This blog is for those 18 and older.

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Guest Author Interview: Kathleen Gallagher

Today we are interviewing Kathleen Gallagher, contemporary romance author with a hint of paranormal.

Alexis: Hi Kathleen, thank you for visiting Happily Ever After Thoughts :-) As a nurse, what inspired you to start writing romance?  

Kathleen:  Hi Alexis.  Thank you for inviting me today.  I started writing short stories at a young age, and have always loved storytelling, especially in the areas of romance and women’s fiction.   

 Alexis: So it sounds like romance grew from a time long before your adult career. How wonderful that you continued to write. I understand you released your debut book Echoes at Dawn last year. Can you tell our readers a little about it?

Kathleen:  Decadent Publishing released Echoes at Dawn, and it is currently available in print. 

The strangely intertwined lives of a widowed woman, and a charismatic bachelor come together in order to show that in life, there are no coincidences… only destiny.

Waterfront restaurant chef Madeline Young adores her job. If only her love and family's lives were as successful as her career. With a teenage son, who spends time in the emergency room for alcohol poisoning and a dementia-plagued mother, Madeline doesn't know how much more she could handle. Then her mother enlists the help of her deceased twin sister, Mary, to guide Madeline to find happiness. An early dawn visit from the spirit directs Madeline to volunteer at the local hospitals center for addiction recovery, where she comes alive for the first time in many years under the attention of Nat Griffin.

Nathaniel Griffin, a part-time counselor and contractor, fascinates his clients with his lectures. In keeping with his philosophy of professionalism, Nat prefers to keep his personal life private. When attraction tests his beliefs, Nat must confront his marred past. Is he willing to face his demons or take the easier path and remain isolated?

Can unworldly ghosts save this couple from their own self-destructive behavior? Will they be able to accept change and move forward, or allow secrets to stand in the way?

Alexis: Sounds interesting. Where did you get the idea for this story?

Kathleen:  The premise for Echoes at Dawn developed after seeing an old family portrait. The black and white snapshot had adorable twin girls posed in the front row, and seeing them made me curious. The sisters wore white dresses and had huge bows sitting on top of their heads. I began to think more about the connection between twins, and I wondered if it were different then the relationships between other siblings. 

Alexis: What are your favorite character traits of Madeline and Nathaniel?

Kathleen:  Madeline and Nat are both interesting characters. Each has core values that are admirable. Madeline shows compassion, and demonstrates patience and devotion when she offers to care for her aging mother. Nat’s independence and adventurous spirit, can make him appear rebellious, yet underneath his rough exterior, he has a kind and generous heart.  

Alexis: What spurred your interest in the paranormal?

Kathleen: I’ve always been fascinated with spirits, ghosts, and magic.  My father was a professional magican, and I was his assistant.  He captivated his audience with his illusions and sleight of hand tricks. Sure, there would be an occasional skeptic who would shout out “I know how it’s done.”  My father would smile, call him up on stage, and without delay, he dangled his wallet and watch in the air. The heckler would stand on the stage mesmerized, with his mouth open in disbelief. It was all in fun, but it left a lasting impression on me. 

Alexis: That is such a unique experience. How fun. What can we expect next from you? Do you have any new releases coming or a work in progress?

Kathleen:  My next project is a novel entitled, A Moment in Time. It’s a women’s fiction with strong romantic elements.  A Moment in Time is a story about the career driven journalist, Savannah Mason, who befriends a stranger on a train, and offers to speak at a charity event. Her act of kindness takes her on a journey to find more than she ever imagined.  

Alexis: Thank you so much for sharing your stories with us. It's a pleasure having you visit.

Kathleen:   I had a great time today, at Happily After Ever Thoughts.  It’s wonderful to have an opportunity to meet new people.  

Alexis: For a chance to win a print copy of Echoes at Dawn, be sure to leave a comment for Kathleen.  If I have contact information, I will let you know when you win, otherwise, check the side column for your name on Wednesday under WINNERS :-)

For more information on Kathleen go to

Alexis: Check out the trailer for Echoes at Dawn.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Review: BLACK MAGIC by Cherry Adair

Whether climbing a mountain, effortlessly floating down a volcano tube, or skimming the waters of a raging river in Australia, it’s the perfect place to save the world from the dark force.  Nothing is ever as easy as a theory. 

Jackson Slater was born to a powerful family of wizards.  Some are meant to destroy the earth and others to save it. 

Refusing to intentionally use her gift of magic, Sara Temple wants to live as her fellow mortals.  It would be a contradiction to love a wizard who practices his powers.

That’s how the Jackson and Sara love affair ended the first time.

The second chance at romance wasn’t planned as Sara found herself in danger and sent a telepathic message to Jackson, the one who could save her.  When the Wizard Council noted how their powers multiplied when together, it was inevitable the duo was needed to extinguish the dark forces.

Try to work with someone you don’t want to like.  Sara attempts to ignore his male and wizard strength just as Jackson orders himself to overlook her sensuality.   

Adair creates a magical couple, forced to work together for the good of mankind.  If they complete their mission, will they hastily part forever, or will the restrained and smoldering love take over and keep them together?


Sunday, April 22, 2012

Guest Author Interview: Jennifer Loy

Today we are interviewing Jennifer Loy, romantic comedy author.

Alexis: Hi Jennifer, thank you for visiting Happily Ever After Thoughts :-) As one island girl to another (though completely different islands) what was it about your island that inspired you to start writing?

Jennifer: Well, I had moved from Southern California to Oahu in 2005 following a tragedy that happened in my family where I lost my mother.  I had so many feelings that I wanted to write down but when I went to write my mother’s story out, I ended up writing something completely different. It was obviously too soon to write about my mother and what had happened to her so I wrote the funniest damn fiction story I could think of. And you know what? It was the best thing for me. Therapeutic really. A zany woman character that finds love, goes through an adventure and has a happily ever after. I love writing because I can always control the ending and make it happy.

Alexis: That is fascinating. I don't blame you for taking control and insuring a happily ever after. That's why I write romance myself. I guess, in a way, your entire romance career is a tribute to your mother :-) Speaking of career, I understand you just released a new book Sunset Sizzle. Can you tell our readers a little about it?

Jennifer: I’m just going to post the blurb here because it’s hilarious and I want to get the readers excited about it.

To keep her job, Sarah Hart needs a sizzling article for her romance column. While on vacation in Hawaii, she grabs the first handsome tourist on Waikiki Beach, and makes him a deal. She’ll set him up on a few dates, all expenses paid, and watch him fall in love. Then she'll take his story, say sayonara, and still have a job. But Keith Hanover is no player, he’d rather charm Sarah. His deal is if she can’t find him true love, then she must meet him on Sunset Beach for a date.

Her search for his perfect match begins an unruly adventure of close talkers, criers and a few Abbey-normals. There's shark diving, a mad scientist, crazy roadside fruit stand kids, Dole ice cream lickers, and paparazzi. Will Keith even make it to the date with Sarah before running from her set-ups? 

Just too funny. 

Alexis: Oh, that does sound fun! Where did you get the idea for this story?

Jennifer: You know I’m tellin’ you my life is never boring. I get these ideas from my real life. I live back in Southern California now but wherever I go, funny things happen to me and strangers, neighbors, and sometimes friends inspire my stories and the crazy adventures I include in them. But while in Oahu, I actually met a mad scientist on turtle beach there and I include every detail of it in this story, I did go shark diving and my top really came undone in the cage, there are fruit stands all along the route to the North Shore, I did lick Dole Ice cream which I miss, and I have met some close talkers, criers, and many Abbey-normals! But most of all I did enjoy memorable moments at Sunset Beach and all over the island with my husband and family and I wanted to include bits of my time there in this novel. 

Alexis: I see. That all makes sense is some strange way :-) What are your favorite character traits of Sarah and Keith?

Jennifer: Sarah’s best quality is her motivation to find Keith this “love of his life” while staying creative in her setups. Keith’s best quality is his endearing patience for Sarah while he does whatever she says to please her but the whole time falling for her. It’s a cute story about how sometimes what we want is clearly right in front of us but we stubbornly have to have a certain way in which we must play the whole thing out.

Alexis: Oh yes, I can relate to that message! Now, in addition to romantic comedy, you have also written in another subgenre. Are you still able to slip in a little humor?

Jennifer: I have written romantic fantasy suspense. Shoreline. A story about a female Dr. that spends time on Oahu at a medical conference and meets a Merman. And Yes, everywhere I could, I would slip in a little humor to keep it light and real.

Alexis: So what can we expect next from you? Do you have any new releases coming or a work in progress?

Jennifer: No new release coming…I have to get crackin’.  I’m trying out a YA fantasy right now, seeing if I can do it. But of course it will have adventure, humor, and romance for the older teens.

Alexis: Sounds perfect. I'll have to let my niece know ;-) Thank you so much for sharing your upbeat stories with us. It's a pleasure having you visit.

Jennifer: Thank you so much for having me on your blog. I really appreciate it.

Alexis: For a chance to win one of Jennifer's books be sure to leave a comment for her.  If I have contact information, I will let you know when you win, otherwise, check the side column for your name on Wednesday under WINNERS :-)


“I have to be honest with you, Keith, because I don’t have much time with you.” I continued to scan the poolside. “Once we find you a girl to ask out, you really have to make an effort to pursue her. I mean, life is too short to let that special someone get away, you know? Romance doesn’t come easily, and if you wait, you just might miss your opportunity to start up a long intimate affair. Do you get what I’m telling you? Find a girl here, ask her out, kiss her passionately with plenty of tongue, and take her to bed for a night to remember.”

Keith jumped in the pool causing a giant splash beside me.

I stepped to the pool’s edge, leaned down, and watched Keith surface.

He wiped the water from his face, took in a deep breath, and glanced at my cleavage. He covered his eyes and turned around.

“What is the matter with you? Did you hear anything I said?”

“Yeah,” he replied.

“Well, are you gonna do it?” I asked.

Keith turned around slowly as I lifted my sunglasses. He held out his hand.

“What?” I asked.

He quickly grabbed my hand and pulled me in.

I let out a quick startled scream and plunged into the cool water. When I surfaced his face was close to mine. “I wasn’t actually going to swim. I usually only lay out.” I went to swim for the stairs.

Keith blocked my path and wrapped his arm around my waist. He looked into my eyes and quickly moved in. His lips met mine as he closed his eyes.

I hadn’t been kissed in a long time. What was he doing? His lips were soft and strong, and his broad shoulders were drawing me closer. I closed my eyes and felt his mouth open. I wanted more. I hadn’t given out more since my last mistake with Max, the real photographer of The Southern Shore. He wanted nude pictures of me so he could submit them to Playboy. What a bad judge of character I was. Keith’s tongue slowly entered my mouth, and my heart raced. I pulled back quickly. “What is happening here?” I asked, pushing him back.

Keith opened his eyes. “I’m sorry. Was that too forward, too fast?”

I ignored his question and swam to the steps. Marching toward my towel I felt confused. How dare he kiss me? What did he think he was doing? Adam was right, people only came here for flings, and I was not one of them. I yanked the towel from the chair and dried off my hair and face.

Keith strode toward me. “With all that stuff you said, I thought you wanted me to kiss you,” he said, with his hands out, looking confused.

I burst out into laughter. “Not me. Stay focused. You’re supposed to find someone else! Wow, you are forward. Are you like this all the time?”

Keith shook his head then ran his hand slowly down my arm. “Why can’t you be the someone else?”

“Because I’m the writer for the romance article. I scope out people falling in love and post their unusual encounters, romantic courtships, proposals, stuff like that. I can’t be the story. Do you want me to write about you or should I find someone else?”

He combed his hand through his hair and picked up his towel. “Here, I thought you were interested in me and practically begging me to be aggressive. I haven’t met a romantic interest in two years, and I’m not about to just pick up anyone, sleep with her, and give you a story.” He wrapped the towel around his waist and picked up his key card. “Good luck, finding a fling to follow.”

I grabbed my notepad and hurried behind him. “Wait!”

Keith turned around. “What?”

“You mean, you’re telling me if you found a woman on your vacation and ended up in bed with her that you would fly home and not consider it a fling?”

Keith moved in, hooked his index finger on my bikini bottom at my hip, and tugged me closer, his answer breathing into my ear. “I only go to bed with women I’m in love with. If I fell in love on my vacation and ended up in her bed, I’d fly to the ends of the earth to follow her home.”

A chill went up my spine.

He quickly released me, and without looking back, walked away.

I flipped open my writing pad. Not a fling man. His honorable philosophy intrigued me but left me without a story. I rushed up to his side. 
Alexis: Don't forget, for a chance to win one of Jennifer's great romances, leave a comment for her :-)

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

The Clothes

I don’t know about you, but one of the things I love about historical romances is the clothes. Whether split suede skirts and light blouses in Westerns or beautiful ball gowns in regency romances or a stylish town dress for strolling through Hyde Park, I love how the author gets me to see what our heroine is wearing, especially when the articles of clothing are being removed, slowly, tenderly…you get the picture. 
Even the men’s fashions fascinate me.  Who can’t picture a pirate, the sleeves of his loose white shirt billowing in the wind, his trousers tight enough to show every muscle and curve of his leg and backside? Who can’t picture a Lord decked out in evening clothes or heaven help us, a man in a kilt! Sorry, I got carried away! 
I love the descriptions and the colors and the fabrics (yes, I can see all this in my head, but there’s nothing quite like seeing one of these ensembles in person).

A couple years ago, there was an event at Rawhide in Scottsdale, Arizona. There was fancy horseback riding, and vendors selling antiques and food that was popular back in the 1800’s. To top off the weekend, there was a costume contest and a friend’s daughter entered, wearing a town dress that her grandmother had hand sewn exactly how someone would have done it back then (and it was gorgeous)! I had the good fortune to meet the woman who made this town dress. Imagine my thrill when I learned she also hand sews Civil War uniforms. I had the opportunity to not only pick her brain but to actually touch the fabric (and the chest of the man modeling the uniform….he didn’t seem to mind at all). I was in heaven. Absolute heaven! 

What about you? Do you like reading about the dresses and ball gowns, the lingerie, the kilts?

As always, happy reading.

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Guest Author Interview: K.M. Daughters

Today we are interviewing K.M. Daughters, inspirational romance authors.

Alexis: Hi K.M., thank you for visiting Happily Ever After Thoughts :-) I think it's great that two sisters can work together to write a book. How does your process work? Do you ever run into trouble?

K.M.: Thank you for inviting us, Alexis. We genuinely love writing together, and we must have developed an effective “debate” style since childhood because our partnership never involves bloody noses now, unlike when we were kids. Our collaboration is equally balanced from inception to finished manuscript. Our process includes a lengthy verbal brainstorming stage during which we develop plot, conflicts, and characters. Once we have a solid story line and our characters become real to us, we jot down a chapter sequence/action map. We divide writing responsibility evenly, alternating chapters. Pat keeps the master manuscript. By the time we complete the first draft, we have edited/critiqued once or twice more along the way. We read the novel aloud to each other and then revise and/or edit to polish. 

Alexis: What a great system. I can see where having a partner there all the time can help speed the process, especially since you two get along so well. I understand you just released a new book RESURRECTED LOVE. Can you tell our readers a little about it?

K.M.: This is the last novella in our three-part Gospa Journeys series, following related novels, JEWEL OF THE ADRIATIC and ROSE OF THE ADRIATIC. Each Gospa journey “calls” our hero and heroine to Valselo, a tiny Adriatic village where millions believe the Mother Of God imparts messages for the world to three visionaries. Beth and Jack Dunne were separated when their infant son died of SIDS years ago. Neither has recovered from the loss nor the displaced blame that shattered their marriage. Philanthropy brings them to Valselo – at least that’s what they think. But in reality, they’re responding to a gentle call to rediscover the unlimited love God grants if we open our hearts and trust Him.

Alexis: Reuniting stories always hold such depth. Where did you get the idea for this book?

K.M.: Story ideas come to us organically: in dreams, in prayer, walking for exercise or recreation. They just are.

Alexis: That's great that they come so easily, plus two brains being receptive is probably better than one :-) What are your favorite character traits of Beth and Jack?

K.M.: Neither Beth nor Jack are impressed with material things. They’re unaffected by their wealth – mostly they give their money away. They both know it’s more important to be rich in faith, love and charity.

Alexis: Ah, then they are characters many people can relate to, even if we don't have the "money" part. You actually write romantic suspense as well as inspirational. What is it that attracts you to each subgenre?

K.M.:  A “sister visit” to Medjugorje, a site of contemporary Marian apparitions in Bosnia-Herzegovina, inspired our inspirational romance novels and gave rise to the fictional village, Valselo. In prayer, Kathie was given the clear directive to write these stories. We were already collaborating at the time in the RS genre – our now published Sullivan Boys Series. The Sullivan family holds tremendous appeal for us. We also enjoy the pulse racing aspect of writing suspense.

Alexis: So what can we expect next from you two? Do you have any new releases coming or a work in progress?

K.M.: Our agent is representing our latest finished project, a contemporary mainstream fiction. In the works is a fiction novel with religious supernatural elements, intrigue and suspense.

Alexis: All of those sound interesting. Good luck with them! Thank you so much for sharing your stories with us. It's a pleasure having you visit.

K.M.: A blessing to visit today. Thank you again.

Alexis: For a chance to win an ebook version of RESURRECTED LOVE, be sure to leave a comment for K.M.  If I have contact information, I will let you know when you win, otherwise, check the side column for your name on Wednesday under WINNERS :-)

For more information on K.M.’s Romances go to 

Alexis: Check out this excerpt from RESURRECTED LOVE.

Teresa smiled when she noticed the pile of clothes on the add-on front porch. The villagers remembered her children with care packages that magically appeared on an almost daily basis. Anonymous donations included a loaf or two of home-baked bread, eggs plucked fresh from the coop, or vegetables from home gardens, which still glistened with morning dew. Today’s bounty looked like hand-me-downs. The kids loved to sort through the donated clothes—especially her girls.
And blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus...
Grinning she approached the porch along the narrow brick path and then stopped short when the bundle of clothes seemed to move. She balled her hands and rubbed them over her eyes, but she thought she detected subtle movement again. Drifting closer as she vowed to find a few pennies to buy those eyeglasses she obviously needed, the bundle of clothes morphed into the figure of a young girl huddling at the doorstep in a fetal position.
Hurrying, Teresa stumbled up the three slab stairs. She dropped to her knees in front of the frail girl, set the basket of flowers on the wood slatted deck, and rested her hand on the youth’s thin shoulder. “Child, are you all right?”
“Yes, Sister Teresa,” came a muffled, lyrical voice. She raised her head, a radiant smile lighting a heart shaped face. “I have been waiting for you.”
On an exhaled breath, Teresa exclaimed, ”Oh my!”
Sitting back on her haunches, she hung captivated by this youngster’s crystal clear, turquoise eyes and dimpled, alabaster cheeks. In the many years Teresa had worked with children, she had never encountered a more beautiful child. Silky, straight, platinum blonde hair hung down her back. Skin like exquisite porcelain glowed in the dawn’s light.
With difficulty, the sister found her voice. “Why are you waiting for me? How do you know my name? Where are you from, dear?”
“They told me to wait for you here.”

”Who? The villagers?”

The child cocked her head, but remained silent as she stretched out bony legs. Lifting stick-thin arms over her head she yawned, and then giggled. In bell- like tones she said, ”I have been waiting forever, and I am starving.”
“Where is your home?” Certainly, not in the village. I know every village family. “What is your name?”
“My name is Marta and my home is here now. With you.”
She stood and extended her hand toward Teresa.
Clasping the offered hand, joy flooded Teresa’s senses, an ecstatic avalanche that swelled her heart to near bursting.
Alexis: Don't forget to leave a comment for a chance to win this wonderful story!