Writer of Soul-Searching Snark

Archive for the ‘The Wild Rose Press’ Category

WOOHOO! Crimson Rose Line, Here I Come

Ex-Ray Cover I was notified the other day that The Wild Rose Press would like to publish Ex-Ray, a romantic suspense novel.  It’s way different than the usual Claire Croxton works you’ve seen.  I’m excited about this opportunity because not only is The Wild Rose Press an awesome publisher, but I get to work with Ally Robertson of the Crimson Rose line of TWRP.  This means I’ll be published under the Champagne Rose line–contemporary romance, the Scarlet Rose line–erotica  (as Luna Zega,) and now the Crimson Rose line for romantic suspense.

This is NOT the official cover of Ex-Ray, but one my talented friend, Casey Cowan created.  He’s with Oghma Creative Media if anyone needs covers, banners, websites or editing, Oghma is the place to go.

This is the blurb of the book:

The isolation of Alaska’s arctic is the perfect place to hide. But you can’t outrun your past. Maggie Shaw flees an abusive husband and assumes a new life as Anne Sutton, a 911 emergency dispatcher. Her husband, Ray Malloy, a meth-dealing, dirty cop with a vicious temper and a powerful right hook, is determined to find her and the three million in drug money she stole. Using her computer hacking skills, Anne is able to stay one step ahead of Ray until he goes off the grid. Even though she lives her life with the constant threat of discovery, she’s eventually able to form deep friendships and even falls in love again—with Joe Carducci, the new cop in town. When Ray shows up in Barrow, Anne must overcome her fears to protect her friends from Ray’s violence.



The Next Big Thing: Loch Lonnie

The “Next Big Thing’ is a blog hop for writers working on their next book. I was tagged by the lovely Velda Brotherton earlier this year and I discussed Ex-Ray, the novel I’m currently editing.  When Wayne Harris-Wyrick tagged me for this series, I decided to discuss my latest work in progress, Loch Lonnie.  You can see Wayne’s post on his book The Heart Happy Bubble on his blog: http://wizardwayne.blogspot.com/2013/02/my-next-big-thing-heart-happy-bubble.html You really should check it out. It’s a lovely book! I’m going to create a heart-happy bubble to live in after reading the blog post. I can’t wait to read the book!!
1: What is the working title of your book?
Loch Lonnie

2: Where did the idea come from for the book?
My friends are weirdos.  That’s how the idea for Loch Lonnie came about.  My friend, Ruth Weeks, reads Tarot cards. She saw in my future a book that has nothing to do with my usual soul-searching snark.  Later that same weekend, yet another stray showed up on my Mama’s farm. She lives 3 miles from the state highway and ½ a mile from the county road and yet critters pop up all the time, including dogs, cats, a calf and a herd of horses. Yep. An entire herd of horses.

What does that have to do with weird friends, you may ask?  You see. We were sitting around the table discussing where the animals must be coming from and we decided they were coming through the pond on the farm called, Loch Lonnie.  Then, we decided it would be cool if a hot man showed up.  Yes, there was a very tasty merlot involved in this conversation.

After they left, I decided to give it a go. Loch Lonnie is a vortex between Angus, Scotland and the Ozarks. All sorts of critters come through, including a hot Scotsman in his full highland glory, a dragon and a unicorn (hey, why not?)  Only problem is that vortex is a one-way trip to the boondocks. Nothing gets through to Scotland.

Now, how is the main character going to get that highlander home? Kilt, ghillie brogues and an accent like no other…maybe she doesn’t want to send him back.

3: What genre does your book come under?
Contemporary/fantasy romance

4: Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition?
I honestly don’t picture actors playing the roles of my characters. So, I find this question difficult to answer especially since Loch Lonnie is in its early stages, but I’ll give it a go.

Eliza Lindsay: Isla Fischer or Alicia Silverstone

Robert Cobb: Gerard Butler or John Barrowman—oh, so dreamy

Clyde, the dragon should be voiced by Sean Connery. I mean really, who else could it be?

5: What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?

When her father dies, Eliza Lindsay is left alone on her huge farm with nothing but her memories until one day a calf walks onto her deck. Then, a couple of sheep show up, a herd of horses, and a gaggle of geese followed by a hunky highlander complete with kilt and sporran. As if that’s not enough a dragon pops through and makes its home on an upper field of her farm. Her father is determined to bring her a good man and upon his death a vortex has opened in Loch Lonnie between the Ozarks and Angus, Scotland. A one-way ticket to the boondocks.
Eliza must find a way to get the animals to their rightful owners and find a way to get the hot Scot back to Angus. By the time she figures it all out, she doesn’t want them to leave.

6: Is your book self-published, published by an independent publisher, or represented by an agency?
Shopping for an agent. I’ve published 2 contemporary romances through The Wild Rose Press.

7: How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript?
Still working on it, but I’d say six to eight months to finish the first draft and then several months editing.

8: What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?
The Outlander Series by Diana Gabaldon—without the time travel
9: Who or what inspired you to write this book?
All the strays that show up on the family farm, plus kilts are sexy as hell.

10: What else about your book might pique the reader’s interest?
Loch Lonnie is an interesting mix of contemporary romance and fantasy. It’s unique in the fact that the vortex isn’t a gateway for time traveler. It’s a modern-day phenomena, but ancient ways solve the dilemma of getting Robert back to Scotland. And of course, as with all Claire Croxton originals, there’s an abundance of cats, snark and sex.

Shakespeare, Dickens and the Song of Solomon

Shakespeare, Dickens and the Song of Solomon.

Shakespeare, Dickens and the Song of Solomon

Yep. Santorini Sunset has been compared to all of the above.  Check out the latest review on Amazon or read it here:

Now available on Amazon!

Santorini Sunset by Claire Croxton is the first romance novel I’ve ever read. Shakespeare, Dickens, and biblical literature are more my taste and background in reading. Yet, I found myself turning page after page, eager to see what the next turn of events would be. Caroline, the main character, was made more interesting by having her thoughts juxtaposed to her actions. Readers can find this technique used by the Bard himself in such characters as Hamlet and Iago. Ms. Croxton also found use for Dickens’ technique of switching points of view, as in A Tale of Two Cities. Besides Caroline, there’s Raul, her love interest. Moving from Caroline’s view of a situation to Raul’s perspective gives readers insights into the psyches of both characters. Finally, there is sex. What I suspect all readers of this genre anticipate. Ms. Croxton understands its importance in this novel, but doesn’t abuse it, or the reader, by making it tawdry. When love-making occurs, the author portrays it with a sensuality that is enticing and more reminiscent of passages from Song of Solomon than porn magazines.

Santorini Sunset is a fun read. Claire Croxton has done a wonderful job of portraying characters in a meaningful fashion. That doesn’t mean that this novel is one melodramatic moment after another. It’s FUN! Caroline’s views, actions, and relationships are often hilarious, which adds to the page turning effect this book had on me. For such a curmudgeon of classical literature, I found I enjoyed this novel, and I think many others will as well…even if you don’t care for romance novels!

Santorini Sunset Gets 5-Star Reviews!


Santorini Sunset Gets 5-Star Reviews!.

Romantic Gestures

Now available on Amazon!

I’m the featured blogger on Romancing the Book today. My post is all about romantic gestures.


This is an example of a romantic gesture from Santorini Sunset–now available on Amazon and Barnes and Noble. The e-book should be available this week as well.

Excerpt: This is the day after the Gabriella’s wedding. Caroline has spent all her time in Santorini working for the caterer and organizing the reception and seating charts. Raul does this romantic gesture for her. Do you think Caroline appreciated it?

Raul took my hand and I followed him. Mother and Daddy smiled as we walked past them. They were moving very slowly. People milled around the yard, taking down tents and cleaning up the evidence of a party well appreciated. Raul helped me in the Jeep, even though I was no longer hindered by the confining dress. At the harbor, he pulled a picnic basket out the back the Jeep and we walked to Daddy’s sailboat.

Oh cool, a picnic on the boat. How nice. I was floored when he maneuvered out of the slip. Daddy never let anyone touch his boat. We sailed around the western point of the island and when we turned back eastward, I smiled.

“You said Red Beach was one of your favorite places. I asked your dad about it and he said that driving to it, like we did, was good, but sailing to it was much better. He agreed that you didn’t have any fun this trip, so we arranged this little outing for you.”

“That’s very thoughtful of you. Thank you so much.” I wasn’t sure what to say. We were going to miss our ferry back to Athens, but I didn’t care. A few more hours of pretend sounded good to me. We moored in the cove and took a dinghy to shore where we feasted on wedding food, wine and, honestly the best wedding cake ever made, if I did say so myself. The red volcanic cliffs soared behind us. The mixture of red and black sand was warmed by the sun and counteracted the cool breeze. The contrast of the deep blue sea against the dark sand and red cliffs could only be experienced in person. Even the most skilled photographers were unable to capture the magnificence of the beach.

My mind raced with questions for Raul, but I didn’t even know where to start. Hung over and dreading the long trip back to the States, plus the fear of what the answers would be kept me silent. I breathed the salt air, watched the seagulls ride the breeze and threw my head back so I could catch all the rays of the warm sun that I could. For the first time in a week, I relaxed.

My first impulse was to cry. There were so many pent up emotions in me that needed releasing and only a sobfest would purge me, but I didn’t want to subject Raul to any more of my emotional outbursts. Instead, I sat silently and felt the splendor of the magical place repair my soul. All the negative events were washed away and I was left with a future of happiness and levity. Raul didn’t say a thing. He let me revitalize. Something else to admire about him, he knew when to be quiet. When it was time to go, Raul took my hand and helped me from the coarse, rocky beach.

We sailed back to the harbor in companionable silence. At the house, we threw things in our suitcases and met
Daddy, who drove us to the airport. He and Raul had rearranged our itineraries to allow for the sailing trip.

Peacocks in Paradise

Now available on Amazon!

In case you haven’t heard, Santorini Sunset is now available on Amazon!  Woohoo and Yeehaw! The Kindle version will be available in May.

If you’ve seen the book trailer: Santorini Sunset by Trailer Trash Productions, you’ll remember the line: “Somewhere between my wedding cake baking and peacock herding . . .”

Several people have asked me about that, so here’s a scene from Santorini Sunset that explains how the peacocks became part of the wedding in paradise.  Hope you enjoy:

“Caroline!” Mother screamed. “Get down here this instant!” Mother doesn’t scream. She manipulates, insults and demands, but screaming wasn’t in her arsenal.

Something was amiss.

“Dammit.” The no swearing vow would have to wait until I was stateside again.

Raul laughed.

I kissed him one more time to make sure I wasn’t dreaming, threw on a robe and went downstairs. The racket was ear-piercing. Loud screeches.

People scurrying about. More loud screeches. Feathers floating in the air. Feathers? What the heck?

“What did you say to the florist?” Mother demanded.

“What are you talking about?” I was completely confused. Then, through the kitchen window, I saw it. Or them, I should say. “Oh no!” I moaned and put my face in my hands. “No! No! No!” I left the house.

The yard was littered with fifteen of the loudest, most obnoxious creatures on earth. Peacocks, in all their vain glory, strutted across the yard.

Gabi ran outside. She was wearing a pair of extremely short shorts and a tank-top. Morning yoga would be my guess. Her peace and tranquility shattered by the screeching of the beasts. When she saw the birds, she fell to the ground, crying hysterically.

“You’re ruining my wedding!” she accused me.

“Me? What did I do?”

“You ordered peacocks! I thought you were my friend and you’re trying to ruin my wedding. First the ribbon and now this! Are you that jealous of me?”

Let’s talk about ruining someone’s wedding! Of course, I didn’t say that.

“Gabi. I didn’t order peacocks and I’ve never been jealous of you.” I said it calmly. I was quite proud of myself.

The delivery boy, who was standing terror stricken next to the truck, handed me the manifest.

The order date was three months prior. When I saw who ordered them, my eyes bulged out of my head. Another glance to be sure. No way! I looked at him, confused, and he shrugged.

“Fess up!” I demanded.

Everyone turned to Albert. “Sweetheart, remember when we were at dinner a few months ago in Napa? There were peacocks roaming the gardens? You said you thought they were beautiful, so I thought I’d surprise you with them at the wedding. I know I should have talked it over with you first.”

“Oh Albert!” Gabi ran into his arms. “That is the sweetest thing, ever! I love you so much!”

Great! When I ordered them I was a jealous sister, hell-bent on ruining her wedding, but Albert ordering them…

Why peacocks? My friend, Amethyst, and I were in Crete and encountered these lovely creatures. I have at least 300 pictures of them, so I figured I needed to use them in a book. How’s that for creative process?