Saturday, September 26, 2009

Saturday Book News



Genre: Sweet and Spicy medical romance, coming as ebook and paperback

Publisher name : The Wild Rose Press (release date July 03, 2009)

Buy link: The Wild Rose Press


Mona Risk's stories give romance readers the unforgettable heroes and lively heroines that we love the most!

~Roxanne St.Claire, National Bestselling author of Thrill Me To Death

If you want to experience the warm fuzzy feeling of satisfaction that comes from reading a really good story, pick up Babies In The Bargain. In this heart-warming medical romance a dark, sexy hero and bright, compassionate heroine find their happy ending thanks to a cute baby every mom would love to cuddle.

~Helen Scott-Taylor, The Magic Knot, Dorchester, 2008 American Title IV winner

Contests wins:

Launching A Star, The Beacon, Great Expectations;

Golden Gateway; Gotcha; Enchanted Words;

The Suzannah; Winter Rose;

Linda Howard Award of Excellence.


With only one year left to complete her medical training in Neonatology, Dr. Holly Collier vows not to let anyone mess up her sacrosanct schedule. Especially not the drop-dead gorgeous Dr. Marc Suarez who broke her heart seven years ago.

When a tragic accident transforms the carefree playboy into a dedicated but novice father to his nephew, Holly gives in to her maternal instincts and turns her structured life upside down for the orphaned preemie. But can she learn to trust Marc again and believe in true love?

Video Trailer:


Marc sucked in a deep breath. Had he been so insensitive? Judging by the shadow of sadness in Holly’s eyes, he’d made a real mess back then. Damn it. “I’m sorry if I hurt you. That was never my intention.”

“It’s all in the past,” she said in the soothing voice she probably used with the parents of her little patients. She didn’t even seem to resent him. But he knew better. She had avoided him as if he could transmit germs on sight.

Her head tilted to the side, she stared at him like a porcelain statue, beautiful but cold. His fingers clenched on his fork to refrain from caressing her hair. She hadn’t asked for explanations, but as a doctor, he felt the need to disinfect old wounds.

“Let me explain the scene you’d witnessed. Several girls came to say goodbye. Some of these women were quite aggressive. But none was special to me. They hugged and kissed and wished me the best. That was it. I couldn’t throw them out when they were just being nice. Beside I was going away the next day.” He covered her fisted hand. It slowly relaxed. “You were the only one I wrote to.”

“A few lines to tell me you were extremely busy.” She pushed the croutons of her salad to the side of her plate with nervous little taps.

“I was. Honestly. My father’s health was failing. And then both my sister and Carlos had some, hmm, problems. But I wrote again as soon as I could.”

“Three letters in a year. Not that I’m blaming you. I didn’t have a free minute myself.”

He didn’t like her bitter smile. He tried to capture her gaze, but she kept looking at the damn croutons as if she were studying a medical sample.

“But that doesn’t mean I wasn’t thinking about you. In fact there wasn’t a day that I didn’t think about you.”

“Come on.” She raised her eyebrows in disbelief.

“Oh, yes. At least for the first two years,” he specified, a thorny regret twisting his insides. “When you never answered my last letter, I gave up and started flirting right and left to forget you.”

“That I can well imagine.” A sarcastic smile played on her lips.

She certainly didn’t harbor a good opinion about his character. He wasn’t at liberty to divulge the series of scandals his family had faced and the shame that muddied the Suarez name until he had repaired the damage. But he could at least explain his compulsive search for fun. An effective antidote to the troubles that had poisoned his life.

“Holly, you know firsthand that medicine is a tough field. The long hours, the stress. I was working like a madman. I saw death on a regular basis.” And an alcoholic father in a wheelchair, pathetic and loud. “I never thought twice about taking a bit of pleasure wherever I could find it. It was all part of the hectic life, part of growing up.”

Her lips puckered in a grimace. “No shit. I’m used to medical stress, Marc. I’m still in deep water now.”

“Yes, I know.” He raked his fingers through his hair. “But I’ve changed now. Trudging the poor areas of San Juan forced me to see life differently. And the old problems were settled.”

“You don’t have to.” She arched a skeptical eyebrow.

Words—even words from the heart—were not enough to convince her. He’d have to prove himself.

She flipped her hand in the air, in an I’ve-heard-it-all-before gesture. “I can deal with charming playboys. My father belonged to that club.”

“Your father? Is he...deceased?”

“To me. I haven’t seen him in twenty years. He left when I was ten and never asked for visitation rights.”

The bitterness of her words twisted at his guts. It was even worse than he thought. Holly was convinced he was nothing but a lecher, a younger version of her father.

“I’m sorry about your father. But for us, it was seven years ago. We’ve both changed. Matured.”

He knew he had. He didn’t need to flirt to forget the pain of losing his only brother. Having Holly with him was the only soothing his wounded soul hungered for. He smiled at her and squeezed her hand.

Holly’s heart somersaulted. Heat spread from her fingers, ran through her arm. His devastating smile was back in place, but without the hint of arrogance that used to put her on edge. A glint of affection reflected in his chocolate eyes.

Could it be possible?

“Yes, we have.” Under the table, she scraped her heels back and forth against the tiles. “Yes, of course. We’ve matured. You are the eminent anesthesiologist WCH hired, and I’m no longer a student.”

What was he getting at with these explanations and veiled apologies?

Would he ask her out again?

Good God, but this new Marc was more dangerous to her inner peace than the playboy of the past.

Reviews for Babies in the Bargain

        Your browser may not support display of this image. The Long And The Short Reviews~ 5 Books. Ms. Risk has done an outstanding job with Babies in the Bargain and is a very talented writer who gives the reader what they are after. I highly recommend this book. This one will keep you on your toes and make you beg for more. I can't wait to read more of Ms. Risk's work in the future.

          Your browser may not support display of this image. Romance Junkies~5 Ribbons. BABIES IN THE BARGAIN is one novel that pulls you into the story and holds you captive to the last page. Mona Risk delves into the intense life and death situation babies in the NICU face and tempers that overwhelming emotion with a high intensity romance in a storyline that will truly touch the reader’s heart.

      Reviewed by Vince~ 5 Hearts Babies in the Bargain” Displays Your browser may not support display of this image. “Babies in the Bargain” could serve as an object lesson on how to ‘show’ and not ‘tell’ a story. You always know exactly what the characters are feeling, indeed, for the most part you 'feel' along with them. It’s a great read.

Night Owl Romance ~Your browser may not support display of this image. Your browser may not support display of this image. Your browser may not support display of this image. Your browser may not support display of this image. Your browser may not support display of this image.

      Your browser may not support display of this image. Babies in the Bargain is a sweet and sexy medical romance that will have you cooing and awing while also shedding a few tears.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Guest Blogging Today

Hey gang, I'm doing a special guest blog at Sia McKye's Over Coffee today. Come join me for a few tidbits of wisdom and a little bit about me. :)

I also have my monthly insanity at Royal Blush Authors: What makes a good book? Well, I tell ya'! LOL

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

This Week: In Diana's Head

diana's head This Week: Fortitude (from

  • Main Entry: for·ti·tude
  • Function: noun
  • Etymology: Middle English, from Latin fortitudin-, fortitudo, from fortis

1 : strength of mind that enables a person to encounter danger or bear pain or adversity with courage


Bet you wouldn't think this would pertain writing today, would you? Well, in all honesty it does. Fortitude is something you either have and it grows, or it develops as you progress through your career. I can tell you this much, if you don't have any fortitude to deal with the ups and downs of this industry, find something else to do. It's that simple.

The highs and lows of writing are not like your nine-to-five style of job. Never will be. There will always be someone willing to tear you down. A reader, a reviewer, a fellow writer, a publisher, an editor, an agent. Whether directly or indirectly, it's the nature of the beast. This is one of the most competitive creative industries that I know of. Not competitive in the sense that you have to win a race, win a vote, bring in the largest haul. No, none of that.

When it comes to writing, you are putting your entire being on the line in the form of words. The same way songwriters create incredibily heart wrenching lyrics, writers create worlds of disbelief that we convince you ARE real. And this is where it gets dangerous. For as many people who want that world, who want the escape of any story, there are just as many who thrive on destroying it. They will find any hole available, that to you and likely two dozen other readers was either obvious enough to catch, or implied enough to make sense. There will always be that one person who thinks they are so smart for finding that error, when in truth, the fact was just delivered in a conceptual manner that they found foriegn so they didn't understand it. I'm not saying that this happens often or that readers are stupid. I AM saying that this will happen. And as the creator of any story, we have to accept that criticism.

Remember: You can NOT write for every person out there, for every reader you want to enamore with your wit. Write what feels right to you first. Write what you love, write what YOU would read, and love what you do. There will be days when you're the only one who does.


Friday, September 18, 2009

The Espresso Machine

I snitched this off of TeleRead's feed, but if you haven't seen it, you need to check this out.

The Espresso Machine, POD in action.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

A very respectable review

Just got the buzz for this one tonight, from Romance Junkies. A new review for Trusting Delilah.

This is an action-packed story. The two main characters play well off each other both physically and emotionally. Their secrets are so great that when they reveal themselves to each other it really means something. There aren't many secondary characters in the story, but that's okay. Roman and Del are bigger than life and enough for any reader to handle.

3.5 Ribbons.

Read the full review here.

This Week: In Diana's Head

diana's head

I will tell you, I'm from, and live in Texas and Texas Chili does have its own following. Whether this is true or not, I really don't know, but it's very funny. And yes, Chili cook-offs in the fall are large and numerous. Enjoy!



If you can read this whole story without laughing, then there's no hope for you. I was crying by the end. This is an actual account as relayed to paramedics at a chili cook-off in Texas .
Note: Please take time to read this slowly. If you pay attention to the first two judges, the reaction of the third judge is even better. For those of you who have lived in Texas , you know how true this is. They actually have a Chili Cook-off about the time Halloween comes around. It takes up a major portion of a parking lot at the San Antonio City Park .
Judge #3 was an inexperienced Chili taster named Frank, who was visiting from Springfield , IL .

Frank: 'Recently, I was honored to be selected as a judge at a chili cook-off. The original person called in sick at the last moment and I happened to be standing there at the judge's table, asking for directions to the Coors Light truck, when the call came in. I was assured by the other two judges (Native Texans) that the chili wouldn't be all that spicy; and, besides, they told me I could have free beer during the tasting, so I accepted and became Judge 3.'

Here are the scorecard notes from the event:

Judge #1 -- A little too heavy on the tomato. Amusing kick.
Judge # 2 -- Nice, smooth tomato flavor. Very mild.
Judge # 3 (Frank) -- Holy crap, what the hell is this stuff? You could remove dried paint from your driveway. Took me two beers to put the flames out. I hope that's the worst one. These Texans are crazy.

Judge # 1 -- Smoky, with a hint of pork. Slight jalapeno tang.
Judge # 2 -- Exciting BBQ flavor, needs more peppers to be taken seriously.
Judge # 3 -- Keep this out of the reach of children. I'm not sure what I'm supposed to taste besides pain. I had to wave off two people who wanted to give me the Heimlich maneuver. They had to rush in more beer when they saw the look on my face.

Judge # 1 -- Excellent firehouse chili. Great kick.
Judge # 2 -- A bit salty, good use of peppers.
Judge # 3 -- Call the EPA. I've located a uranium spill. My nose feels like I have been snorting Drano. Everyone knows the routine by now. Get me more beer before I ignite. Barmaid pounded me on the back, now my backbone is in the front part of my chest. I'm getting shit-faced from all of the beer.

Judge # 1 -- Black bean chili with almost no spice. Disappointing.
Judge # 2 -- Hint of lime in the black beans. Good side dish for fish or other mild foods, not much of a chili.
Judge # 3 -- I felt something scraping across my tongue, but was unable to taste it. Is it possible to burn out taste buds? Sally, the beer maid, was standing behind me with fresh refills. This 300 lb. woman is starting to look HOT .. just like this nuclear waste I'm eating! Is chili an aphrodisiac?

Judge # 1 -- Meaty, strong chili. Cayenne peppers freshly ground, adding considerable kick. Very impressive.
Judge # 2 -- Chili using shredded beef, could use more tomato. Must admit the cayenne peppers make a strong statement.
Judge # 3 -- My ears are ringing, sweat is pouring off my forehead and I can no longer focus my eyes. I farted, and four people behind me needed paramedics. The contestant seemed offended when I told her that her chili had given me brain damage. Sally saved my tongue from bleeding by pouring beer directly on it from the pitcher. I wonder if I'm burning my lips off. It really ticks me off that the other judges asked me to stop screaming. Screw them.

Judge # 1 -- Thin yet bold vegetarian variety chili. Good balance of spices and peppers.
Judge # 2 -- The best yet. Aggressive use of peppers, onions, garlic. Superb.
Judge # 3 -- My intestines are now a straight pipe filled with gaseous, sulfuric flames. I crapped on myself when I farted, and I'm worried it will eat through the chair. No one seems inclined to stand behind me except that Sally. Can't feel my lips anymore. I need to wipe my butt with a snow cone.

Judge # 1 -- A mediocre chili with too much reliance on canned peppers.
Judge # 2 -- Ho hum, tastes as if the chef literally threw in a can of chili peppers at the last moment. **I should take note that I am worried about Judge # 3. He appears to be a bit of distress as he is cursing uncontrollably.
Judge # 3 -- You could put a grenade in my mouth, pull the pin, and I wouldn't feel a thing. I've lost sight in one eye, and the world sounds like it is made of rushing water. My shirt is covered with chili, which slid unnoticed out of my mouth. My pants are full of lava to match my shirt. At least during the autopsy, they'll know what killed me. I've decided to stop breathing it's too painful. Screw it; I'm not getting any oxygen anyway. If I need air, I'll just suck it in through the 4-inch hole in my stomach.

Judge # 1 -- The perfect ending, this is a nice blend chili. Not too bold but spicy enough to declare its existence.
Judge # 2 -- This final entry is a good, balanced chili. Neither mild nor hot. Sorry to see that most of it was lost when Judge #3 farted, passed out, fell over and pulled the chili pot down on top of himself. Not sure if he's going to make it. Poor feller, wonder how he'd have reacted to really hot chili?
Judge # 3 - No Report

Monday, September 14, 2009

Venue Change!

Venue Change!

Saturday, September 18
The Book Basket 913 Main Street (was Loop 150)
Bastrop, Tx 78602

Join Diana Castilleja and Linda Mooney from 11-4 at the Book Basket in Bastrop for their latest releases.

Paranormal, fantasy, science fiction.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

I know it's raining here....

But myself and a couple friends are going to be at the South Park Meadows Borders on Slaughter and I-35 today, from 3-6 PM. We'll all have books to sign and discuss. So if you're in the area and the gray is getting you down, come play with us for an hour to two.


September 12, 2009

Borders South Park Meadows

9500 S. IH 35 Service Rd.,

Austin, TX


Diana Castilleja

Diana Castilleja || Diana DeRicci

Crowning A Warrior King || Print
Aiza Clan Shifter Combo 1&2 || Print
The Eternal Kiss || Print

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Last Call for AAD!

Due to a glitch with the hotel, we were able to reopen registration till Sept, 20th! And I know you guys have been thinking about coming to the Authors After Dark Paranormal Weekend, and now is your chance to come and hangout with me for this first year's event. So many fantastic authors have signed up to come, give away goodies and sign on Saturday that you are going to miss out on something amazing if you don't attend.

Registration is 175$ and includes 4 meals, 2 parties(a candy shoppe PJ party and a Masquerade ball), a cocktail hour, a slew of reader focused events, Author lead mini events and tons of free books and goodies! And we are even doing a charity raffle to benefit the ACN and a local no kill shelter, Pets Alive! We have over 25 raffle gift baskets too!

Your room is 99$ a night, double occupancy, and can be booked through the info on the AAD website on the Registration page.

So who is going to be there? Well...
Jacquelyn Frank, Sunny, Joey W. Hill,Stella and Audra Price, Bianca D'Arc, Rosemary Laurey, Jennifer Armintrout, Madeline Oh, Georgia Evans, Mechele Armstrong, Samantha Sommersby, Cat Johnson, Cathy Clamp, Eliza Gayle, Diana Castilleja, Leigh Ellwood, Tilly Greene, Selena Illyria, Stephanie Julian, Judi Fennell, Kayleigh Jamison, Donna Grant, Robin T. Popp, Linda Mooney, Mima, Teresa Noelle Roberts, and JoLynne Valerie

The authors are fantastic, the goodies are fantastic, the books are beyond a doubt amazing. We got the authors, and the books, and the amazing events. All we need is YOU!

To register, join us at We are looking forward to having you hangout with us this year and hope to see you there!

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Last night's gig

Last night I had an appearance at my local (very small) library. One of my readers showed up and we chatted for the hour. She is a riot! Made an otherwise boring sitch bearable and enjoyable.

When writers get in the slumps, we wonder if people out there are enjoying our books. We all do it. The reasons I write have changed over the years, although enjoyment and pleasure in doing the writing is still one of the top-most reasons, it is very nice to know that there are people out there who get my writing, who enjoy the stories, and want more. That's the kind of ecouragement that keeps us going during the hard times and dry spells, because self-gratification sometimes just doesn't cut the mustard.

So thank you to my readers. Y'all keep me going, even when you don't know you're doing it.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

This Week: In Diana's Head

diana's head

Texas Humor at it's best. (Thank you to Linda Mooney for this one.)


  • Armadillos sleep in the middle of the road with their feet in the air.
  • There are 5,000 types of snakes on earth and 4,998 live in Texas.
  • There are 10,000 types of spiders. All 10,000 live in Texas, plus a couple noone's seen before.
  • If it grows, it sticks; if it crawls, it bites.
  • 'Twiced' is a word.
  • People actually grow and eat okra.
  • We put the 'country' in country music.
  • 'Fixinto' is one word.
  • There is no such thing as 'lunch.' There is only dinner and then supper.
  • Iced tea is appropriate for all meals and you start drinking it when you're two. We do like a little tea with our sugar!
  • 'Backwards and forwards' means I know everything about you!
  • Djeet is actually a phrase meaning 'Did you eat?'
  • You don't have to wear a watch because it doesn't ma tter what time it is. You work until you're done or it's too dark to see.
  • You don't PUSH buttons, you MASH them.
  • You measure distance in hours. Like its 6 hours from Houston to Dallas.
  • You'll probably have to switch from 'heat' to A/C in the same day.
  • 'Fix' is a verb. Example: 'I'm fixing to go to the store.'
  • You install security lights on your house and garage, and leave both unlocked.
  • Yes, Friday night high school football games is serious football!
  • You carry jumper cables in your car for your OWN car.
  • There are only four spices: salt, pepper, Tabasco, and ketchup.
  • The local papers cover national and international news on one page, but require 6 pages for local gossip and sports.
  • 100 degrees Fahrenheit is 'a little warm.'
  • We have four seasons: Almost Summer, Summer, still Summer, and Christmas.
  • Going to Wal-mart is a favorite past time known as 'goin' to Wally-World.'
  • A cool snap (below 70 degrees) is good pinto-bean weather.
  • A carbonated soft drink isn't a soda, cola, or pop. It's a Coke, regardless of brand or flavor. Example: 'What kind a coke you want?'
  • Fried catfish is the other white meat.

Monday, September 7, 2009

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Saturday Book News


Elaine Cantrell
The Wild Rose Press

Jenna West has no idea what she might have done to her new tenant Mike Hightower. He's surly and hateful every single time they meet, and he looks at her as though he despises her.

He does despise her. She's from the Middle East, and people like her killed his friend Ramirez when the army sent them to Iraq.

Will the power of love work its magic to soften Mike's bitter hatred, or will he ignore his growing attraction for his pretty landlady?


Mike moved in the next day. His mother had given

him her old sofa, the one stored in the basement, and his

brother, David, had given him a bedroom suite. He went

to Super Mart, the local discount store, to buy some

lamps, a TV, some dishes, and a few towels, and he was

ready to start housekeeping. He needed a few more

things, but they’d have to wait until he got paid.

David had volunteered to help with the move into the

duplex, and he liked the apartment. “It’s plenty big

enough, and everything looks new.”

“Yeah, it’s close to work too. The only problem is the


“What’s wrong with her? Did she hit on you?” Both

Mike and David got that a lot. They’d been told it was

because their blond hair and beautiful blue eyes were

irresistible. Whatever it was, they drew women like flies

to honey.

Mike just snorted. “She’s one of the people who killed



“You know; Middle Eastern.”

David looked shocked. “Mike, she’s probably a nice

woman. I know that Ramirez was your friend, but you

can’t blame an entire race of people for what happened

over there. If you don’t let go of this anger it’s going to eat

you up.”

Mike didn’t argue because David had willingly given

up his Saturday to help, but he’d blame anyone he wanted

to, and that included Jenna West.

They finished their work around lunchtime, and after

David went home, Mike made a grocery list. He had

almost finished when someone knocked on the door. That

surprised him. He hadn’t expected company so soon.

He opened the door, and frowned when he saw Jenna

West. “Can I help you?” He hoped she wouldn’t make a

habit of bothering him. If she did he’d have to move to the

Botany Arms, and he didn’t like that at all.

The woman gave him a big, sunny smile. “I know you

probably haven’t had time to go to the grocery store, so I

thought I’d offer you some lunch.” She held out a casserole

dish. “I hope you enjoy it.”

How dare she try to be nice to him. He didn’t want or

need her charity, but if he didn’t take it, he’d seem like a

jerk. “Thank you. I’ll return your dish,” he grumbled.

“You’re welcome. I was glad to do it.”

Mike watched her sprint back to her own half of the

duplex, and tried to decide what to do with the casserole.

He was starving, and it smelled great, but he didn’t really

want to eat something that she had cooked. She might be


His stomach growled, and he actually took a plate out

of the cabinet before he decided that he wouldn’t risk it.

He dumped the whole thing into the garbage and ran

some water into the dish. Boy, it had smelled good.

With an exclamation of disgust, he grabbed his

grocery list and pulled on his coat. He didn’t have a bite to

eat in the whole house.




“What a delightful book! Ms. Cantrell has done an exceptional work in expressing how so many feel about these touchy subjects­both prejudice against people of Middle Eastern descent and unfit motherhood! This is a poignant story of a man's life changing because of war and a woman's life changing because of a lie!” - 4.5/5 Hearts by Brenda T. at The Romance Studio.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

This Week: In Diana's Head

diana's head 

A picture is worth....


A thousand words. Or just my undying heartfelt gratitude. I give you the artistic talent of my cover artist with Tease, Amanda Kelsey. A wonderful lady who lives in Northern Europe and is a riot. She works hard and does awesome beautful work. So this is a kudo to you, my dear. Be prepared to be embarressed.


   CrowningWeb  CrowningCover Final  theLibrarian'sSecret_thumb 

   Eweb   TD_ATE_PWeb   ATE_EWeb   Unbound Trust_200x300  AziaClanCastillejaWrap Cover

  AizaClanBookmark_BACK    AizaClanBookmark_FRONT   CrowningBookmark_FRONT CrowningBookmark_BACK 


For more of this talented lady's work, please visit her here: