Smart Girls Read Romance -- so do the bestselling and award-winning Authors who write this blog.
Join them as they dish about Books, Romance, Love, and Life.

Monday, June 30, 2014

Interview with Cover Model, Padme Kane by Kimmie Easley

I have recently had the great fortune of working with a new cover model. Padme Kane is the gorgeous beauty on the cover of Tasting Texas.

The first time I saw this pic, I knew without a doubt she was the face of Beth, a stunning natural beauty. What I didn't expect was that Padme is a master at changing up her look and is also the face of Hope from Tasting New York! Check out the cover for the second novella in The Tasting Series.

Maybe you can see why I'm beyond excited to have the opportunity to interview the super talented model and friend. So let's get started!

KE: First, tell us a little about yourself.....

PK: I am an Aquarius, Scorpio rising, Capricorn moon! I am a model, wanna-be writer, and an upcoming full-time cosmetology and business student.  I’m a strange person in general, loyal friend, and a lover of laughter! 

KE: What are your goals as a model? How do you see yourself progress in the field?  

PK: My goal as a model is to simply have fun.  I hope to grace many covers of many books and hopefully other media as well, but my main objective is to always take good, creative photos that people enjoy looking at and that represent their work well. 

KE: Ok, let's face it, you're hot. What do you do to stay in shape? What does being fit look like for you?  

PK: You are awesome, thank you!  I participate in martial arts and I practice yoga.  I really enjoy making traditionally unhealthy dishes healthy.  You don’t have to sacrifice flavor when eating healthy.  Something else that may sound like more like an annoyance but I have made it a habit, is that I park at the very back of every parking lot I visit.  Raining or not.  I enjoy the extra exercise and more people need to learn to breathe and walk in the rain.  Being fit?  Being fit looks like you are healthy and comfortable with your body. 

KE: What are your likes and dislikes? Yes, sounds a little Hustler/Playboy, but I love this question!  

PK: Hmmm.  I am such an opinionated person so I don’t know where to begin.  I like food, music to an insane extreme, dancing, good people, and anything where I can move my body ;-)  Dislikes?  Inconsiderate drivers, Spam (the “food”), insincerity, disloyalty.

KE: We know that you take a hot photo and have made your debut on the cover of an erotic romance novella. What are your limitations? Where would you draw the line? 

PK: A FANTASTIC novella that I cannot wait to finish reading, btw!  J  I am very comfortable with my body and consider modeling artistic, to a certain extent.  My limitations are unknown at this point.  I think, I will know when I reach them.  If something makes me uncomfortable or it doesn’t feel right to me, then I will know. 

KE: Oh! Oh! Oh! That's MY little novella, Tasting Texas. Still on cloud nine! Ok, moving on. Do you do your own hair and make-up? What would be your number one beauty tip? 

PK: I have a fantastic hair stylist, Rachel Lily Campbell, but I style my own hair and do my make-up for my shoots.  It is a creative outlet for me to create certain looks that go with each outfit or theme.  It is truly enjoyable for me.  My number one beauty tip would be to keep those cheeks rosy.  If I only could wear one piece of make-up, it would be blush.  A light rosy glow keeps you looking radiant. 

KE: What are your other aspirations?  

PK: To put the inner workings of my devious mind on paper and hope people enjoy them.  To become a writer and photographer as well as a model.  I would love to do hair, make-up, and wardrobe for a model and then take their pictures.  I aspire to travel one day and find beauty everywhere.  Perhaps to create my own personal Zen.  J

KE: Who do you look to for inspiration?  

PK: Hmmm.  I don’t really look up to anybody, as odd as that may sound.  I do get inspired from time to time, by friends, political figures, children, and by music.  Sometimes, just having somebody believe in you, can inspire you.  I hope I have inspired others as well. 

KE: Let's play.... If you could grace the cover of one famous author who would it be?  

PK: Oh, Kimmie!  This is tough.  I can’t choose one!  Poe, Ray Bradbury, Anne Rice, Vladimir Nobokov. 

KE: Where can we find more about you and check out your portfolio? 

PK: I am in the process of building my website (keep an eye out) and am also preparing for a scheduled shoot to build my portfolio. 

You can find more of me and my photos on Facebook here ---> Padme on FB and on Twitter here --->  Padme on Twitter 

KE: Who would play you in a movie bio pic about your rise to stardom (yeah, we're assuming that happens)? 

PK: Hmmm, Liv Tyler-Empire Records era

KE: Padme, thank you so much for spending time with me and answering my quirky questions. Any parting words? 

PK: Thank you for having me!  I truly enjoy chatting with you.  Stay true to yourself people and remember your worth.  Never slouch.  Walk with a purpose.  J

I truly enjoyed my chat with Padme and am excited about our upcoming projects. There are a lot of great things in store for us both! Keep up with us for the latest! 

Kimmie on Facebook
Kimmie on Twitter
Kimmie's Website: Kimmie Easley
Kimmie on Goodreads

Kimmie on Amazon

Image of Kimmie Easley

Saturday, June 28, 2014

Romancing Colonial America!

Banner for Traitor's Legacy and the event
Drama, adventure, intrigue! The American Revolution has long called to me. Part of my draw to this era stems from research into my early American and British ancestors who fought on both sides of that sweeping conflict. One direct forebear five generations removed, Sam Houston, uncle of the famous Sam, fought in the Battle of Guilford Courthouse, NC, and kept a diary used by historians today. Another tie to the past is my grandfather, seven greats back, Sir George Augustus Elliott, a British general and Governor of Gibraltar during the American Revolution. He was awarded the title Lord Heathfield, Baron of Gibraltar, in honor of his bravery in its defense during the attack by the Spanish and French. While Sir George was giving his all for king and country, his grandson was fighting under George Washington as a commissary officer. There must have been quite a rift in that family.
Enemyoftheking resizedThe first book to come out of this rich well of inspiration was award-winning historical romance novel Enemy of the King, published in 2009 by The Wild Rose Press. I didn't stop there. A sequel featuring the fascinating antagonist in Enemy of the King, British dragoon Captain Jacob Vaughan, tugged at my mind. I even had a plot and title, Traitor’s Legacy. Try as I might, though, I couldn't settle on the right location to set the story, so left it to simmer.
In late spring, 2012, North Carolinian, Ann See, a huge fan of Enemy of the King and fellow colonial American enthusiast, contacted me about writing a sequel set in the oft overlooked, but historically significant town of Halifax, NC. As Enemy of the King takes place in North and South Carolina, and I have strong ties to the Carolinas, this suggestion was appealing.
IMG_7459At Ann’s invitation, husband Dennis and I made a trip to Historic Halifax, and were given a royal tour of this carefully preserved glimpse into our nation’s dynamic past. The quaint town is like a mini colonial Williamsburg. Most impressive among Halifax’s claims to fame, in the spring of 1776, North Carolina’s Fourth Provincial Congress met there, and on April 12, unanimously adopted a document later called the ‘Halifax Resolves,’ the first official action by a colony proclaiming their independence from England. This made Halifax a nest of rebels and thorn in the side of the British––what I needed for my plot.
(Image of Beth and the guide touring a home in Historic Halifax)

Some people ask, ‘Why write historical romance?’ I reply, ‘Why not?’ Folks fell in love back then too, and romance adds that thrill of excitement. The attraction between British Captain Vaughan and Patriot Claire Monroe most certainly leaps off the pages in Traitor’s Legacy. They were one of my all-time favorite couples to write.
Photo of Person's Ordinary #2JPGMuch of the story takes place in and around Historic Halifax in what is now the town of Littleton. Person’s Ordinary, featured in the novel, was an important stage-coach stop and is the oldest landmark in Halifax County. Located in Littleton, Person’s Ordinary is the oldest preserved structure of its kind in the East, and once served as a tavern owned by Thomas Person. The Ordinary was occupied by the British in May 1781 when they made their way through Halifax en route to Virginia. The British Legion, also known as Tarleton’s Legion, headed by the infamous Lieutenant Colonel Banastre Tarleton, were on horseback and out in front of the rest of the army under command of General Lord Cornwallis. Tarleton underestimated the harassment inflicted by the local militia, whose stubborn resistance resulted in a prolonged stay by the British and reprisals against the town. In fact, there was so much looting that when Lord Cornwallis arrived, he had to court-martial and execute one sergeant and a dragoon. Apparently, his lordship didn’t want to leave a trail of animosity everywhere his army went. (Image of Person’s Ordinary)
174389418Thornton Hall, the plantation home featured in Traitor’s Legacy, is drawn from a run down but once outstanding old house located a mile or two from Person’s Ordinary. The original home was also built by Thomas Person. He wouldn't recognize it now. Dusk was falling when Dennis and I, guided by Ann, drove to the overgrown site to see the derelict house. I knew at once I’d found the perfect home for the novel. Ann supplied me with descriptions of the old house in its glory days and I resurrected it, like restoring the Titanic, with some poetic license, of course. I’d love to move into Thornton Hall. The gardens are also lovely. I hope you enjoy your tour.
Mystery, intrigue, spies, a coded letter, and stirring romance fill the pages of Traitor’s Legacy. Bringing history to life.

TraitorsLegacy_w8945_med.jpg (official cover) (2)Story Description
: 1781. On opposite sides of the War of Independence, British Captain Jacob Vaughan and Claire Monroe find themselves thrust together by chance and expediency.
Captain Vaughan comes to a stately North Carolina manor to catch a spy. Instead, he finds himself in bedlam: the head of the household is an old man ravaged by madness, the one sane male of the family is the very man he is hunting, and the household is overseen by his beguiling sister Claire.
Torn between duty, love, and allegiances, yearning desperately for peace, will Captain Vaughan and Claire Monroe forge a peace of their own against the vagaries of war and the betrayal of false friends?
Back to the novel that started it all, Enemy of the King made the top ten Publisher’s Weekly BHB Reader’s Choice Best Books of 2009  and is on the 2010 Best Romance Novel List at Buzzle.
“I thoroughly enjoyed Enemy of the King…the characters are memorable, the setting beautifully described…the action riveting and the romance tender. For anyone who loves a well-crafted historical romance.” ~Reviewed by Poinsettia for Long and Short Reviews
“Beth Trissel is a skilled storyteller and scene builder. She immediately plunges the reader into action and excitement with a vivid sense of time and
place.” ~For Enemy of the King by Award-winning Romance Author Kris Kennedy
Traitor’s Legacy is coming out August 13th, 2014 by the Wild Rose Press. The third book in the Traitor’s Legacy Series is in the works. Romancing Colonial Americaa growing event evolving around the book signing, will take place on Oct. 11th in Historic Halifax.
148227848Experience the best of colonial America during this special event packed with activities, demonstrations, tours, music, dance, a book signing, and more on Saturday, October 11th, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Historic Halifax State Historic Site.Romancing Colonial America will highlight the eighteenth century from pirate days through the revolution!
A book signing and reception will be held at the Royal White Hart Masonic Lodge, No. 2 (130 Saint David Street, Halifax, NC) 12:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. Pre-order your copy of Traitor’s Legacy, available for $15 each, call (252) 583-7191 to reserve copies, and make checks payable to Historical Halifax Restoration Association, Inc. Pre-orders can be picked up on the day of the event.
dance_200Enjoy colonial period musical performances and dances at various times throughout the historic site. Folk musicians, flutists, singers, and costumed dancers will provide eighteenth century entertainment in various locations on site. Also, throughout the day from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., colonial era living-history demonstrations performed by costumed re-enactors will take place along with tours of the site’s historic buildings which date from circa 1760 through the 1830s. Stop by the Historic Halifax State Historic Site Visitor Center to pick up a complete schedule of activities and an event map.
For more information about Romancing Colonial America and any related activities, please call Historic Halifax at (252) 583-7191 or Historic Halifax is within the Division of Sate Historic Sites in the NC Department of Cultural Resources and is located at 25 Saint David Street, Halifax, NC 27839

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

A Whole Passel of "Honky Tonk Heart" Stories by Vonnie Davis

I started my writing career with The Wild Rose Press in 2010 when I was a mere girl of sixty-two. In the Spring of 2011, they announced a new series called the Honky Tonk Hearts. These were to be novellas, less than 40,000 words, with at least one pivotal scene set in a modern day Texas saloon, called the Lonesome Steer Honky Tonk, along the old Route 66. Three main characters were named and described. While they could be used as minor characters, they could not be major players in the stories.

Something about the idea intrigued me.

The coolest thing was, it also intrigued several other writers.

My problem was I'd never written "short" before. I had only ever written novels. So the question remained: could a wordy soul like me write a good story, with a strong plot and likable characters in half the space of a full-length book? I learned a lot in the making every word count. I ended up writing two novellas for the series--Those Violet Eyes and Back Where You Belong.

Those Violet Eyes won first place in the novella division of the NERFA--National Excellence in Romance Fiction Award and also first place in the novella division of the IDA's--International Digital Awards. Other novellas in the series won awards too. 

TODAY, all these novellas, written by various talented authors,  have been released in 2 boxed sets, just as they should be...together for your enjoyment!


Think about it...cowboys, country singers, ex-military, military personnel on leave, strong women and love, Texan style. Available at The Wild Rose Press, Amazon and Barnes and Noble.

Tuesday, June 24, 2014


I'm not sure when it started. I remember reading Ain't She Sweet? by Susan Elizabeth Phillips back around 2004. At first, I didn't think I could enjoy a book about a young woman, Sugar Beth Carey, spoiled and all round bitch (sorry) who returns to her hometown to face all the people she tormented.  I wasn't a big fan of Scarlett O'Hara, so this didn't sound like my kind of book. Surprise! Susan made her sympathetic and redeemed her in the end. It is one of my favorite books.

Wicked the Musical by sugarXfrostNow, there seems to be a surge of formerly "bad" girls telling their story and explaining how they got a bad rap. For example, Wicked, the Musical. Who knew, Elphaba, the Wicked Witch of the West was mistreated and completely misunderstood.

Maleficent is the iconic "evil witch" but she has her own movie telling the other side of the story. Oh, she started out good, then turned bad, then back to good. Confusing? Yeah, but it is a lot of fun.

So, what's next?  Maybe we've become tired of the good girl heroines. Sort of like eating too much chocolate. Sweetness and perfection gets sickening after a while. Harlequin churned out hundreds of books about rich, but flawed bad boys and wide eyed, helpless secretaries. Lately, I've noticed their heroines are finally getting stronger and showing their teeth, too.

I like this trend. It shakes up our beliefs and makes us think. Maybe the ugly step-sisters had good reason for resenting Cinderella. Not everyone is born beautiful.

Sunday, June 22, 2014


By Katie O'Sullivan, guest author

Thanks for inviting me to visit your lovely blog! My latest book is a contemporary romance set on Cape Cod, titled MY KIND OF CRAZY. Here’s a little about the book before I tell you about the inspiration for the novel:

Kendall Roarke is betting everything on making her Harwichport Bed & Breakfast into the premier wedding destination on Cape Cod, despite her recent messy divorce.
Jonathan Reynolds moved back to the Cape to take over his uncle's business and start fresh after his own marriage ended. He's not looking for anything complicated - until he meets Kendall, with her big plans and wild mop of curls.
Throw an unruly foster puppy and an uptight new neighbor into the mix and things get a little crazy. Now Kendall has to decide if it's the kind of crazy that she can live with... for the rest of her life.

What inspired me to write this particular book? Well, at the time I was writing, my life was – you guessed it – a little crazy. We live on Cape Cod year round, but at the time were trying to decide whether to move off-Cape or stay put and renovate our home. My second child had just started high school away from his middle school friends and it was a constant battle…and then my husband surprised us by bringing home a puppy. A Saint Bernard puppy!

He promised she was the runt of the litter and wouldn’t ever get too big. Yeah, right. A “small” Saint is still 150 pounds. But she wiggled her way into our hearts pretty quickly, despite the antics and the stubborn attitude. She made life a little extra crazy. When we decided to stay on Cape Cod and started talking to contractors, I heard a lot of stories of crazy neighbors and frustrated builders and started thinking I had the start of a story. Throw in a stubborn puppy and it turned into MY KIND OF CRAZY.

I love stories of second chances and starting over. Lots of people end up here on Cape Cod for a fresh start or to try something new. The locals call us “washashores,” which is different from the “summer people” and the tourists. The entire Cape economy is based on tourism, and we’re lucky to live in such a beautiful spot that so many people want to spend their precious vacation time here!

Katie O'Sullivan, Author

Katie O’Sullivan lives with her family and big dogs near the ocean on Cape Cod, drinking way too much coffee and inventing new excuses not to dust. Living next to the Atlantic influences everything she writes. A recovering English major, she earned her degree at Colgate University and now writes romance for young adults and the young at heart. Her editing column, “The Write Way,” appears in the Literary Women section of CapeWomenOnline magazine.