Welcome to my home on the web. You may have noted the mountains in the banner are the misty Blue Ridge of North Carolina. Did you know time traveling Highlanders live there? Read about them in the Highland Gardens series. Curious about the big cat? Florida panther~from the Crimson Storm paranormal novel, Sea Panther.

Sunday, July 28, 2013

Sneak Peek Sunday - 'Just Beyond the Garden Gate'

Welcome to this week's Sneak Peek. For more Sneak Peek fun, check out the other participating authors by clicking the link below. Hope you enjoy this wee snippet!

Still shivering from the sensation of his velvety tongue gliding over her palm, Laurie glanced around the hall. Everyone stared, many with smirks, while others harbored hostile expressions on their infuriated faces.

Mortified, she stepped down hard on the bridge of his foot. He chuckled at her lame attempt to hurt him. She wished she wore heels instead of soft China flats. Stilettos. Something that would do damage.

When he released her and stepped away, Elspeth leaned close to whisper. “Curtsy.”

Laurie wanted to slap the grin off Patrick’s arrogant face. Instead, she inhaled a bracing breath, swallowed her pride, executed a clumsy curtsy, and nearly fell to the floor.

He caught her arm in time to stop her from landing hard. “Now the whole clan kens you belong to me,” he said in a quiet voice, thankfully only she heard.

He’d the nerve to laugh, the hearty sound echoing through the hall. She wanted to spit in his face or knee him in the gonads. Feeling her temper escalate, yet knowing she dare not make a scene, she glared at the jerk.

Click here
to join in the fun
and hop along
with Sneak Peek Sunday.

~Dawn Marie

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Rainbows and Flowers and Parties

Last evening my husband went out to water the garden and called me out to see a rainbow. A romantic moment to share. Priceless.

I promised some pictures from RWA 2013, but realized I didn't take many. These flowers were one of TWO bouquets that arrived at our room for my roommate. Very romantic for a man to send roses to a romance author at a romance conference. Must be a keeper.

There was much to do at RWA® 2013. Workshops, retreats, author signings, parties. One of the highlights for me was the FF&P gathering. Here are the five finalists from the costume contest. Caryn Moya Block (far left) won the bragging rights. On the far right is A.E. Jones, 2013 Golden Heart® winner for paranormal. Congrats, A.E.!

Waiting with Emma Leigh Reed for the 2013 RITA® and Golden Heart awards to begin. Although I didn't win, I'm honored to have been among the finalists.

~Dawn Marie

Monday, July 22, 2013

Blogging at Voices From the Heart Today

Whew! Back from RWA2013. Had a great time and met a ton of wonderful people. I have a short post up at Voices From the Heart today. I'll post some photos here tomorrow.

~Dawn Marie

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Welcome to this week's Sneak Peek. For more Sneak Peek fun, check out the other participating authors by clicking the link below. Hope you enjoy this wee snippet!

With Lady Laurie’s denial burning in his mind, Patrick was rougher with the lass than proper. Battle lust rode him hard. He wasn’t about to be denied by a mere slip of a lass. He would teach her a lesson. A lesson he thoroughly planned to enjoy.

Facing the crowd, he held her tight, waiting for silence. In a thunderous voice, everyone in the room would be sure to hear, he said, “I have sent the Lamont dog back to his master with his tail betwixt his legs.”

His clan cheered, stomping their feet and pounding their fists on the tables. Again, he waited for silence. Firmly holding onto Laurie, he ignored her struggles to escape his grip. When the crowd calmed, he cleared his throat.

All eyes riveted to the couple on the dais.

“I present to you the Lady Laurie Bernard.” He held her hand out in front of them so the crowd was sure to see he clasped it. “She has come to us from France to be companion to my wee sister, Lady Elspeth. Hear me. She is under my protection and shall be treated as my honored guest.”

Laurie subtly tried to free herself, but he easily held her in place. He flipped her hand palm up, bowed his head and placed a kiss in the center, licking her palm with the tip of his tongue.

Click here
to join in the fun
and hop along
with Sneak Peek Sunday.

~Dawn Marie

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Sneak Peek Sunday - 'Just Beyond the Garden Gate'

For this week's Sneak Peek, we're with Patrick. He's musing on the lady who claims to be from the future. For more Sneak Peek fun, check out the other participating authors by clicking the link below. Hope you enjoy this wee snippet!

Patrick ground his teeth, annoyed to discover he stared out the window of his private work chamber like a besotted fool. The sun shined brightly to the east. He’d barely noticed the men fishing from the beach below, the rippling water of the small bay or the distant heather covered hills. Good Lord, the castle could have been under attack and he wouldn’t have noticed.

Emotions he normally suppressed crippled him, making him uncertain how to proceed. Clenching his hands into fists, he reflected on his earlier conversation with Lady Laurie. She told an incredible tale, one most would not believe. He wasn’t most, and unfortunately, he believed her. He knew, for certain, brownies and faeries existed. He’d even heard some of the fae possessed the ability to sift the sands of time.

Munn told him Caitrina, one of the Sithichean, was in some way involved with both the lass and with his missing parents. Could she sift time? Was it possible she was capable of such an extraordinary power? He hadn’t yet questioned the lass about her connection to the faerie or about the brooch she wore, not wanting to warn her of his interest. He planned to bide his time until he gained her trust.

After seeing her in the bath, he knew how to accomplish that. He was determined to seduce Lady Laurie into sharing his bed.

Smiling at the mental image of her curvy, naked body stretched across the furs on his bed, he loosened his fists and turned away from the window. He paced the chamber. Concern replaced lust. No one had seen Munn since the lass appeared. With such unusual events happening, it was odd the clan brownie had gone missing. Munn’s absence worried him more than he wanted to admit.

An unbidden thought pricked his mind. Could the lass be responsible for Munn’s absence? Quite the riddle he needed to solve.


Click here
to join in the fun
and hop along
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~Dawn Marie

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

What's in Bloom? Crape Myrtle, Phlox, Sunflowers

There has been much discussion since we moved into our new home as to the possible color of the crape myrtle tree in our front garden. I didn't want to select new plants until I knew the color of the tree. The neighbor's tree bloomed lavender. Another's bloomed white. Ours was slow, building anticipation. The colordeep rose.

I'll take pictures of the garden now and design a plan during the winter to harmonize with the crape myrtle. Plants will be ordered and planted in the spring. A garden faerie statue would be a nice addition. We'll have a refurbished garden for 2014.

A new garden is always full of surprises. When I weeded in the spring, I left behind a couple of sprouts I wasn't sure about. Maybe they were weeds. If I was lucky, they might grow into a garden specimen.

I'm so glad I didn't rip them out and discard them. They turned out to be white phlox with a heavenly scent.

Before we hung the thistle feeder on this part of the fence, we had a sunflower feeder, hoping to attract cardinals, titmice, and chickadees.

Some of the seeds fell and sprouted and now we have a run of volunteer sunflower plants.

It's pleasant to sit in the back garden and work. This week, I'm editing the second book in the Highland Gardens series, Just Once in a Verra Blue Moon, planned for a September release.

~Dawn Marie

Sunday, July 7, 2013

Sneak Peek Sunday: Just Beyond the Garden Gate

For this week's Sneak Peek, we're in Patrick's bedchamber and Laurie has just awoken from her faint. For more Sneak Peek fun, check out the other participating authors by clicking the link below. Hope you enjoy this wee snippet!

His gaze held hers. Heat crept into her cheeks. Unable to look away, she shivered, remembering what he said about her belonging to him. “Where is Castle Lachlan?” And how did I get here? She bit her lower lip. The same questions hovered beyond the grasp of her conscious mind before she fainted.

He stared, long and hard, before answering. “The Highlands.”
She gulped and glanced at the furs spread across the bed. An extremely large four-poster bed with a canopy and heavy blue curtains pulled back at each corner post. The stone walls were covered in tapestries. Tapestries that looked much newer than any she’d seen at the Cloisters in New York or at any other museum for that matter. A huge fireplace took up most of one wall. A fire crackled, lending an ordinary air to a setting that was anything but.

Similar to antiques she’d seen in museums were several chairs and a table. Only these looked new. Excellent reproductions? Could they be originals?

With growing apprehension, she noted the lack of lamps. There were no light switches or outlets. Candles lit the room. Something was terribly wrong if what she was beginning to suspect was true. She flipped her gaze to Patrick. He sat like the king of his domain, exuding barely leashed power, stoically watching her.

She didn’t imagine the Highlands he spoke of were in North Carolina. She’d once read a fantasy novel about a woman who’d been sucked into a book and traveled through space and time. Although she feared the answer, she had to ask. “What year is this?"


Click here
to join in the fun
and hop along
with Sneak Peek Sunday.

~Dawn Marie

Friday, July 5, 2013

The Next Big Thing Blog Hop Stop - Men in Kilts, Time Travel, and Faeries

This is a fabulous way to find new authors and books. My thanks to Sandra Owens for inviting me to join in the fun. My next big thing, my next book:

1: What is the working title of your book?
Just Once in a Verra Blue Moon

2: Where did the idea come from for the book?
I'm enamored with all things Scottish. Just Once in a Verra Blue Moon is the second book in the Highland Gardens series and is the story of Finn and Elspeth, characters introduced in the fist book, Just Beyond the Garden Gate.

3: What genre does your book come under?
Scottish Time Travel Romance

4: Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition?
Oh, this is an impossible question since I'm not up on the latest movie stars. I'll have to pass. :)

5: What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?What happens when a twenty-first century business executive is expected to fulfill a prophecy given at the birth of a sixteenth century seer: raise his sword in her defense, of course.

6: Is your book self-published, published by an independent publisher, or represented by an agency?
Self-published. Planned for release September 2013.

7: How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript?
Hard to say. About half was written when the story was put aside to work on another project. When the other project—Sea Panther, a 2013 Golden Heart Finalist—was completed, I finished Just Once in a Verra Blue Moon.

8: What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?
Perhaps a wee bit like the Scottish time travels of Lynn Kurland, but spicier.

9: Who or what inspired you to write this book?
A whisky billboard in Brussels featuring a hunk-worthy Highlander inspired the first book. The rest of the series just followed.

10: What else about your book might pique the reader’s interest?
Perhaps an excerpt will pique interest. During the Highland Games in the Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina, Finn attends a party at his cousin's home.


Finn adjusted the sword on his back as he and Douglas joined Patrick’s parents, Mairi and Iain, and the guests standing around their host.

“Quiet. Please.” Patrick smiled at the crowd and held up his glass. “A toast to my sweet wife—”

He stared at Laurie. She gaped toward the back of the garden, to the gate and beyond, her face ashen.

A stranger stood on the knoll beyond the gate, brandishing a claymore in the air, until the man’s watery image faded, vanishing into swirling mist.

“Maclay!” Patrick darted toward the gate.

Before he ran through, his father grabbed his arm, holding him back with a don’t-even-think-it grip. “You cannot go. You have bairns and a wife now. We dinnae ken whether you could ever return here.”

Finn’s temper flared. He slipped past Patrick and bolted for the gate.

“No, Finn. You mustn’t,” Laurie cried.

The entreaty came too late. He sprinted through the gate and into a dense fog.

“He will not be alone.” As if from a great distance, he heard Patrick’s words.

Then the world spun, or so it seemed. The pressure was unbearable and the pain almost more than he could endure. He pressed his hands against the sides of his head, afraid his brain would explode.

A bright light burst behind his eyelids.

He fell. The sensation of weightlessness overcame him. Changing colors swirled around in slow motion, flashing and dulling erratically. His mind separated from his physical body. He watched, as if from another realm, and continued to fall.

Falling downward, down…down…down, into a black expanse of nothingness. All color faded from existence. His mind merged with the dark. Blackness surrounded him, enveloping him, frightening him. He thought to scream, but the sound choked on the lump in his throat.

The speed of his descent increased.

Colors erupted. Lights flashed.

“What the—”

He sped toward a narrow opening, and once there was sucked through into a dull gray sky. Still, he fell.

Water flowed below him—a rushing river.

His body took on weight, becoming heavier as he dropped. He slammed hard against the water and plunged into the cold, murky depths.

* * *

I'm tagging the following authors for the Next Big Thing Blog Hop:

~Dawn Marie

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Visiting With The Rubies

I'm visiting with the Ruby Slippered Sisterhood (2009 Golden Heart® Finalists) at their blog today, talking about 'the dream'.  Please stop by if you have a free moment.

~Dawn Marie