Friendship Friday–Please Welcome Mystery Writer, Extraordinaire, Maris Soule

Author, Maris Soule, Mystery, Writer, Romance, Friend, friendshipI’ve known Maris since before I started writing professionally.  You might say she was an inspiration and helped get me going.  I know she told me about RWA (Romance Writers of America), although she might not remember.  When we met I was a ‘fan’ and I’m delighted that we’ve become friends.  She gives some clever answers to my ‘weird’ questions.  Please leave a comment and let us know what you think on those topics.  Now I’ll turn things over to Maris.

Please tell us a little bit about yourself: I’m a California gal who was talked into moving to Michigan for “Just two years,” he said. That was 42 years ago. And yes, we’re still married. In fact we have two grown children and two granddaughters…and a Rhodesian Ridgeback who’s as big as a person. After having 25 romances published, I switched to writing mysteries (right after my husband retired. Anyone who lives with a man who is always around will understand why murder appeals to me). We now head for Florida in the winter, and as the temperature drops that’s sounding more and more appealing.

My two mysteries—THE CROWS and AS THE CROW FLIES—take place in southwestern Michigan, and, of course, include a Rhodesian Ridgeback and have a romance subplot. Both are available on-line, and I’m working on a third in the series.

 1. Have you ever had an imaginary friend? Definitely. I think I started making up stories in my head where Joey was my friend when I was around 6. He was my buddy into my early teens. Did I know he was make believe? Sure, but once I closed my eyes, he was real.

 2. Are you a “dogperson” or a “catperson”? I like both and have had both cats and dogs most of my life. I love Siamese cats and have owned a half dozen over the years. They have so much personality. As for dogs, I prefer the larger breeds, and maybe I love the Rhodesian Ridgeback because, in a way, they remind me of cats. Aloof is one word used to describe the breed standard.

Mystery Maris Soule, Author, Book, Novel, Writer, Story, Romance, Friend, Friendship, Rue Allyn,Mystery, Book, Novel, Story, Author, Writer, Romance, Maris Soule, Rue Allyn, Friend, Friendship3. What’s the model of your mobile phone? I have the 4S iPhone. Now does that mean I know how to use all the bells and whistles on that phone? No way, but it certainly makes life easier and I’d be lost without it.

4. What time do you normally go to bed on a working day? I’ve always been a night owl, even when I had to get up early in the morning. When my children were young and I was under contract for a romance, I’d often stay up until 2 a.m. writing and then be up at 6:30 a.m. to get them off to school. And no, I don’t usually take naps.

5. Who is the person you trust most? My husband. He’s my best friend. (And even though I have all of these books on poisons and weapons, I believe he trusts me. At least he still lets me cook dinner.)

6. How much cash do you have on you? $11. I need to go to the bank.

Friendship Friday, Please Welcome Friend and Fellow Author, Patricia Rasey

Forging Friendships and the Journey of Writing.

I’ve been writing some twenty years now…well, at least on a serious note. I could also say I’ve been writing as long as I can remember. In the early days of writing, I would sit at my computer—peck away at the keys and just write. I had no professional background, no one to steer me any direction. I had no idea what to do or where I was going. I just knew I wanted to write and to tell stories.

I finished that first book in less than a year. It was incredibly long as I had no idea what word count to even aim for. So now that I was done?  What to do next came to mind. I started researching publishers and agents and how to query them as I started book two. I really was naïve back in the day to even think that first book was anywhere near ready for publication…nor did I have anyone to talk to about it.

I sent query after query out and received countless rejections. What was I doing wrong?

A friend had overheard on the radio about a writer’s convention going on in Detroit and thought I might be interested. Well, of course I was. So nervous as could be, now two completed books under my belt and working on the third—I headed off to my first writer’s convention. What I found is I was not alone. I met a good friend at that convention and years later—we remain great friends. We became critique partners, and a shoulder to lean on as the years went by and the publishing contracts did not come. And later—someone to celebrate with when the call finally came.

I joined a local chapter of Romance Writers of America. I made more friends, and at one such meeting I met Rue Allyn. Over the years, we attended conventions together, roomed together and made new friends along the way. I look back over the years with great fondness at the fun we shared, the heartaches, the love.

You see, I found one of the most important things you find as a writer, is like-minded friends. You can’t talk about your craft with your family. Their eyes will glass over before you ever hash out your plot. They won’t offer constructive criticism…no, they’ll just tell you how great the idea is—even if it does suck. But a fellow writer? They will be honest, tell you if your plot has holes, and let you know if it needs improved upon. They’ll push you when you are ready to quit, motivate you to open your laptop and keep going. Because without persistence, you may never see success.

Now, twenty years down that long road, I look back at all the friendships I have made along the way and cherish them, thank them for coming into my life, and believe that I am still writing because of them. If you are in the beginning of your journey as a writer—reach out to fellow writers. You will be glad you did.

It’s been a few months since Jaycen McCain’s troubled wife fell victim to a sadistic killer. Losing Kelly Jo has haunted him deeply, and his failure to keep her safe has driven Jay to the brink of a bleak, self-destructive despair. But the small-town police detective has bigger problems to deal with when a string of serial murders crop up on his home turf–murders with eerie similarities to the violence perpetrated on his wife.

Compelled to stop the killer and find much-needed answers about Kelly Jo’s final hours, Jay is forced to enlist the help of a woman too tempting for his own peace of mind: Kelly Jo’s pretty cousin, Sara St. James. Together, Jay and Sara embark on a pursuit for justice that will take them into an underground world of dark places and dangerous, irresistible desires. As an unwanted passion kindles and combusts between them, the killer closes in, pulling Jay and Sara into the web of an evil that will rock them to their core.

Excerpt:

~Maybe Sara had been correct and he should have brought her along. At least then he might have been able to feign being a part of the group as he and Sara looked like an experimental couple and not just some horny guy who came to leer.

He turned a corner, leaving the two men to their groping and caught sight of Dax, dressed in knee-high black boots and clinging leather pants. Hell, the man looked damn near seven feet tall in his platforms. On top, he wore nothing aside from leather gloves reaching to his elbows and a pair of nipple rings. Long black hair cascaded past his shoulders, appearing blue-black in the lighting. Even Jaycen could see the appeal he had for women. The man looked like a modern day pirate.

As if sensing Jaycen’s attention, Dax turned, and the two faced off. A sneer turned up his lip. “Do I need to fear you running off with my date again?”

Before Jaycen had time to contemplate his meaning, Sara stepped from the ladies’ room and slipped her arm around Dax’s back, toying with the hair feathering past his shoulders. Her gaze landed briefly on Jaycen’s, her acting skills obviously more polished than his. Just her appearance had him stumbling back. She looked damn sexy in a black leather, thigh-high thong teddy that cinched her tiny waist and arrowed into the low riding band of her washed out jeans, exposing not only a good deal of bare hip, but also cleavage.

His mouth dehydrated.

Anger quickly replaced the raw sensuality welling in his gut and stealing his breath. He wanted to give Dax the beating he no doubt deserved, then toss Sara over his shoulder and carry her from the room. He should throttle her for disobeying his order to stay the hell away from the fetish ball. The last thing he needed was to baby-sit her when he had a job to do. He certainly couldn’t trust Dax to look after her. Not unless he wanted Dax taking care of Sara the way he had Kelly Jo.

“She’s all yours,” Jaycen clipped, barely controlling the roiling rage. He’d have to keep an eye on Sara from a distance and play the hand she’d dealt him. “If you two will excuse me.”

Jaycen walked away, angry at Sara for coming here with Dax and angry with himself for not realizing she would have come with or without him. He leaned against a neon decorated bar, attempting to suck in much needed fresh air. Christ, Sara had a hold of his balls, but he’d be damned if he’d admit as much.

Love You to Pieces can be purchased in eBook format at Amazon http://tinyurl.com/8fpd6vj , BN.com http://tinyurl.com/9srhpte or Kobo http://tinyurl.com/9vr9kh4 , or wherever paperbacks are sold.

Patricia A. Rasey is an Award Winning author of over 12 novels, short stories and novellas and an Amazon Top 100 Best Selling Author. She is a three-time recipient of the Word Weaving Award for Literary Excellence and a three-time winner of the prestigious RIO Award Of Excellence. She is also a three-time EPPIE finalist and was a 2001 nominee for Romantic Times Magazine’s Best Electronic Book. Additionally, Twilight Obsessions and Twilight Visions, two anthologies she was a part of, was nominated for the PEARL, the Paranormal Excellence Award in Romantic Literature, in the Best Anthology category. Her short story, In The Mind of Darkness won the P&E 2002 Horror short story category.
When not behind her computer, you can find Patricia working, reading, watching movies or MMA. She also enjoys spending her free time at the river camping with her husband and two sons. Ms. Rasey is currently a third degree Black Belt in American Freestyle Karate.

So Nice Sunday!

Yes, I know, today is Saturday, but I couldn’t wait.  I found my first review for Off Limits today (the review came out weeks ago, but I didn’t see it until today.  It was So Nice to find out that the reviewer enjoyed the book enough to give it five hearts.  She said, “Well written with very sexy and imaginative love scenes. I really loved the Senior Chief, who is written as the strong romantic type.”  You can read the entire article at Romance Book Scene .  Please comment and share what was So Nice in your world.

In Memoriam

Morton Mosely 'Pete' Charnley

A member of the ‘greatest generation‘ has left us. On Tuesday evening, March 6, 2012, my father-in-law  passed away. He served as a signalman with the Army Air Corps in the South Pacific during WWII. He returned home, pursued his degree in Mechanical Engineering, married the love of his life, worked 20+ years for SteelCase Corp. and built a wonderful family. I have so much to thank him for, not the least of which is my husband and sweetheart of 36 years. Dad was rock solid, a pillar of the community, a deacon of his church and a dedicated tenor in the church choir. The kids in his neighborhood use to call him the ‘wizard’ because of his ability to fix just about anything. He was always available when needed and would step back to cheer on the sidelines when it was time for his wife (they had 60+ years together), children and grandchildren to shine. He will be sorely missed by family, friends and country.  If you would like to know more about this exemplary man go to

In lieu of gifts or flowers please help by making a contribution in Pete‘s name to Alzheimer’s Disease Research.

What Inspired My Sexy Sailor Series?

It isn’t just Johnny Depp as Jack Sparrow, Tom Cruise as Maverick or Richard Gere as Zach Mayo.  Intriguing as those characters and portrayals are, inspiration for my Sexy Sailors comes more from personal experience (10 years in the USN) than from any movie, play, TV series or book.   I lived and worked with some of the sexiest men on earth–heck I married one.  (Yes, I’m biased, but if you don’t think your lover is the sexiest man alive then you’d better find another lover.)  What I learned about sexy men during those years in the navy (and more during my marriage) is that sexy men are complicated, hard-working, hard playing, take charge, physically fit, attractive (but not necessarily handsome) guys who know what they want.  They face conflict and adversity head on.  They have the same needs, wants, and feelings that we all have.  They are smart enough to recognize their weaknesses, courageous enough to overcome those weaknesses and do it all with a sense of humor.  Add to all of that, a bone deep dedication to freedom and country and you have the recipe for my sexy sailors. 

The first book in the series, Off Limits, debuts on April 1, 2012.  You’ll meet sexy Senior Chief Gunner’s Mate Hank ‘the wall’ O’Mara, who discovers the only woman he could ever love is truly off limits.