Writer Wednesday Welcomes Dolores Maroney!

Writer Wednesday Welcomes Dolores Maroney!

How We Met

The lovely Dolores Maroney.

I first met Dolores Maroney in 2011, in the corridor of a hotel that hosted the Romantic Times convention in downtown Los Angeles that year. She was standing with Sarah Vance and both of them were members of my local RWA chapter, the Los Angeles Romance Authors.  We bonded there in the corridor, none of us really sure where we were going or what we were supposed to be doing. I’d been to plenty of writer’s conferences before, but never any readers conferences. It felt different, but it was also comfortable in that wherever I went, there were people I knew. Since Los Angeles is my home chapter, there were a lot of us there.

Since then, Dolores and I have become great friends. It near broke my heart when she moved back to New Jersey a month ago, but we have vowed to keep in touch and be roomies as much as possible at forthcoming conferences. Okay – now that I’ve given you our background, here’s the interview, lol!

CA: When you first started writing, what made you decide to write a novel?

DM: Honestly? I never set out to be a writer, so it never occurred to me that I could write something else. I was a stay at home mom and an avid reader of romance. My daughters joked that I had read so many I could probably write my own. I took that as a challenge—and guess what? I found out that I could write one!

CA: You have two erotic series out as Roz Lee, a baseball series and one set on a cruise ship. What drew you to writing those books?
DM: Again, I sort of fell into writing erotic romance. I was working on a mainstream contemporary romance when this crazy story idea popped into my head about an erotic themed cruise ship. The story took hold in my head and I decided to write it down, if for no other reason than to get it the heck out of my mind so I could get back to my other stuff. As I wrote, I thought perhaps I had something, but I knew nothing about writing erotic. Lucky for me, Jan Springer was doing an online class at the time. I signed up, crossed my fingers, and threw my excerpts out there for critique. The overwhelming response from Jan and the other class members convinced me I wasn’t wrong. Turns out, I have a bit of talent for writing sexy! Who would have thought it?

CA: Your latest book is under your other name, Dolores Maroney. What drew you to this story, so different from the others?
DM: I consider mainstream contemporary romance to be my roots. As a reader, I’m a big fan of Debbie Macomber, Sherryl Woods, Mariah Stewart, Nora Roberts, Fern Michaels and Robyn Carr. Not that I’ve accomplished it, but I have always wanted to write like they do. The basic idea, drummer for a rock band falls for the daughter of a rock and roll icon, came to me while driving down the freeway listening to the radio. I fell in love with the characters right away and had to tell their story.

CA: Is this latest story going to be a series, or is it a standalone book?
DM: Lost Melody is a standalone book, though I have given thought to populating Willowbrook, TX with a few more interesting people. We shall see. 

CA: For a few years, you were living bi-coastal. Part of the year in Southern California, and the other part of the year back east. Now you and the hubs are back east full time. BUT…where would you live, if the two of you could live anywhere in the world?
DM: Well…we’re both originally from Texas so the South holds a lot of appeal for us. Since our daughters have made their homes in South Carolina we’re thinking of possibly retiring somewhere closer to them. For now, we’re happy to be home in our little slice of woods in New Jersey.

CA: Name 3 simple joys in your life.
DM: My family. My friends. A decadent cup of hot chocolate.

CA: Oh man. I KNEW you were my type of people! I’ve got this decadent hot chocolate recipe…anyway. If you could have dinner with any person, living or dead or fictional, who would it be and where would you go to eat?
DM: I think it would be fascinating to speak with Ralph Waldo Emerson. Maybe we could go to the food court at the mall. I’d love to see what he would have to say about that!

CA: Ooh, good choice! Emerson. I’d love to drop by and share a meal with you guys! If you could give just one piece of advice to a writer starting out, what would it be?
DM: Finish it. Many aspiring authors abandon their manuscript because it isn’t perfect. They end up with a library full of partial work—and nothing complete. There’s no such thing as a perfect manuscript, but you can’t fix something you haven’t written. So write it. Finish it. Fix it. Or, in the case of my first manuscript, bury it where no one will ever see it! LOL Yep, it’s a pile of dung. But I finished it. I told the story from beginning to end—I just did it poorly. But once I had typed those wonderful last words, the end, I knew I could write another one—and the next one would be better.

CA: It seems like every time I see you on Facebook, you’re just about to get to writing. Surely you don’t write ALL the time…What are the things you like to do you do when you’re not writing?
DM: I read—a lot. I also like to haunt antique stores and flea markets. And when spring gets here, I’ll be out in the yard trying to coax some things to grow—emphasis on the word coax. I have zero talent for gardening, but I love flowers so I keep trying. The garden stores just love to see me coming!

CA: Oh, me too…Name one thing your fans would be surprised to learn about you.
DM: Oh, gosh. Um…how about this…once upon a time I was an in-home appliance repair technician. Yep. I was one of those folks you called when your kitchen appliances or laundry equipment conked out.

CA: Is there anything else you’d like to talk about?
DM: You should know never to give a writer free rein to say anything they want! Just kidding. All I want to say is, it’s never too late to pursue your dreams. Don’t listen to those who would tell you that you can’t. You can—as long as you believe in yourself.

  Blurb – Lost Melody

Out of sight, out of mind. That’s what Melody Ravenswood was counting on when she invented a new life for herself as Mel Harper in the small farming community of Willowbrook, Texas. She could be herself, whoever that was. Having long since lost her identity to being the only child and sole beneficiary of a legendary rock and roller, she was finally going to live the normal life she craved – a job, a house, friends and no paparazzi.

Hank Travis is the last thing Mel needs in her new life. The local boy turned rock and roll star’s sexy, won’t take no for an answer pursuit makes her long for a life she has only dreamed of. Before Mel can have the future she wants with Hank, she must confront her past and find the Melody she lost along the way.

Buy links – Lost Melody
Barnes & Noble
All Romance eBooks

About Dolores

Dolores has been married to the same wonderful guy for thirty-three years. They have two lovely daughters and a black lab. She makes her home in the wilds of New Jersey (yes, there are wilds in NJ). A Texan with familial roots that go all the way back to the Republic of Texas, Dolores says you can take the girl out of Texas, but…well, you know the rest.

She’s been a stay-at-home mom for most of her married life – a job she says is under-rated on the difficulty scale. Now that her girls are grown, she’s still available to them anytime, day or night, but she fills her days with writing romance novels and reading.

Dolores is a best-selling, multi-published author of erotic romance under the pseudonym, Roz Lee.

And her erotic books are smoking hot!

Dolores on the Internet




Thanks so much, Roz, for gracing both my life and my blog today. Sending you tons of hugs honey!


Demon Soul and Demon Hunt are all available for the Kindle and Kobo! Have you fallen into the Caine Brothers’ world yet?


Back To School Go I…Why?

Back To School Go I…Why?


I’m in school again. I’m going to WanaCon this weekend (5am Webinar this morning about Twitter. OMG…but Marcy Kennedy made it worth while!), I’m taking the two month author platform course by Kristen Lamb (she calls it a blogging course but it’s much, much more than that), I’m taking a class tomorrow IRL about – oh too funny, I had to look it up – but it’s called Understanding Comedy – The Rules. Plus I’m probably going to sign up for Marcy Kennedy’s month long Twitter course, which is in March.

Can You Say Busy??

Christine's rose garden.

Let’s stop a minute and smell the roses, shall we?

In spite of the busy-ness, this all feels good. It feels positive. The last time I took so many classes in such a concentrated time was about six months before I sold my first novel; so I’m loving this groove right now.

I’m also really loving the Age of Social Media, mainly because it opens up so many opportunities to me for classes taught by amazing people that I’d otherwise never get to meet due to costs/time constraints/location issues. (I don’t understand people who don’t take web classes. Seriously. They are SO missing out!)

It allows me to meet people like Rhenna Morgan, who lives in Oklahoma and is also a paranormal and contemporary romance writer. I can get caught up with family and friends through Facebook, and ooh and ahh about the Royal Wedding on Twitter (okay, so I’ve been MIA on Twitter lately. I’m working on it.).

The Downside…

Unlike the Dark Side though, the downside of social media has no cookies. But it does have a LOT of noise. When I got home yesterday from the Day Job, I had a Skype interview with a fabulous author, and then a WANACon social webinar gathering. After two hours of that, I shut down and did not look at email. 

Big. Mistake.

When I finally went online this morning to get my email, I had 236 unread emails waiting for me in my inbox. Which is a warning flag to me, especially because as I went through them, I deleted most of them unread. That tells me I’m subscribed to too many things and I’m on too many lists. The unimportant things are drowning out the important ones, and I need to spend some time fixing that. Again.

Kind of like getting your teeth cleaned twice a year, I guess. Twice a year I need to thresh through my email and social media lists and part ways with those that don’t nurture me. Let me say that again, but in a different way.

Keep only those email and social media lists that Nurture your Fabulous Self.

What about you?

How do you keep your social media in check, so you aren’t overwhelmed and truly enjoy your experience? Because if we aren’t enjoying the experience, we probably shouldn’t be doing it. Right?

I’d love to hear from you! Oh, and here. Have a cookie.

Photo of Christmas Cookies.

Okay, so they are unfrosted Christmas cookies. They’re still cookies! Have a snowman and leave a comment, lol!


Demon Soul and Demon Hunt are both available for both the Kindle and KoboHave you fallen into the Caine Brothers’ world yet?

Raven Bower Visits on Writer Wednesday

Raven Bower Visits on Writer Wednesday

Raven Bower

Today I’m excited to introduce you to Raven Bower, another writer pal of mine. Settle in and enjoy the interview!

CA: What made you decide to write a novel?
RB: The characters were tormenting me! Novels are a thing that need to be written, a drive that won’t relent until the finished product is complete. They’re nefarious, characters that is, and dead set on getting their way.

CA: Why fantasy?
RB: I write in several genres – fantasy, horror and urban fantasy. These were easy choices for me because I’m enthralled by things that lurk in the dark, creatures that roam the stygian depths of our imagination.

CA: Ooh, me too! Love the dark. How many books/short stories do you have planned for this series?
RB: The Weeping Dark will have between 6-9 books, depending on how the series plays out.

CA: Very  cool! So, tell me. Where would you live, if you could live anywhere in the world?
RB: Upon the shores of the mighty Lake Superior. She’s beautiful, mysterious, deadly. Though, the thought of enduring so much cold is a bit daunting.

CA: I’d like to visit Lake Superior, but I wouldn’t want to live there. Too cold for me, Brrr! Name 3 simple joys in your life.
RB: 1. My family – husband Lain, kids and furries.
     2. Coffee! And tea. Earl grey, hot 
     3. My sacred pool aka whirlpool that we installed. We did this Egyptian theme in the master bath. Soaking in there – hot and steaming – with books, paper and pen…ah yes. It’s been the birth place of many diabolical plots and characters.

CA: I am SO envious of your Egyptian spa! Do you take reservations? LOL…If you could have dinner with any person, living or dead or fictional, who would it be and where would you go to eat?
RB: Let’s see, place to eat is easy – depends on my mood at the time! Lol  Right now I’d say Japanese, somewhere with good sushi. Then again, Italian has its appeal – tiramisu! Ahem. Anyway. Let’s see. Who to dine with. That’s harder as there are so many interesting people out there – past, present and fictional. Top among my list of present day people would be actor Patrick Stewart. Among those of the past (deceased) would be Aleister Crowley – he’d be quite an interesting psychological study. Fictional…hm…I’d have to say Deucalion from Dean Koontz’s Frankenstein series.

CA: Aleister Crowley, huh? I’d like to be in on that. As long as I have a really strong guy with me. Crowley kind of gives me the creeps. But back to the interview! If you could give just one piece of advice to a writer starting out, what would it be?
RB: There are two books I believe all writers ought to read at least once and they’re especially important for new writers. ‘Finding Your Voice’ and ‘Hooked’ in that order, both are by Les Edgerton.

CA: I’ll have to check those books out. What do you do when you’re not writing? Do you have a Day Job?
RB: I do assorted things, really depends on my mood and my current hobby. Right now it’s fish – researching them, learning aquascaping and creating dazzling tanks filled with scaley friends.

My Day Job is working as director of Hydra Games, a new arm of Hydra Publications – we launch our first products this April! Basically it involves combining the talents of our wonderful writers, brilliant artists, Rules Gurus (we use the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game system, so we need to ensure stats are all kosher) and editors to create worlds, modules, guidebooks and novels.

CA: I have a couple of sons who are very into designing computer game worlds! I should hook you up with them. Just sayin’. Name one thing your fans would be surprised to learn about you.
RB: I like coconuts. Really. The flavor and fluffiness of shredded coconut, especially when covered in chocolate. Dark chocolate – because you know not all chocolates are created equal.

CA: Is there anything else you’d like to talk about?
RB: We could keep talking about chocolate! What kind do you like?

CA: I am a huge fan of dark chocolate. And Decadent Hot Chocolate! But before we get sidetracked, let’s take a look at your new release!

Cover of Bleeding Edge


When a rash of brutal murders target the most defenseless of her people, spunky captain Shayla Dormyr is determined to bring the culprits to justice. Defying the command of the Prima Canticle, who claim jurisdiction over the ritually slain children, Shayla embarks on a rebellious mission that could cost her rank and freedom.

When she unwittingly exposes a Blood Rune to her prime suspect, the troublesome sell-sword Daibryn, it unleashes arcane consequences that renders them vulnerable to an ambitious and cruel Blood Mage.

Shayla and Daibryn embark on an adventure that will take them to worlds far larger than they ever imagined where love, hate and mystery put their souls to the test.


The book sounds fantastic! Click on this Weeping Dark for the link. You can find Raven at http://www.ravenbower.com/.

Raven and I LOVE comments! So…what’s YOUR favorite type of chocolate? lol!

Whither Wine Fridays?

Whither Wine Fridays?

Whither Wine Fridays?

I like Wine. I like Fridays. So it seemed a perfect match, to blog about Wine on Fridays. But…maybe it’s time to branch out in another direction. The question is, which direction?

Label for the Smoking Loon Pinot NoirIt’s not like the world is rushing to my door, giving me wine to taste and begging me for my decidedly plebian opinion. Just because I find Smoking Loon Pinot Noir to be tasty and at an under-$6 a bottle a total bargain, doesn’t mean others will find that interesting. Or that they’ll like the wine.

Just because I think some wine labels are ridiculously over-written and seriously in need of a good copy editor who can write while NOT imbibing doesn’t mean there’s an audience for that.

And because I salivate for a bottle of Cristal champagne, and I look forward to those days I can offer guestsPhoto of Cristal Champagne that sippage and not count the cost, doesn’t mean others share my lust for the bubbles.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not whining here – I’m just wondering if maybe its time to go in a different direction.

Part of that is my change in diet. Note, I said my change in diet, not that I’m ON a diet. Major difference. I’ve been living in a Crazy Sexy Kitchen world since January 20th, when a lovely woman named Erin Shachory introduced me to Kris Carr and her plant-based way of eating. Personally, I LOVE the term “plant-based” instead of vegan or vegetarian – it seems much less IN YOUR FACE, MEATEATER. But maybe that’s just me?

At any rate, the book has me sipping lemon water after I get up, then getting my greens in with some AWESOME green juice. I’m feeling the love – balancing my eating 60/40, and heaping the salads and the veggie love on my plate. I wake up happier, clear-headed, and I don’t hurt as much. ??? Interesting.

If you’re interested, here’s the book.

The book that Erin Shachory introduced me to. Thank you, Erin!

But this post isn’t about that!

This post is kind of a heads-up that things are shifting at Chez Christine’s – and maybe even the title of the blog (because while I am wicked, and saucy, the blog isn’t so much, am I right?). But we shall see. I’m taking an author branding class with Kristen Lamb, the WANA Mama; she’s helping me to dig into ME and what I want out of this life I’ve got, and I can feel my priorities shifting under my feet. It’s a good thing! 

I am swimming in possibilities as well as lots of projects, all writing but not all novels. So things are changing and churning and being utterly fascinating. I’ve been having second thoughts about Wine Fridays for some time now, and I thought I’d clue you in, too. 

What do you think? Thumbs up or thumbs down for Wine Fridays? I’d love to know!


Demon Soul and Demon Hunt are both available for both the Kindle and KoboHave you fallen into the Caine Brothers’ world yet?

Robena Grant on Writer Wednesday

Robena Grant on Writer Wednesday

Writer Wednesday with Robena Grant

Writer Wednesday is that day I get the chance to share writer friends with you. Today I’m thrilled to have Robena Grant with me. She’s the author of the Desert Heat series, which includes Unlock the Truth and The Blue Dolphin.

Photo of Robena Grant

My friend, author Robena Grant.

CA: What made you decide to write a novel?
RG: I took a class at UCLA Extension with my then 18-year-old daughter. I thought it was to learn how to write. I didn’t know I was supposed to be working on a novel. So I ran home and started to write, and that became my first finished manuscript. : )

CA: Wow, what a jolt to the system! What genre do you write in, and why?
RG: I write contemporary romance, but I’m always mixing genres. I like stories about people in the world as I know it, and enjoy the journey that young lovers take, or the leap of faith with the second chance at love from an older heroine. I’ve written women’s fiction, paranormal, romantic suspense, and am now venturing into contemporary romance with a magical realism thread.

 CA:  Is this a series or standalone book? If a series, what is the name of this series, and how many books/short stories do you have planned?
RG: Unlock the Truth is Book #1 of the Desert Heat Series, #2 is The Blue Dolphin, and #3: Desert Exposure. I think of them as spin-offs, a series linked by location and secondary characters who clamor to have their story told. The books can be read out of order.

CA: Ooh, very cool. So there’s really no limit on the number of books you could write in that series! Where would you live, if you could live anywhere in the world?
RG: Italy, no France…no, wherever, but I’d want good plumbing, phone, and internet. : )

CA: LOL – I’m totally with you! Italy and France are in my top 5 places, too! Um…Name 3 simple joys in your life.
RG: Hanging out with my adult kids. Drinking a glass of fine red wine. Reading an amazing book.

CA: If you could have dinner with any person, living or dead or fictional, who would it be and where would you go to eat?
RG: Ernest Hemingway. We’d go to Aux Deux Magots, on Boulevard St-Germain…not so much for the food but for the espresso and the people watching. Then we’d gossip about everyone.    

CA: Wouldn’t that be totally fascinating? And I’m sure he’d be drinking whiskey! If you could give just one piece of advice to a writer starting out, what would it be?
RG: Always be working on something fresh while you’re submitting something you’ve finished.

CA: Excellent advice! What do you do when you’re not writing? Do you have a Day Job?
RG: I’m retired from the workforce. Writing is now my full-time job. I volunteer on several committees in my community, like to exercise, attend book club, hang out with friends, take in a movie, or lunch, and travel whenever and wherever I can.

CA: Sounds like an Awesome life! Now…Name one thing your fans would be surprised to learn about you.
RG: I like karaoke, but I can’t sing.

CA: Is there anything else you’d like to talk about?
RG: Just to mention that Unlock the Truth and The Blue Dolphin are available for Kindle readers. It’s an Amazon three month exclusive with KDP Select, then in May they will be released in print and all digital formats through Wild Rose Press Publishers. Desert Exposure is TBA, but it will also be released in 2013.

How exciting, to have three novels come out in one year! Let’s take a look at Unlock the Truth.

BLURB: Dena Roman needs closure. Three months ago, her sister’s murdered body was
found in the California desert. When a second body is found at the same site, Dena jeopardizes her public relations position to go undercover and investigate. But falling for the main suspect isn’t part of her plan.

Zeke Cabrera needs help. He sold a portion of his family’s Three C’s Estates to keep his citrus farm afloat, but when bodies are unearthed on the site, he’s suspected of murder. Help comes in the form of a communications expert who makes all the difference in his life and business–and in his heart.

Amidst an attack on her life and run-ins with a cantankerous foreman, Dena digs for the truth, even as she forms a strong bond with Zeke. But can their newly found love survive all the deep secrets hidden at Three C’s Estates?

And The Blue Dolphin:

BLURB: When Debbie Williams discovers a dismembered body in the dumpster behind her health spa, she’s determined to find out what happened. As a single parent, she must be sure the town she loves is safe for her daughter. Debbie won’t be deterred by anyone–not even the ruggedly handsome agent on the case who doesn’t appreciate her amateur sleuthing.

After his partner’s body is uncovered, DEA agent Jack Davis vows revenge. But three words shouted over the phone before his partner died–azul, delfin, Almagro–are Jack’s only clues. Even worse, a sexy blonde spa owner refuses to stay out of his investigation, and the chemistry between them is difficult to ignore.

As danger strikes ever closer, Jack and Debbie must figure out what blue dolphins and a small California desert town have to do with a dangerous drug cartel…all while protecting their hearts from an attraction neither can resist.

More About Robena: 
Robena Grant is Australian by birth but resides in Southern California. She has two adult children, loves travel, and enjoys writing stories about ordinary women faced with extraordinary circumstances. She may be contacted at: www.robenagrant.com where she blogs on a slice of life on Mondays. Also, FB, Twitter, Google+.

Here’s Robena’s Amazon page: https://www.amazon.com/author/robenagrant Go “Like” her – and don’t forget to “Like” her books.

I’m sure Robena will be around today, so feel free to ask her questions!


Demon Soul and Demon Hunt are both available for both the Kindle and KoboHave you fallen into the Caine Brothers’ world yet?