Thursday, February 26, 2015

Adventure Scrapbook – Thailand Elephant Experience

We stopped for a short break at a small village outside Khao Yai National Park in Thailand, and ended up on an elephant slogging through the jungle, belly deep in murky water. This little side venture wasn’t in the plan, but often those are the most rewarding experiences, and our impromptu elephant ride turned out to be an unexpected highlight.

Sunday, February 22, 2015

Not Bound By Time

I’m pleased to welcome to my blog, Victoria Pitts Caine. Victoria is a native Californian. Her varied interests include genealogy and exotic gemstone collecting both of which she’s incorporated into her novels. While her genre is inspirational, she has branched out into other areas such as her current release, Not Bound By Time and a YA mystery/suspense.  

Victoria has received recognition from: Enduring Romance Top 10 Picks for 2008, William Saroyan Writing Conference, Byline Magazine, Writer’s Journal Magazine, HI Families Magazine and The Southern California Genealogical Society. Her first novel, Alvarado Gold, was published in 2007. To complete the trilogy which began with Alvarado Gold, Cairo was published in 2013, and The Tempering Agent in 2014.
So, without further ado, let’s find out more about her latest novel, Not Bound By Time. 

What do you hope readers will take away from this book?

There’s something magical when love finds a way. The reader will discover there is hope and a little fairy-tale enchantment when the characters, even though they are in an unusual situation, manage to travel through time to their true loves.

Who is one of your favorite characters in the book and why?

Camille Windham is my favorite. She’s the first traveler and I took a little bit of my own ancestral background to create her.

Why did you decide to do a time travel?

I read Love of My Heart by Bess McBride and was haunted by the story and the concept. The couple discovers they were in love before in another time. I decided it was a genre I wanted to try. The Time Traveler’s Wife was another favorite.

What else about your book might grab the reader’s interest?

There are three separate but connected stories in Not Bound By Time, and there’s a little bit for everyone from Western to World War II to protecting the Scottish regalia in the 1500’s.

How much of the book is realistic?

The portrayal of the characters in their day to day lives and what would have transpired in the time period they’re in is realistic, the traveling through time…well maybe not.

How did you come up with your title?

My desire with the storyline is to explain that time can’t hold someone who has found their soulmate and the characters find a way to be with that person even if they’re in another place and time.

What is a one-sentence synopsis of your books?
Time cannot imprison love nor hold it in place.
When did you know you wanted to write?
I wrote some twenty plus years ago, but put it aside to raise my children.  When I started doing genealogy, I felt I had a story to tell about my family and wrote a novel, Rachel, based on family history.  I may rewrite the book at some point now that I’m more comfortable with my craft.
What books influenced you most in your life?

I was read to as a small child and was captivated by Nancy Drew and The Hardy Boys when I able to read on my own. I didn’t go back and read the classics until I was an adult or reading them to my own children. I loved Laura Ingalls Wilder’s books and J.R.R. Tolkein.

What writer would you like to be your mentor?

I had a wonderful mentor during my “growing up years” as a writer. Her name is Elnora King and she wrote under the pseudonym of Dianne King. She taught me so much – not just about writing but about life.

What are you reading now?

I read between three and five books a week and most of those go up for review on Amazon or on my blog. So right at this moment, I’m reading a romance. Tomorrow it might be a mystery/suspense. When I’m reading just for the fun of it, I like Catherine Ryan Hyde. I took a couple of classes from her and enjoy her books. I’m also into the whole Dan Brown thing and anxiously waiting for Brad Meltzer’s next release.

How do you “feed” your writing self?

Anything that brings writers together is a benefit. I think we all feed off of each other (in a good way). I facilitate a class once a week for writers where we read our work and do a short lesson. We share our triumphs and sorrows in life as well as in publishing. The triumphs usually with cake!

Many thanks to Victoria for joining us at Embrace Adventure. You can learn more about Victoria or connect with her through the following links. Also, please keep reading for an excerpt from her novel and for Amazon links to her other work.

Excerpt from Not Bound By Time:

The year was 1942, and Randolph Mitchell, along with several of his fellow soldiers, marched down a road pockmarked by shelling in London. He shuddered as a light mist fell around him. Late summer had gone.

A captain at twenty-two, Randolph’s first glimpses of war lay around him. Bile rose in his throat at the devastation. Is this what years of military boarding school has brought me to? He bent to retrieve a bit of paper. Printed roses danced on the edge, and with nowhere to discard it, he pocketed the small scrap of the life people there once lived.

When the men arrived in town earlier, Randolph spotted the young woman gazing into a merchant’s window. She carried herself with an air of importance. Ribbons and lace accented her oddly-layered clothes of multicolored fabrics. Such elaborate attire was ill-suited because people were starving and only making do. Randolph dismissed her unusual manner of dress. Who could she be? So out of place, yet so beautiful.

His troop moved up the street, and as he surveyed the area, he forced himself to forget the woman, but when he approached the shop, she turned, and their eyes met. Randolph Mitchell lost his heart in that split second, but it would take his head a while to figure it out. His eyes pursued her as she picked her way through the rubble of the bombed-out buildings.

“Hello,” he ventured.

As a delicate pink color rose from her neck, she turned her eyes toward the window. Randolph sauntered to stand beside her and glanced at their reflection. He stood a good foot taller than she. His wrinkled uniform caused a pang of self-consciousness, but his desire to speak to her quelled his embarrassment. “I’m Randolph Mitchell, US Army.” He smiled, studying her porcelain complexion and bright hazel eyes, hoping for a welcome response.

“I’m sorry. I shouldn’t be talking to you,” the woman said.

“It’s safe. We’ve been sent here to protect you. Or err… your country.” Randolph took his cap off and grinned at her. “I, ah, we might make sure you get home. Do you live close by?”

The young woman’s face blanched as she shook her head. “I used to live here.” She sighed. Then she backed away, turned around, and started running.

Randolph clenched his fists. He had to find out.

“Wait! I didn’t mean any harm!” He called after her. “Your name? At least tell me your name!”

“Camille Windham,” came from her lips, and her name planted itself in Randolph’s heart.

She scampered down the walkway away from Randolph, leaving only her name. 

Other Books By Victoria Pitts Caine:

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Adventure Scrapbook – Punta Arenas Penguins

One of the most memorable travel experiences of my life was a trip to Punta Arenas, Chile where we had the opportunity to visit the Otoway Sound Magellanic Penguin Colony.  The chicks hadn’t lost their warm down coats, giving them a soft gray appearance as opposed to the sleek black and white feathers of their parents.  Watching these amazing animals was an indescribable experience I’ll never forget.

Saturday, February 14, 2015

Accept This Dandelion

In the spirit of Valentine’s Day, I’d like to introduce a recently released romantic comedy by Brook Williams, Accept This Dandelion.

Renee Lockhart has her eye on a lofty goal…to fill the open position of morning radio show host at the station where she works. When her co-workers sign her up for a local TV version of The Bachelor, Renee goes along with it in order to raise her profile. 

Upon seeing her bumbling audition, Ben McConnell, one of the most eligible bachelors in town, insists that Renee be placed on the show. But Ben gets much more than he expected in Renee… he gets a girl who can’t seem to do anything right…and a girl he can’t seem to resist. 

About The Author:
Brooke Williams is an award winning author and freelance writer. She has written hundreds of articles as well as several novels including Someone Always Loved You and Wrong Place, Right Time. Brooke has a Bachelor of Arts degree from Morningside College with a double major in Mass Communications and Religious Studies. She has 12 years of experience in radio broadcasting both behind the scenes and on air. She was also a TV traffic reporter for a brief time. Brooke and her husband Sean married in 2002 and have two daughters, Kaelyn and Sadie.
Click on any of the links above to purchase Accept This Dandelion or Brook’s other novels directly from Amazon.
Enjoy the story and have a happy Valentine’s Day!

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

A View to a Nerd: Behind the Scenes

I would like to welcome author, Chris Redding. Chris lives in New Jersey with her husband, two sons, one dog, and two rabbits. She graduated from Penn State with a degree in journalism. When she isn’t writing she works part time for her local hospital. She’s here today to give us a little insight behind her novel, A View to a Nerdnow that’s a title that surely no one can resist. So, without further ado, here’s Chris. 

People often ask where I get my ideas. It usually isn’t one place and sometimes when the book is done I don’t even remember. When I thought about where A View to a Nerd came from I realized it came from different facets of my life.
I have a friend who is of Scottish descent. He plays bagpipes and likes to tell dirty Scottish jokes. He is probably my biggest source of the Scottish jokes. The other source is someone who actually lives in Scotland. We met when my husband and I lived in England. He e-mailed him one day and he sent me back a large amount of Scottish jokes.
It’s good to have friends.
The heroine in A View to a Nerd is an interior decorator. I actually know two people who have businesses as interior decorators and one person who studied it in college. One person with a business actually taught me to sew.
It’s good to have friends.
A View to a Nerd is set in Philadelphia. I grew up in the suburbs of Philly and my Dad instilled in me a love of the city. Despite not living in Eagles country, I am still a fan.
The portrait that is pivotal to the story? I have no memory of where that came from. None. Could not tell you what I was thinking when I put that in there. Wish I had a great story. That would be more interesting than having no idea why I chose a portrait.
Why does the heroine come from Montana? Because I have a friend who is from Montana and I could pick her brain about what it was like. I also have been fascinated with the West since I honeymooned in Utah.
I guess it comes down to this. No story comes from just one place. A writer takes different facts and weaves them into a fictional story. And if I didn’t have friends I might not be able to write. 

Someone bumped into her as she shifted her weight, her stomach growling.
“Excuse me,” he said, from the depths of his chest.
She looked up into puppy dog brown eyes that were vaguely familiar. Then she remembered. “You’re the guy from the hospital.”
His grin surfaced like a dolphin jumping a hoop. His eyes lit up right before they scrunched into slits. “You remembered. I’m flattered. Angus MacPherson.”
Her gaze raked up and down him, settling onto his hair. “You aren’t exactly forgettable.”
A flannel shirt opened onto a thick neck for such a lanky guy. Curls of hair peaked out over the first button. He wore the same jeans as earlier.
He cocked his head. “Tall with red hair. Guess I am noticeable.”
“Angus? Isn’t that beef?”
He curled himself into a bodybuilder’s stance.
“No, that’s beefcake,” she said.  

Thank you so much, Chris, for stopping by today and sharing a bit about your book.
For more on Chris and her other novels, visit her website at or her blog at To purchase A View to a Nerd from Amazon, click here or any of the links above.

Friday, February 6, 2015

Adventure Scrapbook – Marked In Chichén Itzá

The Mayan ruins at Chichén Itzá are not only impressive, amazing, and mind-boggling in scope, but they were the inspiration behind Marked In Mexico.  A unique mix of feelings often overcomes visitors when wandering the immense complex – curiosity, caution, and serenity. So, when fictional hostages are taken at this popular Mayan ruin, an idyllic Caribbean vacation is sure to turn deadly.

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Hooked on Epic Mountain Adventure

Welcome to this week’s Book Hooks blog hop. Here’s a little teaser from my contemporary western adventure novel, Big Horn Storm. I hope you enjoy the adventure, suspense, and a dash of romance.


A heavily-armed man in uniform shoved Deuce out the back door of the barn in the direction of the shed. He stumbled into view, his hands tied behind his back. When his head came up, Niki could see that his eyes were nearly swollen shut, and blood ran down his face, soaking his hair and shirt.

The man kicked Deuce hard in the small of his back and shoved him to the ground. Deuce struggled to rise to his knees, swaying, but keeping his balance. The soldier slung his automatic weapon over his shoulder, backed away several paces, pulled his pistol from its holster and raised the weapon, leaving no doubt in Niki’s mind of his intentions. Deuce was about to be executed.


Niki Garat tolerates her job and the city, but she lives for her summer vacation with her grandfather at his sheep camp in the stunning Big Horn Mountains of Wyoming—until this year. When the U.S. comes under attack, including an aggressive attempt by foreign invaders to locate nuclear missile silos scattered throughout remote western lands, the serenity of her mountain refuge is shattered. As area ranches are commandeered, neighbors and friends, including Deuce, her childhood infatuation, band together. Throughout their struggle to stay alive, Niki begins to understand what came between her and Deuce, but before past mistakes can be corrected they must endure a terrifying manhunt and a desperate fight for survival. 

For trivia, reviews, and general information on all my adventure novels, please follow me on twitter at  To download Big Horn Storm click on these Amazon or Barnes and Noble links: 

Amazon buy link: 

Barnes and Noble:

For more book hooks from other great writers visit any of the blogs below or go to