#Medieval Monday16, Conflict in Silverhawk by Barbara Bettis

Today, author Barbara Bettis visits us with an excerpt from her medieval romance, Silverhawk. Please leave her a comment and let her know what you think of the excerpt.

Silverhawk--new+cover (1)Blurb:  He’s everything a proper lady should never want; she’s everything a bastard mercenary can never have.

Sir Giles has come to England to kill his father, who seduced and betrayed his mother. First, however, he’ll seek sweet revenge—kidnap the old lord’s new betrothed. But when Giles uncovers a plot against King Richard, he faces a dilemma: take the lady or track the traitors. What’s a good mercenary to do? Both, of course.

Lady Emelin has had enough. Abandoned in a convent by her brother, she finally has a chance for home and family. Yet now she’s been abducted. Her kidnapper may be the image of her dream knight, but she won’t allow him to spoil this betrothal. Her only solution: escape

Rescuing the intrepid lady—while hunting traitors—is a challenge Giles couldn’t anticipate.  But the greatest challenge to Giles and Emelin is the fire blazing between them.

Excerpt: Here is Lady Emelin’s first meeting with her brother since he confined her to a convent five years earlier. Now he’s betrothed her to someone without her knowledge.

Ortha had just finished braiding Emelin’s hair when the door burst open. Sir Garley strode in, his bulk filling the space. He jerked his head, and Ortha slipped into the passageway. Emelin shot to her feet, chin raised. The long forgotten fear nibbled at her heart, but she refused to show it.

He loomed closer, looked over the borrowed gown she wore, and picked up a braid. Lips curled in a snarl, he gave it a hard yank before he dropped it. “Too bad we can’t do something about that color.”

Blood-shot eyes narrowed. He grabbed her chin between his forefinger and thumb and forced up her head. She tried to pull away from the stench of his breath, but he pinched harder. “Don’t do anything else to spoil this arrangement.” His voice grated like rusty steel. “I need the payment Langley made for you. I will not return it.”

Garley gave her head a final shake. “Do not interfere in my plans,” he repeated.

Emelin jerked back. Rebellion overpowered the hurt, and she spoke without thought. Again.  “Or what? You’ll immure me in a convent? I believe we’ve done that already.”

Garley’s slap caught the side of the face, sent her staggering onto the bed. “Keep your mouth shut.” His voice held no trace of emotion as he strode to the door. “At least until after the wedding. Then you’re his problem. Just remember, there’ll never be a place for you at Compton. Give the old man a son, and you’ll want for nothing. Fight him and you may find yourself back at the convent—if you’re lucky.”

Amazon has surprised me by running a 99 cent sale for Silverhawk.

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US Veteran Kayelle Allen

Kayelle Allen's LogoAside from being a terrific story teller, a veteran, and a friend, Kayelle Allen is one of the most generous, hard-working people I know. Please welcome her to Author Travels and let her know how much you enjoy her visit by leaving a comment. Also, leave a note for an active duty soldier, sailor, airman, or marine. I’ll make certain the notes get to the right service member. Now, here’s Kayelle to tell you a little about herself and her newest book, Bringer of Chaos.

First, I’d like to thank Rue Allyn for the opportunity to share what being a veteran means to me. Opening her blog to fellow RomVets (female veterans who write romance) is an action I wholeheartedly support. I have a similar program on Romance Lives Forever, my guest blog, on Veteran’s Day every year.

When I joined the US Navy back in 1973, I was a single woman. I had lived in the Las Vegas metro area since I was twelve years old. There were few jobs that didn’t relate to one or more parts of the gaming or hospitality industries. I wanted more. To find it, I entered the military. When I was transferred to a training base in Memphis, I had no idea that I’d meet my future husband. We’ve been together ever since.

The one thing I’d like others to know about being a veteran is that when you raise your right hand and swear to uphold the constitution of the United States, you are doing more than serving your country. You are embarking on a journey that will change you forever.

When I joined, I had no idea how much risk I was undertaking. It’s only years later that I’ve come to understand how much I laid on the line to protect my country. When you’re in the midst of a situation, you are too busy dealing with the details to look around and grasp the significance of each action. That comes later, after the smoke has cleared and you have time to think about it.

Bringer of Chaos, the Origin of Pietas

I was never in combat, and I was put into no life-threatening situations. However, because I was on active duty, I agreed to be willing to go. That willingness came out of my desire to serve. I was twelve when President John F Kennedy was assassinated. His death had a profound effect on my life. I had heard him speak in person only a few months prior. My parents had been big supporters of his campaign. When he died, I swore not to ask what my country could do for me, but to ask what I could do for my country. When the opportunity to join the military came, that was my chance to fulfill my oath. I have never looked back with regret.

Bringer of Chaos: the Origin of Pietas is military science fiction set in the far future. Two enemy warriors: one human, one immortal. Different in belief, alike in spirit, marooned together on an alien world. Traitors took everything. Except their honor.
Excerpt     Amazon   Print

About Kayelle Allen

Kayelle is a best selling American author. Her unstoppable heroes and heroines include contemporary every day folk, role-playing immortal gamers, futuristic covert agents, and warriors who purr. She writes in multiple genres and non-fiction. She is founder of the author-mentoring group Marketing for Romance Writers, manages the successful Romance Lives Forever blog, and is a member of RomVets. Kayelle is married, has three grown children, and five grandchildren.

Join Kayelle’s Romance Lives Forever Reader Group and you’ll get sneak peeks of new books, plus find out about special contests just for members. Want other options to know when a book is released? Join AuthorAlarms and get one email when a new book is out. Follow Kayelle on Amazon. Visit her homeworld, or follow on Twitter and Facebook.

US VETERAN DIANA COSBY–MAY 2nd

Cover art for Forbidden Legacy a Scottish medieval romance by Diana Cosby.During the months of May, June and July, the Author Travels blog will be honoring U. S. military veterans. All of these vets are authors (some published, some not), but they are my sisters in arms and visiting with them to learn about their life journeys is the best way I know to say thank you to some very special people. Please welcome our first veteran visiting author, Diana Cosby (USN Ret.).

Thank you so much, Rue, for having me as a guest on the Author Travels blog.

You are most welcome, Diana, and thank you for answering questions about your life and careers for our readers.

Q:  What moved you to enlist in the Navy and stay until retirement?

A:  With my dad retiring from the Navy, I grew up a military brat, which meant continual moves during my youth; I’m currently on move #34.  As I neared graduation, I wanted to continue to see the world, and I joined the Navy as a meteorologist/oceanographer.  I enjoyed the travel, meeting so many incredible people, and forecasting weather, so I decided to make the Navy a career.

Q:  Would you recommend enlisting to high school graduates today? Why or why not?

A:  I believe a tour in the military should be a venue considered by anyone preparing to graduate.  In addition to exposure to different cultures along with travel, military training provides a solid decision making foundation that will serve a person throughout their life.

Q:  While living in Europe you acquired an interest in the middle ages. What place or part of European life sparked that interest?

A:  I had the sincere pleasure of a tour in Rota, Spain.  The culture, and people, and rich history were incredible, and it’s one of my all-time places to have lived.   My interest in the middle ages was sparked by a combination of my experience while living in Spain along with traveling through Western Europe.

Q:  Are you bothered by ‘inaccuracies’ in historical fiction (or any other type of fiction)? Or do you concur with those who claim, ‘Accuracy is unimportant in fiction’?

A:  When I write my Scottish medieval romantic suspense, I work hard to ensure any historical events mentioned are true to the best of my ability.

Q:  You are very involved in a number of charitable causes including The National Trust for Scotland, Habitat for Humanity, the Semper Fi Fund, Homes for Our Troops, and The Navy SEAL Foundation. You are definitely leading by example.  Please tell us about one of your favorite charities and how we could get involved.

A:  Giving back is important to me, and I’m honored to share that I’ve joined with Habitat For Humanity for, Diana Cosby’s Romance Reader’s Build A Habitat For Humanity Home.  This fundraiser is an amazing opportunity for romance readers to join together to give a deserving family more than just a home, but provide a foundation on which to start their future and build their dreams.

Goal: Raise $55,000 to build a Habitat For Humanity Home. Now—$7,600!

Exciting news:  We’re only $6260 away from having enough to build two bedrooms and a bathroom!

*Note: All donations, Paypal or via mail, go directly to the Grayson County, TX. Habitat For Humanity.  Please note on your donation:  ‘For the Romance Readers HFH House.’

Q:  Do you think fictional characters should be involved in similar efforts? How might that enhance or detract from a reader’s enjoyment of a romance?

A:  As I tend to write trilogy’s or series, often secondary characters will have their own book, or a hero in one story will appear in as a secondary character in a later novel

Q:  Please tell us about your most recently released book, how we can purchase it, and how we can leave a review.

A:   Fascinated by the Knights Templars, I was thrilled at the opportunity to write The Forbidden Series.  After hundreds of years, many questions remain of where the Templars fled, what treasure they took, and how were so many valiant knights able to disappear without a trace? In The Forbidden Series, I weave my character’s journey, where they face challenges, and in the end fall in love, around these questions and more.

About Forbidden Legacy – book #1 Stephan & Katherine:

A Knight Templar, Sir Stephan MacQuistan desires no bride, only vengeance for a family lost and a legacy stolen.  A profound twist of fate tears apart the brotherhood he loves, but offers him an opportunity to reclaim his legacy – Avalon Castle.  Except to procure his childhood home along with a place to store Templar treasures, he must wed the unsuspecting daughter of the man who killed his family. To settle old scores, Stephan agrees while aware Katherine is but a pawn in a dangerous game, not a woman he will ever love.

*Reviews are always deeply appreciated, and your comments can be left where you purchase my story.

Thank you very much for taking the time to participate in my 3 month thank you to the military veterans.

Rue, thank you for inviting me as your guest.  I thank you for your service to our country.  And, another thanks to your readers for stopping by.  Take care, and I wish each of you the very best.

Diana Cosby, AGC(AW), USN Ret.

International Best-Selling Author

www.dianacosby.com

The Oath Trilogy

MacGruder Brother Series

Forbidden Series: Book #1 Forbidden Legacy — 16 August 2016

About Diana Cosby:

A retired Navy Chief, Diana Cosby is an international bestselling author of Scottish medieval romantic suspense.  Books in her award-winning MacGruder Brothers series are translated in five languages.  Diana has spoken at the Library of Congress, Lady Jane’s Salon in NYC, and appeared in Woman’s Day, on USA Today’s romance blog, “Happy Ever After,” MSN.com, Atlantic County Women Magazine, and Texoma Living Magazine.

After her career in the Navy, Diana dove into her passion – writing romance novels. With 34 moves behind her, she was anxious to create characters who reflected the amazing cultures and people she’s met throughout the world.  With the release of the third book in The Oath Trilogy and the e Box Set of the MacGruder Brothers series, she is now preparing for the release of the first book in The Forbidden Series, Forbidden Legacy, on 16 August 2016!

Diana looks forward to the years of writing ahead and meeting the amazing people who will share this journey.

So this blog is changing and changing a lot. The name and URL–authortravels.com, The purpose–a place to share and dream for all who love travel and traveling. The focus–personal adventures and fictional settings. As an author, I am always traveling. Every setting (past, present or future) is a journey that I take both before I write and with my characters as a story develops. After my family, writing and traveling are my passions. So please join me on my travels, and we’ll tell each other stories along the way.

When will the change happen? Could be any day now. A few technical matters must be addressed, but we’ll definitely begin the voyage before August 01, 2015.

Where are we going? Our first destination is Northwest Scotland the setting for my current work in progress. Then we’ll be off to Italy and a brief stop in Northumbria to celebrate the release of my new medieval romance Knight Errant.

I look forward to seeing you there.

The Stuff in My Office—5

BKSHELF1Yep, I’ve got even more stuff to tell you about now that our short pause is over. The four pictures in this blog are of the wall length bookshelves opposite the corner where my desk sits (desk stuff in a later installment). There are six shelves (I couldn’t fit the top self into the camera frame, each roughly 10 feet in length and completely filled with paperback romance novels (and yes, those novels absolutely get included on the list of stuff I like that makes me happy). I won’t describe any of the books, but I will mention some of the other items.

In the foreground of the picture at the left you can see a couple of the items I discussed in the 4th installment of this series. You can also see part of the floor lamp that stands between the table (see installment 4) and my reading chair (also installment 4). I love that shade because it turns this lovely glowing gold color when the bulb is on, and it gives terrific light for reading.

Moving on to the next picture (below right) you see the rest of the lamp. The small needlework pillow peeking out from behind the lamp is another gift from my mother in law. That pillow was sitting on her royal blue sofa in her living room the first time my sweetheart brought me to their home for dinnerBKSHELF2 and to meet his folks. I was scared spitless because I knew about her upper crust Boston background. Mom was everything that is gracious. Nonetheless it took me several years to get over being intimidated, mostly because of my personal fears. I like to think that we now have a very friendly relationship. She certainly remembered that first visit, because one of the few things I managed to say was how lovely the pillow was. Who wouldn’t like a pillow with irises (Mom used to grow award winning Iris blooms) in varying shades of blue, including cobalt. On the shelf above the pillow are four framed covers from my books. Below those is yet another gift from my mother in law. This gift is more recent (just this past Christmas), yet I treasure it almost as much as the pillow. The seascape set into the tray is one of my favorites, and since I love the sea (add that to the list too) I keep the tray where I can see it.

The third picture (at left) shows the enBKSHELF3tire tray, and above that the remaining four covers from my books. If you look closely you can see a small two-tone brown box at the end of one of the shelves. That is a recipe box that my own mother gave me. It holds my grandmother’s recipes for Swedish coffee bread, dream cookies, and depression era frosting (made with flour, milk, butter and granulated sugar). The confectioner’s type of sugar that is usually used in frostings was nearly impossible to get during the depression, so flour was substituted. Even granulated sugar was expensive, so frosting on cakes was a real treat. The Dream Cookies are another depression era recipe, requiring only flour, granulated sugar and butter. Preparing Dream Cookies requires careful attention because the butter must be melted and browned to a point just shy of burning. The caramelized bits in the melted butter create the delicate flavor of these cookies. Once baked they have a very crumbly texture. My grandmother called them dream cookies because they practically melt in your mouth and disappear so fast that you feel as if you imagined eating them. Dream Cookies (along with homemade pecan sandies) are my favorite cookies, so they go on the list too. I’ve made the Swedish coffee bread—which is an all day project. Grandma used to fill hers with citron (candied dry fruit). I prefer un-candied dry fruit and more nuts—especially pecans. The bread was a daily item in my life while I was in school during the years when my grandparents lived with us (they moved into a small apartment in our house once neither of them could drive). I would come home from school and Grandma and my mother would be sitting at Grandma’s kitchen table having coffee and buttered coffee bread. They always had at least one piece waiting for me. I’d savor the bread and listed to Grandma and Mother share memories of their early lives. That’s how I learned about depression frosting and the origin of Dream Cookies.BKSHELF4

The last image (at right) shows the end of two more shelves, one of the two windows in my office and the stuff that sits below the window. I’ll write about the window stuff next time. Right now, I want to mention that the elephant bookends were a gift from me to my own mother and probably one of the first purchases I made with money I earned. I got elephants for her overflowing bookshelves so she would never forget where they came from and how much we both loved reading. The elephants came back to me when Mother passed away. Below those sits a small basket containing old checkbooks. I don’t know where the basket came from, but I like open containers. I tend to forget things when they are out of sight. I want the checkbooks in plain sight so I remember to throw them out when I no longer need them as tax records.

So those bookshelves contain a lot of stuff ranging from the treasured to the mundane, and as always a host of memories. Do you have memories of your parents and grandparents; stories and/or recipes that have been handed down and treasured for generations; little knick knacks that hold meaning only for you? Please share with a comment.

The Stuff in My Office–1

The whole idea of social media is to put yourself out there and join the conversation. Problem is that I have difficulty approaching strangers in person. I find it even more difficult when I can’t see them. The thought occurred to me that I’m not the only person who has this problem. So in the interest of not being a stranger (although I may be strange), I’ll tell you about the stuff in my office.

My office is where I work and play. It is my personal space in a home that I share with my spouse and two cats (our sons are grown and no longer live at home). My office is also where I keep my ‘stuff,’ mementos, supplies, files, books, hand-me-downs and other objects that are of interest to me. You can tell a lot about people in general from their personal spaces. I’m very lucky in that I have a personal space with plenty of room and a door that can shut the world out or let it in depending on my preference at the time.

But I’m supposed to be telling you about the stuff not just the office, which presents the difficulty of where to start.  I’ve got a lot of stuff (been accumulating for the past 60 + years). I made a random and arbitrary decision to begin with the chotchskie shelf at the top of the bookshelf that stands nearest my easy chair. Here’s a picture of that shelf and the chotchskies it holds.

OfficeSTUFFblog1

So what’s all this stuff? Most of this is mementos and things I think are pretty.  There are a total of  5 +1pieces of butterfly art. The one is a pair of broken wings that used to be a key fob. I really liked that key fob, so I kept the broken wing pieces to remind me that even the strongest things can break and even the broken things have beauty. You may not be able to see the broken wings very well. They’re lying flat in front of the translucent cube with the unicorn carved in the middle. I’m as fond of unicorns as I am of butterfly art. (I like live butterflies too, but only when they’re alive. Please don’t kill them and put them in a box to look at—I’ll cry.) The unicorn was a gift, I think from my mother-in-law, who is one of the most thoughtful people I know. Behind the unicorn is a dog tag, purchased from the USPS that honors Women In Service. I served in the US Navy for ten years but have lost my dog tags, so I bought these as replacements. Next to the dog tags is a Christmas ornament given to one of my sons when he was a child. We still put their ornaments on our tree (neither of them has started setting up their own trees yet). Occasionally one or two of the ornaments doesn’t make it back in the box after the tree comes down. Those ornaments end up in my office so they don’t get lost. The blue lump in front of the ornament and the gold butterfly is actually an acrylic, star-shaped paper weight. Add stars and cobalt blue to the things I like as much as butterflies and unicorns. The slim line of sliver looking material beside the paper weight is the frame of a small unicorn painting on glass.

Eight items are left, but this blog is IMHO already too long, so I’ll give the rest of the details next time. Meanwhile, I’ll let you guess the what and why of the remaining eight items. Leave a comment and tell me what your guess is, or whatever else you might think about this first glance at the Stuff in My Office.

World Wide Release Day for One Day’s Loving

Today is a busy and very happy day for me with the release of One Day’s Loving ~ Wildfire Love # 3. I’m a guest at number of blogs including, the Crimson Romance BlogMVRWA’s Blog, and Susana’s Parlour. I’ll be discussing topics as varied as Series Romance Books, Being Whelmed or Overwhelmed, and Life Setbacks. For your convenience, here’s information about One Day’s Loving ~ Wildfire Love # 3Cover Art for One Day's Loving. (Purchase One Day’s Loving ~ Wildfire Love # 3  or read an excerpt.)

One Day’s Loving ~ Book Summary

Persephone Mae Alden is the invisible Alden sister, quiet, industrious, generous, kind-hearted, loyal and reliable.  The words used to describe Mae remind her of a well-trained dog.  She’s not happy about it, but what can she do?  She likes her quiet life and would be seriously upset if she had to defy convention like Edith or act on instinct like Kiera. But everything changes when necessity forces her to bravery and she must choose between love and family.

A horrifying bequest convinces Boston attorney James W. Collins V that Mae Alden needs a husband, and she’s just the type of wife he wants. The two of them will be a perfect match. Refusing his offer makes no sense, so why won’t the woman accept?

About Rue Allyn ~ Author of historical, contemporary, and erotic romances, Rue Allyn fell in love with happily ever after the day she heard her first story. She is deliriously married to her sweetheart of many years and loves to hear from readers about their favorite books and real life adventures.  Learn more about Rue at http://RueAllyn.com

FB: https://www.facebook.com/RueAllynAuthor
Twitter:  http://twitter.com/RueAllyn
Goodreads:  http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5031290.Rue_Allyn
Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Rue-Allyn/e/B00AUBF3NI/ref=ntt_athr_dp_pel_1
Blog:  http://rueallynauthorblog.com/

And the Winners Are:

 I’m delighted to announce the winner of the recent Readers Treasure Blog Hop Prizes and the recipient of my own special surprise drawing. Elaine Stevens-Ramirez won the multi-author Treasure Box prize. Mary Prescott will receive an advance review copy of One Day’s Loving ~ Wildfire Love # 3. Congratulations ladies and thank you very much for participating. Cover Art for One Day's Loving

Author of historical, contemporary, and erotic romances, Rue Allyn fell in love with happily ever after the day she heard her first story. She is deliriously married to her sweetheart of many years and loves to hear from readers about their favorite books and real life adventures. Learn more about Rue at http://RueAllyn.com

FB: https://www.facebook.com/RueAllynAuthor
Twitter: http://twitter.com/RueAllyn
Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5031290.Rue_Allyn
Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Rue-Allyn/e/B00AUBF3NI/ref=ntt_athr_dp_pel_1
Blog: http://rueallynauthorblog.com/

All That Glitters

Readers Treasure Hop Nov. 1 - 4, 2013Authors Rue Allyn, Susana Ellis, Jayne KingstonKristina KnightShay LacyConstance Phillipsand Ray Wenck  bring you the first ever Readers Treasure Blog Hop.

The theme of this hop is Readers Treasure. Now all of you, as readers, know that we aren’t talking about gold and other ‘glittery’ treasures but the treasure of books and stories. The authors participating in this hop (check out the links/list under the hop logo in my sidebar) have a proverbial trove of fiction to offer. To add to the wealth as part of the rafflecopter grand prize treasure box drawing and celebrate the Nov. 18, 2013 release of One Day’s Loving, Wildfire Love # 3, I’m offering a free download of One Moment’s Pleasure, book one of my Wildfire Love Series. Click here to enter the drawing. Don’t forget to visit the other authors and  join the conversation on The Readers Treasure Facebook page.

Cover Art for One Moment's Pleasure  Cover Art for One Night's Desire   Cover Art for One Day's Loving

One Day’s Loving is the story of the youngest Alden sister. Persephone Mae Alden is the invisible Alden sister, quiet, industrious, generous, kind-hearted, loyal and reliable. The words used to describe Mae remind her of a well-trained dog. She’s not happy about it, but what can she do? She likes her quiet life and would be seriously upset if she had to defy convention like Edith or act on instinct like Kiera. But everything changes when necessity forces her to bravery and she must choose between love and family.

A horrifying bequest convinces Boston attorney James W. Collins V that Mae Alden needs a husband, and she’s just the type of wife he wants. The two of them will be a perfect match. Refusing his offer makes no sense, so why won’t the woman accept?

Sadly only one person can win the treasure chest including prizes from all participating authors. However, the first two books in the series One Moment’s Pleasure and One Night’s Desire are available at http://www.amazon.com/Rue-Allyn/e/B00AUBF3NI, or you may pre-order One Day’s Loving here.

Leave a comment telling me your thoughts about blog hops and giveaways. Who knows I may just give away an ARC of One Day’s Loving to some lucky commenter.

About Rue Allyn: Author of historical, contemporary, and erotic romances, Rue Allyn fell in love with happily ever after the day she heard her first story. She is deliriously married to her sweetheart of many years and loves to hear from readers about their favorite books and real life adventures. Learn more about Rue at her website, on Facebook, Twitter, or Goodreads.

Joe Hazard’s Big Day

Hazard Duty Cover ArtIs it silly for a grown man to be geeked about anything? I have to say I’m really excited about today’s release of Hazard Duty. Sharing that story is a huge risk for me and Ros. Pleae let us know how you liked it. (Honest, Ros is the one who’s really worried.) You can get just about any format you want and the best deal at Ms. Allyn’s publisher, Red Sage Publishing.

Read about Ros and Joe’s first date at http://rueallyn.com/2b21HDexcerpt.html, or just read the blurb given below.

Hazard Duty blurb

Joe Hazard filled all of Ros Duncan’s teenaged fantasies, but now she’s an adult with a mission, and no handsome sailor will get in her way. The first in her family to earn a college education, she escaped Birds Gap, the deadly dull, stifling town of her childhood and the scene of her most embarrassing memories. However as principal of Bird’s Gap High School she wants to see every child in town go to college not be forced to chose between working in the mines or risking life and limb in the military.

Please leave a comment and let Ms. Allyn know if the story intrigues you. Everyone who comments will have their e-mail address entered into a drawing for a free download of Hazard Duty. You may also enter by leaving a review of one of my other books at Amazon. Just check her Amazaon author page for book details http. She’ll be collecting entries throughout the entire Hazard Duty blog tour (June 24 – July 2—find the schedule of appearances at http://rueallyn.com/4News.html). The winner will be announced July 4th on this blog http://rueallynauthorblog.com/.