Sunday, June 29, 2014

Meet Jan Scarbrough--Her heroine is a pet psychic! by Karen Rose Smith

hearttoheart 200-300

As most of you who read my blogs and Facebook and Twitter posts know, I'm a cat lover.  We have three inside cats and have just taken in a pregnant stray.  When I learned Jan Scarbrough's heroine in HEART TO HEART was a pet psychic, a true animal communicator, I wanted to share her novel with you.

From Jan--

My animals seem to find their way into all of my books.  Over the years, I believe each one, past and present, has had a role--from my cat Bugsy who was "killed" by the bad guy in TANGLED MEMORIES to my cat Folly in KENTUCKY RAIN.  In my latest novella, I've branched out and included names--if not correct descriptions--of the family pets of my Ladies of Legend co-authors (Attila, Clio and Calliope).

Folly helping me edit
HEART TO HEART is the second book in the new Return to Legend series, a part of the larger Ladies of Legend series of books set in the fictitious small town of Legend, Tennessee.  After our bundled box set, LOVE IN A SMALL TOWN, did so well, Maddie James, Magdalena Scott, Janet Evans and I decided to revisit the series with new stories.

Ms. Addie Bynum, recently deceased, and her generous bequeaths are the tie-in for all four books.  Like in the old television show The Millionaire, readers are treated to the stories of what happens when four heroines receive an unexpected inheritance.

My heroine in HEART TO HEART is a pet psychic, a real animal communicator, who has spent her life being criticized for her gifts.  Everyone except Ms. Addie laughs at Marty, even out charming hero, who is a big first.

In researching this book, I attended a workshop given by a local animal communicator.  I was terrible at it myself, but I was truly amazed by the success of other students.  There is something special about people who can connect "heart to heart" with another living creature.

So if you want to see what happens to Attila, Clio, Calliope, Tinkerbelle, Jinx and Gloria, you'll need to check out HEART TO HEART just released as an ebook from Turquoise Morning Press.  

hearttoheart 200-300

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Karen Rose Smith presents NJ Damschroder--YA Author


I'd like to introduce to you a friend and fellow Central PA Romance Writer, NJ Damschroder.  I know readers are often looking for the next young adult adventure.  NJ (I know her as Natalie) provides that.  So...  Here is NJ!

FROM NJ Damschroder:

After a decade and a half and 17 published adult romance novels, this month I took a leap into the young adult market with my debut YA adventure, FULL FUSION.

It started really, in my childhood.  I devoured Silhouette's Young Adult Romances, the Sweet Valley High books, and so much more.  When I first began writing fiction, I lamented that the YA market seemed to have disappeared.  We authors often discussed how the average age of our readership was climbing, and how would we get new readers if there wasn't good YA out there?

Luckily, it came roaring back with a vengeance several years ago.  Still, I didn't think it was a genre I wanted to write.  I wasn't a typical teenager, and my own teens have not been typical in any way, so I didn't have the background for it.  But then inspiration hit, thanks to the second fallen angel on the TV show Supernatural and my own childhood. 

I had often had moments in high school when I felt disconnected from myself and the world around me.  It's been a very difficult sensation to describe.  A sense of oddness of being in my own body.  It eventually stopped happening, but it stuck with me enough to make me think, "What if my character had good reason to feel that way?  What if she was an angel, but was missing an essential part of herself?"

And because I write adventure, it exploded from typical teenager angst into a true save-the-world scenario. There's action, a little bit of angst and the start of a love triangle, all of which will come to play in future books in the series.  I've been developing the second book and cannot wait to dig into it!  I hope readers love reading it as much as I have loved writing it.

Thanks you so much, Karen, for having me here today!

Below is the blurb for FULL FUSION.  You can read an excerpt here:


Eighteen-year-old Roxie Sebastian lives a charmed life, and she knows it.  Too bad she can't feel it.  All her life, she's felt disconnected from the world around her.  Everything changes just before graduation, when she drawn to an eerie, brilliant light--which narrowly misses her as it blows up her friend Lincoln's car.  Clearly someone's after Roxie, and finally Lincoln tells her the truth:  He and Roxie are angels, beings from another dimension, and that light is her soul, separated from her human body in a traumatic birth.

Once a skeptical Roxie rules out the other possibilities--like Lincoln created this delusion to escape his abusive father--she accepts her gut-down knowledge about the truth.  But someone has been screwing with her light, using it to commit crimes, and their actions are about to cause irreparable damage to two worlds" the one she lives in and the one she can't remember.

Aided by her best friend Jordan, her boyfriend Tucker, and Lincoln, Roxie tracks down the criminal and uncovers many more secrets not only about her past, but of the history of their race on Earth.  And then Roxie faces a terrible dilemma--the only way she can stop them from ripping apart both worlds is to fuse her light...which could be tainted by the evil with which it was used.



Copyright 2014 Karen Rose Smith

Sunday, June 22, 2014

Family Cover Reveal - A MATCH MADE BY BABY by Karen Rose Smith

Usually when I receive a cover for one of my books--over 85 now--I file it with my promotional materials and wait for my readers' reactions when I post it.  I write many stories about families.  That's why I came up with The Mommy Club concept for this Harlequin Special Edition series.  The Mommy Club is an organization with volunteers who help parents in need--from clothes to food to a summer lunch program to affordable daycare.  I hope you enjoy this series about people helping people who make children a priority.

A MATCH MADE BY BABY is book 2 in my Mommy Club series.  Here is a preview of what the book is about:

Family in training?

Only an emergency could bring on-call pediatrician Kaitlyn Foster to Adam Preston's condo.  But the man who opens the door--with a crying infant on his shoulder--is a world away from the globe-trotting bachelor whose kisses still burn in her memory.  And he's in desperate need of her baby expertise!

Adam can't believe The Mommy Club volunteer is the gorgeous blonde who's been haunting his fantasies for almost a year.  The baby doc couldn't have come at a better time.  The environmental scientist is used to traveling to remote corners of the world, not acting as stand-in father to his two-month-old niece.  But Kaitlyn's already working her magic on both of them.  Is Adam finally ready to put down roots with the woman who's carved a permanent place in his heart?

Book 1 in The Mommy Club series
Book 2 in The Mommy Club series


Wednesday, June 18, 2014

What Does Family Have To Do With Mystery? by Karen Rose Smith

What does family have to do with writing my mysteries?

I was an only child but my mom had six brothers and sisters and my dad had nine.  On weekends, my dad's family would gather at the family home, some driving to York, Pennsylvania, from Philadelphia, Lancaster and Harrisburg.  Every Sunday we ate dinner at my maternal grandmother's house.  Back then I didn't realize how those experiences would shape me.  Aunts, uncles, cousins and grandparents were part of growing up and my young adult life.  Just his week I spoke with a cousin who came through a rough medical crisis and emailed with another who was a huge part of my childhood and adolescence.  We share such varied and wonderful history...and memories.

I wanted to recreate that in my Caprice De Luca mystery series.

My sleuth's large Italian family and their problems, crises, joys and triumphs are a major part of my novels.  Caprice's parents Fran and Nick De Luca are supportive and loving.  Nana Celia, Caprice's paternal grandmother, is wise and honest.  Caprice's sister Bella, a new mom and seamstress starting an online business, often has opinions contradictory to Caprice's.  Nikki, a caterer on the other hand, is always a steady sisterly presence and helps Caprice make her unique house stagings a huge success.  Caprice's brother Vince, a lawyer, tries to warn her away from trouble and murder investigations.  But her whole family loves her and would do anything for her.

Writing Caprice's stories take me back to times I love to times when family meant everything.

Copyright 2014 Karen Rose Smith

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Secondary Characters--Whether They're Pets Or People! by Karen Rose Smith

I've always written secondary characters into my plot lines and fortunately my editors have never dissuaded me from using them. My romances and mysteries stretch beyond the main character or characters to their friends, families and other important people in their lives. Although in romances, I deal with a bit of fantasy, and in mysteries a puzzle that needs to be solved, I attempt to keep my characters real. Real people have backgrounds that have formed who they are. Usually those backgrounds arise from the family they were born into...or the lack of family they experienced growing up.

If I can cut a secondary character from my story, that character doesn't serve a purpose and possibly doesn't belong. I ask myself several questions. How does this character advance my plot? What qualities does this character contrast with or mirror in my hero or heroine or my sleuth? Does this character create conflict or add to resolution? Will my readers understand my main character's motivation or flaws because of their interaction with this character? In mysteries, this goes for witnesses who don't have a large part to play but could still be considered suspects.

I enjoy writing about children, teenagers and pets, and they're never just window dressing. Children bring out character traits in adults that the protagonist might never see without their presence--compassion, protectiveness, unselfishness. They can also release laughter that the hero, heroine or sleuth has held inside too long. Teenagers can cause a main character to reveal wayward tendencies, rebelliousness and stubbornness he or she has managed to corral over the years, yet peeks through when the hero or heroine or sleuth is stressed or pushed to the wall. As an animal lover, I give pets in my books personalities and consider them secondary characters, too! If a woman or man is caring with a pet, chances are he or she will have empathy with others. And as my sleuth, Caprice De Luca says often, pets are such a good judge of character!

In DEADLY DECOR (Book 2 Caprice De Luca home staging series from Kensington Books), Caprice's pets play a huge part.  The pregnant Cocker Spaniel that she takes in causes a deep bond to form with Caprice and one of her romantic interests.  When they deliver a litter together, they can no longer deny the zing of attraction between them.  Pets as secondary characters in each of my mysteries are essential to developing characters and their inner motivations.

If a writer can intertwine secondary characters with the main characters, as well as weave their stories in and out of the plot line, they will be essential, multi-dimensional and worthy of the title secondary characters whether they are pets...or people!
After writing over eighty romance novels in the past twenty years, I'm enjoying branching out into mystery where I can delve into everyone's relationships as well as create an intriguing puzzle.  My third Caprice De Luca home-staging mystery revolves around Valentine's Day.  GILT BY ASSOCIATION will be available in February 2015.

Sunday, June 8, 2014

My First Pet--A Cocker #Spaniel by Karen Rose Smith

I love cats and dogs and most furry creatures.  Most of my readers think I'm a cat lady.  And I am.  But my first pet was a dog--a Cocker Spaniel named Buffer.

Buffer wasn't really "my" dog.  My dad gifted my mom with him on their anniversary when I was three.  He was a rambunctious golden-buff pup with huge brown eyes that could melt any heart.  We lived close to a school with a playing field and lots of green lawn.  On summer evenings, we walked Buffer there to play fetch with a tennis ball.  If Buffer ever slipped his leash and ran off, he ran to that school yard.  So I imagine he enjoyed his play time there, too.

Me with my dad and Buffer
Each summer when school vacation began (my mom was a teacher so we spent summers together), we would walk Buffer about a mile away to his veterinarian. My mom didn't drive.  In those days, vets were also groomers.  Buffer would get his summer haircut and look like a different dog.  But it wasn't long until he was fluffy and curly again.

Buffer was an American Cocker Spaniel.  American Cockers mainly have shorter ears than English Cockers. When I decided to write a stray dog into DEADLY DECOR, I naturally chose an American Cocker Spaniel.  My sleuth Caprice De Luca names her found cocker Shasta because she is the color of her Shasta daisies.  When Caprice's veterinarian informs her that Shasta is pregnant, that is a surprise!  Caprice becomes a doggy midwife when Shasta's pups are born.

What happens to the pups and Shasta?

Read DEADLY DECOR to find out.  Have fun solving the mystery with Caprice, cook with her, become part of the large Italian De Luca family in this cozy mystery series.

And if you have a Cocker Spaniel, feel free to tell me about him or her in the comments.  I love to hear cat and dog stories.

Copyright 2014 Karen Rose Smith

Friday, June 6, 2014

Book Giveaway--Tonya Kappes, Laura Levine, Susan Meier, Terry Odell, Karen Rose Smith and more

From June 1-11, to celebrate the release of my new mystery DEADLY DECOR, I'm hosting a ten-author book and $100 Amazon Gift Card giveaway.

To enter, go to my KarenRoseSmithBooks Facebook page.  The button is on the left (or top) and says GIVEAWAY.

Below are five of the participating authors and blurbs from their featured books.   


Laurel London is one tough cookie.  Orphaned and with one heckuva checkered past, she's grown street smart and no one is going to tell her different, even if it means getting tangled up with the wrong side of the law.  After terrorizing Walnut grove, Kentucky all her adolescent life, she's back and she's ready to go on the up and up.  Make something of herself.  Prove the citizens of Walnut Grove wrong and make them admit she's somebody.

But when the mobster Trigger Finger Tony Cardozza jumps in the back of Laurel London's car mistaking it for a taxi, she's up to her ears in no good.

Recently fired and checkbook in the red, when Trigger offers to pay Laurel large wads of cash to drive him where he needs to go and keep her mouth shut, she's all in.  That is, until FBI agent Jax Jackson jumps in the back of Laurel London's car threatening to take her to jail for her past crimes if she doesn't cooperate with the FBI by going undercover to help him bring down the mob.

Laurel finds herself battling the past and good vs evil and she's not sure which is more deadly.

KILLING CUPID by Laura Levine

When Jaine lands a job writing web copy and brochures for matchmaker Joy Amoroso, she's excited for a chance to help the lovelorn just in time for Valentine's Day--until she realizes what "Dates of Joy" is really all about.  Joy is a ruthless taskmaster who screams at her employees for the smallest infractions, pads her website with pictures of professional models posing as clients, and offers up convincing but empty promises of love in exchange for inordinate sums of money.  And woe betide anyone who lays a finger on her heavily guarded stash of chocolates.  So it's no surprise when the chiseling cupid turns up dead at a Valentine's Day mixer.  Aghast to find herself on the cops' suspect list, Jaine sets out to track down the killer.  Who could it be?  Joy's harried assistants whose lives she made a living hell?  Her younger lover?  The handsome hunk of a client with a secret in his past?  Or the furious Beverly Hills widow who forked over the last of her savings for a Prince Charming who never materialized?  Joy left behind a slew of enemies struck by her deviant arrows, so finding the culprit may prove harder than spotting that elusive caramel praline in a box of chocolates--and Jaine will have to flirt with danger to get to the truth...


Their competition has never been so irresistible.

The last person Ellie McDermott wanted to run into after returning to her hometown is Finn Donovan, her high school nemesis and the guy she crossed the line from enemies to lovers with one night years ago.  Now ex-military, tattooed, and still sexy as hell, Finn is a complication Ellie doesn't need--she needs to concentrate on saving her family business.

Finn's entire life, Ellie was there, going head-to-head with him in every class, bee and test.  So it's no surprise she'd show up just as he was about to take over her father's struggling business.  It is a surprise, though, that his attraction to her is even more explosive than it had been.  Acting on their attraction is one thing, but Finn has to turn a profit to save his own family, and nothing--not even love--will get in his way.


The Blackthorne, Inc. covert ops team is back with another action-adventure romantic suspense from Terry Odell  This time, it's Computer Nerd meets Cartel Lord.

For Jinx, interacting with people is highly overrated.  Computers are his life.  On the job, he's an intel gathering expert for Blackthorne, Inc.  Off duty, he's a shooter in computer r9ole playing games. But what happens when he's sent into the field to face real enemies with real guns?

Josiah Ignatius Nix--Jinx to all who know him--is the glue holding the Blackthorne, Inc. covert ops teams together when they're on a mission.  In the comfort of his basement office, with his favorite companions--his computers--a click of the mouse provides him with up-to-the-minute intel, which keeps the team alive.

Until the intel fails and a hostage rescue mission goes south.  Both the hostage and team are captured, and the boss sends Jinx to the jungles of Mexico as an undercover field agent.  The cartels have been kidnapping American engineers to build and maintain their private cell phone networks.  Jinx's skills make him a prime target for capture, a way to infiltrate the cartel and rescue not only the company's client, but also the missing team of operatives.

Soon, he finds himself paired with Elle Sheridan, a cop whose missing sister is in the middle of a human trafficking ring.  Will Elle be able to convince Jinx that Blackthorne's mission needs to be expanded to include rescuing her sister?  And if she does, will the two of them be able to stay ahead of rival cartel leaders and get out alive to make some private connections of their own?

DEADLY DECOR by Karen Rose Smith

Quiet Kismet, Pennsylvania, may look like any other small town, but as a home-stager, Caprice De Luca can see behind closed doors--and it seems someone has designs on murder...

Life is a full house for Caprice these days.  She's dating, she's rescuing adorable cocker spaniels, and she's decorating the roomy interiors of Kismet's most well-heeled residents with fun fantasy themes.  But when a house painter Caprice frequently employs is found dead, it's time for Caprice to stage an investigation.  She must shift her attention from finding the perfect curtains to finding the perfect culprit...

Be sure to check in here  More Authors and Books to learn more about books by Donna Alward, Becky Barker, L. L. Bartlett, Donna Fasano and Stacy Juba.