M – Miranda Preston


I’m happy to introduce you to my main character, Miranda Preston

Age:  18

Birth Place:  Denver, Colorado

Current Hometown: Seattle, Washington

Occupation: Freshman in college at UT Austin

Major: Piano Performance Major

Favorite Piece to play:  Rachmaninoff’s Preludes, especially No. 5 in G major.

Physical Description: 5’7, 125 pounds, dark brown hair, light brown eyes, really long fingers, great legs. She recently lost a about 60 pounds.

Personality: Very quite, an introvert, but wanted to give off a new persona as she moves to a new town for college. Not comfortable talking about herself. Classical pianist. Very smart and reads a lot. In the past, she spent a lot of time alone.

Habits/Mannerisms: She rarely looks people in the eye unless she is angry and provoked. Not comfortable with people touching her. She is very comfortable being alone. Not very happy with herself even though she spent the last year working on herself and preparing herself to be normal. This idea of normal is important to her.

Background: When Miranda was 8-10 years old, something bad happened to her. Her parents moved her to another city and from that time forward, she has not been normal. She was strangely promiscuous during high school and was the SECRET (that’s not THE secret) f–k buddy for some of the popular boys at school.

Internal Conflicts: Can she every be normal while her past still haunts her?

External Conflicts: Can she build a life with her childhood best friend and still keep her secret in the past where it belongs?


What do you think of Miranda Preston? What’s more important when you create a character, physical attributes or internal motivation? 

Click on the giveaway buttons and follow the directions on the rafflecopter. 

Giveaway #1

Giveaway #2

Romance in the Rain Blog Tour – Get to Know Chef Ivy

I loved this idea of a group of writers from the same area getting together to make this world of writing a little less lonely. They write in different genres, but have one thing in common, they are serious writers.

I agreed to host this blog tour only if I could get a character interview with Chef Ivy Turnin.  A couple of things about her struck me.  1) She is a chef, which is one of my fantasy professions and 2) The man of her dreams is a sexy Seattle Quarterback, which is one of my fantasy love interests (see a theme here).

Everyone, please welcome Chef Ivy: 

1. What is your full name? In my family it’s tradition for the oldest child to be named after his or her father. My full name is Vincenza Antonia Turnin
2. Do you have a nickname? My friends call me Ivy.
3. Describe yourself? Physically, I am tall, but not overly thin like I was in high school. Because my job is so physically demanding, I work out regularly to increase my stamina, so I guess you could say I have an athletic build. I’m Italian with dark hair and hazel eyes just like my mother. Personality wise, I’m pretty intense when it comes to my job, but I also like to have fun. I’m a goofball at heart.
4. What is your most prized possession and why do you value it so much? My family’s restaurant. My grandparents started Vincenzo’s in the heart of the Pike’s Street Market after WWII, and our family has owned it ever since. My parents and grandparents are retired now. The restaurant belongs to me and my little brother. He lives on the east coast, and doesn’t have much interest in the business, but I couldn’t imagine any other life. My earliest memories are of being in the kitchen and watching my family laugh, love, and cook.
5. What one word best describes your personality? Earnest.
6. How did you become a chef? Cooking is in my blood. Most of what I learned was from years of observing my grandfather make his mouthwatering creations. My parents insisted I attend college, so the obvious choice was culinary art school.
7. What is your favorite meal to prepare? Puttenesca. When I was a little girl my grandpa translated the word for me, which in Italian roughly means whore. I would ask my mom to make it, just to say the word, and not get into trouble for my naughty mouth. Stupid, I know, but I was only eight.
8. What is your food guilty pleasure? Cannoli
9. What would be your last meal be? Caesar salad with fresh anchovy paste, my grandmother’s baked Manicotti, and lots of Cannoli.
10. What traits do you look for in a significant other? Honesty, integrity, and a sense of humor.
11. What meal would you prepare to get someone to fall in love with you? I made salmon Puttenesca for Sam and it worked. He fell in love with me that first night.
12. Why do you think food brings people closer together? Everybody has to eat, and sitting around a table to partake in a hearty meal invites comments, and comments lead to conversations. My parents always insisted we sit down to dinner together. It was my favorite part of the day.
13. Would you give up your career for love? I would give up a lot of things for love, but cooking isn’t one of them. It would literally be like cutting off both my arms. If Sam was traded to another team, I would move with him. I think staring a second restaurant would be a great adventure. I want my children to have the same kind of experience growing up as I had a Vicenzo’s. It is much more than a career. It’s a way of life.
Well, thanks Ivy. I appreciate your time and I can’t wait to see what happens between you and Sam.

Title: Romance in the Rain (A Seattle Anthology)

Authors: Kristine Cayne, Dawn Kravagna, Charlotte Russell, Sherri Shaw, Clare Tisdale, Marianne Stillings

Publisher: Kristine Cayne

Release Date: October 15, 2012

Pages: 360

Buy Link: Amazon (US) | Amazon (UK) | B&N | Kobo | ARe | Smashwords

Blurb:From the pioneer days of Seattle through the smoke-filled clouds of WWII and into the present, Romance in The Rain takes readers on a journey with four generations of the strong-willed and passionate Caldwell family. The anthology of six novellas is a collaboration of the Seattle-based Rainy Day Writers group.
Splendor in the Moss by Charlotte Russell—By the spring of 1853 Englishman James Caldwell has traveled thousands of miles in a quest to find a place to call home. Newly settled Seattle isn’t that place and he’s ready to move on again when widowed Mattie Jensen marches into his life as somber as a cloudy day. But James can see through the solemn haze to Mattie’s strength and passion. Now he has a reason to stay, if he can just convince Mattie to take a second chance on love—and him. (22,000 words)
Final Approachby Marianne Stillings—With the world at war, Women’s Auxiliary Ferrying Service pilot Lt. Charlene (Charlie) Thompson faces personal battles as well. Pearl Harbor left her a widowed bride, certain love would never come again – but battle-scarred Capt. Joe Caldwell has other ideas for the beautiful lady flyer, if he can just keep her safe from the secret saboteur who’s already taken the life of Charlie’s best friend. (17,000 words)
Love Phantom by Dawn Kravagna—University of Washington, 1983: A great place to get an education and meet single men. Drama major Kara Caldwell prefers to hide behind the characters in her plays, yet feels pressure to live up to the example set by her brave and witty grandmother, a veteran of WWII. Can she learn to overcome her reticence and prejudices to discover which guy truly cares for her–and who is just putting on an act? (17,000 words)
What’s Wrong with Mr. Perfect? by Sherri Shaw—No sooner did Chef Ivy Turin wish to meet the perfect man than Sam Rockney walked into her restaurant. But is the sexy Seattle quarterback for real or is there something wrong with Mr. Perfect? (17,000 words)
Shelter from the Stormby Clare Tisdale—Seven years and one broken heart later, JD Caldwell returns to Seattle to pick up the pieces of his old life, never imagining he will fall for Maya—the mysterious woman who lets him into her house and bed but keeps the door to her heart tightly closed. When their summer fling takes an unexpectedly serious turn and Maya gives him his walking papers, JD has to decide whether their love—and his legacy—is worth fighting for.(21,000 words)
Aftershocks by Kristine Cayne—When Seattle is struck by a devastating earthquake, technical rescue firefighter Jamie Caldwell must save his estranged wife and daughter from the wreckage of a collapsed building. He’s defied the odds hundreds of times, but will his luck finally run out for good? (24, 000 words)
Writing fiction is difficult and lonely and more often than not, the “normal” people in your life don’t understand the writing process and can’t fathom why you are possessed and obsessed with finding the perfect word or phrase that says exactly what you want to say right where you want to say it. Only other writers comprehend and accept that kind of torment.
To fill this need to surround herself with like-minded obsessive-compulsive self-doubting lunatics, in 2005, Marianne Stillings, who writes Romantic Suspense, established what came to be known as The Rainy Day Writers.
There were only two requirements for joining the group: You must be serious about writing and getting published, and any criticisms of co-members’ work be honest, gentle, and kind.
Over the years, the membership has changed; some people moved on, others joined. The group we have now has been stable and constant since 2009. The Rainy Day Writers are a family.
Charlotte Russell joined the group in 2006 at the suggestion of a former member. Charlotte writes Historical Romance.
Dawn Kravagna became a member in the spring of 2007 because of a writers’ list where Marianne had posted looking for new members. Dawn writes Comedy and Mystery.
In the Autumn of 2007, Sherri Shaw found her way to the group because she and Marianne happened to sit at the same table at the Emerald City Writer’s Conference that year. Sherri writes Historical Romance and Paranormal Historical Romance.
Clare Tisdale joined in 2008 as the result of an email Marianne posted on the Greater Seattle Chapter Romance Writer’s list seeking new members. Clare writes Contemporary Romance.
Kristine Cayne found the group in 2009 because she won Marianne’s raffle basket at the Emerald City Writer’s Conference that year. The basket included an offer to critique the winner’s manuscript—an evaluation that resulted in an invitation to join. Kristine writes Romantic Suspense.
For more information on Romance in the Rain and the Rainy Day Writers, visit them at http://www.seattlerainydaywriters.com
Romance in the Rain Excerpts
Splendor in the Moss by Charlotte Russell
After telling the dog to stay, he steered her away from the Jensens’ cabin, towards the woods to the south. “Thank you.”
“For what?”
“Giving me the time of day. You were gone for such a long while, I wasn’t certain you’d come back.”
“I had to fight my better judgment.”
James laughed. He couldn’t put on airs around Mattie if he tried.
Final Approach by Marianne Stillings
“You were there.” Caldwell’s voice was quiet as though he were speaking to a timid child. He took a step toward her. “You saw it, didn’t you. Didn’t you, Charlie?” Another step. And another. Suddenly, he was standing before her and she was standing, too, and his arms came around her as she pressed her head against his strong shoulder and for the first time in a year, she felt safe. Safe enough to relive the agony—and let it go. Safe enough to let someone be strong—so she could be weak. Safe enough—to cry.
And so she did.
What’s Wrong with Mr. Perfect? by Sherri Shaw
“Somehow I can’t picture you as a nerd.” You’re too perfect, Ivy silently added, fingering the amulet at her throat.  It hummed under her fingertips as the vendor’s words skated across her mind: If you truly want to find the perfect man, and restore your faith in true love, then this necklace will be your good luck talisman.” She dropped her hand, shaking off the crazy notion. It was merely a coincidence that she wished to meet the man of her dreams and Sam showed up. The necklace had nothing to do with it. Right?”
Shelter from the Storm by Clare Tisdale
A shadow crossed the window, and JD looked up in time to see a seagull fly by. Beyond the downtown high rises,  the waters of the Puget Sound lay brooding, glazed by morning mist. Much as JD hated starting over again, he realized that if he had to, he’d rather do it here than anywhere else. Seattle was his home; he belonged here.  Maya and her beach house had helped confirm that for him.
Aftershocksby Kristine Cayne
Adrenaline surging through her system, Erica hung onto the doorjamb as the quake rocked the old courthouse. The building swayed and groaned, windows rattled and shattered as the earth continued to tremble. Cracks raced across the ceiling and plaster dust showered down, covering everything in a thin white film. She’d lived in Seattle all her life but had never experienced a quake as powerful as this one.
And her daughter was all alone.


All giveaway ends November 22, 2012 at midnight. Make sure to only enter the giveaway you are eligible for.
Giveaway for US residents only.
Grand Prize:
1 autographed copy of Deadly Obsession + SWAG
1 autographed copy of Deadly Addiction + SWAG 
The Secret Diaries of Miss Miranda Cheever, by Julia Quinn (autographed copy)
Blood Trinity, by Sherrilyn Kenyon and Dianna Love
1 e-book copy of “Falling Angel” by Clare Tisdale
1 handmade shell necklace by Clare Tisdale
A handmade afghan crocheted by Marianne Stillings
1 autographed copy of AROUSING SUSPICIONS
1 autographed copy of SATISFACTION
1 autographed copy of KILLER CHARMS
1 bag of truffles from Seattle Chocolates
3 chocolate bars from Seattle Chocolates
$15 Starbucks giftcard
1 autographed copy of Cattle Capers: Search For The MooMoo Pearl by Dawn Kravagna

Prize #5: 

1 ecopy Deadly Obsession by Kristine Cayne
1 print copy Accidental Cinderella, by Nancy Robards Thompson
1 print copy Everything I Know About Love I Learned From Romance Novels, by Sarah Wendell
Prize #6: 
1 ecopy Deadly Addiction by Kristine Cayne
1 print copy The Angel in My Arms, by Stephanie Sloane
1 print copy The Naughty List, by Donna Kauffman, Cynthia Eden and Susan Fox (autographed by
Susan Fox)
Prize #7: 
1 ecopy Deadly Addiction by Kristine Cayne
1 print copy Tsunami Blue, by Gayle Ann Williams 
1 print copy A Tale of Two Demon Slayers, by Angie Fox (autographed copy)

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Giveaway for both US and International residents.
Prize #1:
1 ecopy Deadly Obsession
1 ecopy of A Week to Be Wicked by Tessa Dare
1 ecopy of The Sergeant’s Lady by Susanna Fraser
Prize #2:
1 ecopy Deadly Obsession
ecopy of Unraveled by Courtney Milan
1 ecopy of Unlocked, a novella by Courtney Milan
Prize #3:
1 ecopy Deadly Obsession
1 ecopy of One Night in London by Caroline Linden
1 ecopy of Ruined by Rumor by Alyssa Everett
Prize #4:
1 ecopy Deadly Obsession
1 ecopy of Mr. Impossible by Loretta Chase
Prize #8-10:
1 ecopy DeadlyAddiction
$10 Amazon or B&N giftcard

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Prize #11 US and International Giveaway

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