky-romances
The Wild Rose Press https://www.thewildrosepress.com/authors/j-arlene-culiner
Barnes & Noble : https://tinyurl.com/yx2lyg6v
Who: Hey, kids. I’m Peggy Jaeger and I write romcoms, small town romances, and contemporary romances about strong women, the families who support them and the men who can’t live without them. I’ve recently dipped my writing toe into the romantic suspense genre, too. My latest book, which releases today, is VANILLA WITH A TWIST, part of the summer romance novella series ONE SCOOP OR TWO from The Wild Rose Press
Interests: People watching (in a purely nosy, not creepy way); restoring old steamer trunks by decoupaging them; hand-painting note cards for gifts and craft fairs; all things aging-skin care related – from dermal peels, to laser lights, to the newest in top of the line skin products. Hey, I’m 60. I gotta be proactive in the aging department, and knowledge = power, plus good skin!
Network. I’m a member of RWA, NHRWA (my local chapter), I’m a Wild Rose Press author, a LIMITLESS author, a KENSINGTON author, and a indie author. I’m also a retired Registered Nurse and a practicing Catholic (and I say practicing because I’m never gonna be an expert! Hee hee)
Desk. When I’m working on a new book it looks like a cyclone blew through the area. Reference books tossed all over it, my three daily calendars stocked on top of one another, various pens and markers scattered about, and I’ll always have an empty glass or cup (or 3 or 4) from forgotten soda, tea, and water. ( photo included)
Outrageous. I once danced the night away at Studio 54 when I was in college in NYC and I can make the sound of a horse whinnying. Check it out, here: https://youtu.be/kFLLZ6B-1y8
Window. Outside my attic office window I can see the seasons change in my woodland paradise. I live in the woods and I see – daily – turkeys, deer, squirrels, chipmunks, and birds scurrying about below me. ( photo included)
Tandy Blakemore spends her days running her New England ice cream parlor, single-parenting her teenage son, and trying to keep her head above financial water. No easy feat when the shop's machinery is aging and her son is thinking about college. Tandy hasn't had a day off in a decade and wonders if she'll ever be able to live a worry-free life.
Engineer Deacon Withers is on an enforced vacation in the tiny seaside town of Beacher's Cove. Overworked, stressed, and lonely, he walks into Tandy's shop for a midday ice cream cone and gets embroiled in helping her fix a broken piece of equipment.
Can the budding friendship that follows lead to something everlasting?
Amazon // Nook // Applebooks // Google play //Rakuten/Kobo
For a few moments, she regarded him with a look his mother would have called insightful. The corners of her eyes narrowed, she dipped her chin a hair, and she pulled her mouth into another appealing pout he was tempted to kiss.
“I bet,” she said after a long, drawn-out sigh, “you were the kind of kid who took apart clocks and fans and vacuum cleaners to see how they worked.”
“It was more washing machines and lawn mowers and anything with a motor, but yeah. I was.”
She shook her head, her own lips forming a lopsided grin. “Your poor mother.”
Tandy rolled her eyes and shot her hands to her hips. “So it’s working again?” She thrust her chin at the ice cream machine.
“Okay, well, I can live with for now. And you think you know the real reason it’s been acting up?”
“I definitely do. But like I said, the water to the machine needs to be shut off to fix it.”
“Okay. Well, we close at nine.”
“I’ll come back a little before then. Get things ready. Is that okay with you?”
“I guess it’ll have to be.” She bit down on the inside of her cheek as her brows pulled together. “And you’re sure you want to do this?”
“If I weren’t, I wouldn’t offer, Tandy.”
Why her reluctance to have him help was such a turn-on was something he considered while he waited for his ice cream.
Amazon Author Page: http://www.amazon.com/-/e/B00T8E5LN0
Authors database: https://authorsdb.com/community/15814-peggy-jaeger
WHO: I’m Viviana MacKade from South Florida. I was born and lived in Northern Italy for 27 years, then moved to the UK, spent 5 years there, and moved into the sun. I’m a wife to an alpha scientist, mom to a 6yo boy who is the sweetest and most monstrous kid ever, and waiting for our baby girl to arrive in late August (for whom my son takes all the owning. It’s his sister, not my and my husband’s child. He loves the idea of being a big brother, takes the job veeeery seriously.)
INDEPENDENCE: is the thing I value the most. To me, it is making my own choices and paying their price. Is that simple.
NOPE: Many things are not going to happen in my books. Characters will not spend pages and pages thinking and re-thinking the same things. My heroines might have little experience with men, but they are no man’s fool. My heroes can be alpha, but they know when to stop pushing.
Things move, sometimes too fast, and I have to be careful not to make it all about dialogue because (see next point),
DIALOGUE: I love it. I could write an entire book going only through it. Which I do, when I get impatient with the story. I write all of it for each scene, and then I put the extra stuff in there. You know, the other details like where the scene is happening, why, when…. I kinda have to. But I’m not crazy about it.
OUTRAGEOUS: I’ve never been an outrageous kind of person. I don’t like to stand out because I like to be left well alone and if you stand out, you simply can’t. Of course, when I open my mouth and my stance on things comes out, there’s bound to be someone noticing. At this point, one of two things will happen: they will love me or hate me. I’m good with either.
WINDOWS: My office’s window overlooks the street and the front of the house. I like that I can see the comings and goings (all the 3 cars that ride that little road on a good day, usually my neighbors’), I like how I can keep an eye on things. If my office were in the back of the house, I think I’d be a little anxious.
SHUT UP: People forgot how to, and it’s a real shame. No, one’s opinion is not always needed. Or asked. Society as a whole should keep in mind the old saying, “if you don’t have something interesting or useful to say, then close your mouth”. Maybe it was if you had nothing nice to say, but I’d rather hear something unpleasant and true, instead of nice and false. For which, people should shut up.
Guns for Angles by Viviana MacKade
My sister was all the family I had. She was taken from me and now, someone wants me dead, too. Not sure why.
I’m sure I’m not going to give my life up, though. I’m not going to let them get away with my sister’s murder.
The new me will try, anyway.
You see, when she was alive I could live in brightness and peace. Now I have to accept the darkness within me. After all, isn’t life about balance? Ironically, the man who can teach me how to embrace the shadows is broken, hopeless, and angry. Mark is also the only one I trust to lead me through my heart’s night, and back into the light.
The one I trust to keep us alive.
A favor to a teammate: pick up two girls in trouble, take them to the Team’s safehouse. Should have been easy. It was not.
Then someone killed one of my team, one of my brothers. Now it’s personal.
They want me, too.
They want me, too. I can deal with that. But they want Ann. The only person who cut through me, who woke me, who grabbed my hand and guided me back into life one smile at the time.
I’ll be damned if I let them have anything.
Not. One. Damned. Thing.
From NY to sunny Miami, Ann and Mark run into a maze of lie, betrayal, and death, where love is the only, terrifying certainty. And when truth unravels, they will have to risk all to survive.
~ All my books are on sale at 99 cents for the duration of the pandemic ~
They entered a narrow hall, its bare walls painted in a subdued magnolia. At their left, an old, dark wooden staircase led upstairs. The veil of dust on the handrail carried fresh scars where hands had touched not long ago. A strange smell saturated the house, one Ann didn’t have a name for. It was out of place and mean. It reminded her of the last moments in her house, when those men had broken in shooting and screaming. Could fear smell? Could death?
At the end of the corridor, a door opened into a tiny bathroom. At its side, another door was ajar. The afternoon sun filtered through the crack, as if the room strained to contain all the light in it.
Mark’s face was detached, set into a mask as he prodded the door with his fingertips. More light poured into the hall.
Her heart rate rocketed as they waited at the door’s side. Ann wanted to scream to fill the silence.
Seconds ticked away. Drenched air mingled with fear ran down her neck in rivulets of sweat. Mark gestured her to stay and took a step inside the room.
She peeked from behind him, saw it was empty. A laugh crawled through the ball of fear at the base of her chest, asking to be freed, but her elation didn’t live long.
“There’s trouble in this house,” Mark told her in a tense whisper after looking around in the empty room. He walked out, moved toward the stairs with light strides.
Lightheaded, Ann followed him holding the piece of paper he’d given her as if her life depended on it. Funny that it might just be the case.
And they say paper and ink are useless, nowadays, she mused to herself.
At the top of the staircase, Mark opened the door with his foot; when nothing happened he stepped inside. Ann stayed behind him.
The upstairs was as big as the whole house. Ann let her eyes run over the filing cabinets, all lined up like little soldiers along the low walls, dutifully closed against prying eyes. An open skylight looked up into the blue sky where a lonely cloud plodded away, but no air came in from it to ease the heat. The walls were plain white up here, amplifying the light and the room’s emptiness.
A body lay on the floor. It swam in blood.
Ann’s mind didn’t recognize it at first, didn’t understand it, but at some point her brain caught up with her eyes. Her senses floated away to the sound of her own blood withdrawing from her head, the outline of her surrounding faded into white. A commanding, familiar voice called her but it was muffled, and too far away. When the white completely closed in, she let go.
Ann. It was Mark’s first thought when he saw Mouse’s body.
When he turned to take her away, to spare her other memories she shouldn’t cash in, it was too late. He would protect her from any harm but he had no power against what she saw.
She paled, her eyes lost focus, and then she went down
Author bio and links:
Beach bum and country music addicted, Viviana lives in a small Floridian town with her husband and her son, her die-hard fans and personal cheer squad. She spends her days between typing on her beloved keyboard, playing in the pool with her boy, and eating whatever her husband puts on her plate (the guy is that good, and she really loves eating). Besides beaching, she enjoys long walks, horse-riding, hiking, and pretty much whatever she can do outside with her family.
The best way to know me is through my website (and the books I host): http://www.viviana-mackade.blog/
The best way to see what I’m up to is through my Instagram account.
Amazon Author page
Hi, my name is Iris Blobel (pronounced Eeris). I’m a wife, a mother of two beautiful girls, best buddy to our dog Rocco, and writer of Contemporary Romance. I was born and raised in Germany and came to Australia about 20 years ago. My books are often based on my travels, ie my books are not only set in Australia, but also New Zealand, Ireland, and even the U.S. Currently I’m releasing the “Alinta Bay” trilogy which is set along the Australian Great Ocean Road. Book One “Defying Rules” was released in March, Book Two “Tell it to my Heart” is now available on pre-order. I’m hoping to have Book Three “Between Goodbye and Hello” online soon, too.
I love travelling. Always have, and I consider myself very lucky that my husband likes to travel as well. We’re always planning a trip away, whether short or long. Of course, I like writing and reading, and since recently I can be found in the gym for some boxing once a week as well.
I’m a lousy networker. I’m semi active on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. I’d say if I’d to mention a network it’d be MFRW (Marketing for Romance Writer) – a sensational and very helpful group, and the Snippet Sunday FB group.
One big clutter. Unfortunately. Time to get stuck into it and give it a big tidy up!
LOL … I’m a big kid at heart, but is that outrageous? I love being silly, funny, positive … Love to stop and smell the flowers, love daydreaming … still not outrageous? I suppose I’m pretty normal then.
Looking out the window I can see our beautiful backyard, which is like a campground at the moment LOL. We’re currently in semi self isolation, so half the family sleeps in a camper trailer and the caravan. There’s also the shower tent, the shed, and the trampoline, my neglected vegie garden, and my seat swing. There’s our pizza oven under the pergola including our outdoor setting. We love our dinners out there.
TELL IT TO MY HEART
Confronted with the choice to care for his friend’s family on the other side of the world or to return to Alinta Bay to be with his own newfound family, how will Noah choose?
Following the death of his grandmother, Noah Fielding returns to Alinta Bay and the first thing — or person — he finds is the next-door neighbour in his nan’s bathroom — naked no less. Still jetlagged, he doesn’t hit it off with Molly at first. Yet, over the next few weeks, as his past uncovers itself bit by bit, she becomes is anchor, his friend, and his lover.
Molly Reid had the world at her feet, happily married with a young son … until a tragic car accident took everything away from her. With her heart broken, she moves to Alinta Bay to escape the memories of the past. Her peaceful existence, however, is interrupted after a heavy storm floods her house and she temporarily moves into her recently deceased neighbour’s house next door.
When Noah’s friend and partner goes missing during a routine flight, Noah returns to Alaska to help, but will he come back for Molly?
Amazon Author Page https://www.amazon.com/Iris-Blobel/e/B00FNFP3LI/