The Ultimate Beach Read by Marilyn Baron

Hi, I’m Marilyn Baron. Author Alicia Dean tagged me for this mini blog hop. You can find her post here:  Alicia Dean. As part of the blog, I am answering the following questions about my current project:

1) What am I working on? I’m currently working on Book Three of my Psychic Crystal Mystery Series called Murder on the Repositioning Cruise for The Wild Rose Press. Book One is called Sixth Sense. Book Two is called Homecoming Homicides.

      2) How does my work differ from others of its genre? This book and, in fact the entire series, is psychic suspense, but while it’s dark in parts, it’s also humorous, which is a hallmark of all of my books. Book Three will have an even lighter tone than the first two books, which feature serial killers.  

Murder on the Repositioning Cruise is set on a cruise ship in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean. The psychic detective team, former Atlanta police detective Jack Hale and “Crystal Ball Kate” from Sixth Sense, is called in to calm the fears of the superstitious crew. Juliette Spencer, Kate’s mother, and Sheriff Will Bradley, a character we met in Homecoming Homicides, are posing as husband and wife on the same two-week transatlantic cruise to catch an art thief and investigate a murder. Juliette will be fine if Sheriff Bradley’s amorous advances in close quarters don’t cause her to jump ship or throw him overboard. It’s a suspenseful romp on the high seas.

     3)     Why do I write what I do? I don’t write in just one genre. I write romantic thrillers, historicals, women’s fiction and paranormal, so I write whenever an idea hits me. It may be a book title that provides inspiration or even the name of a character. 

    4)     How does your writing process work? I usually start out with a title and some character names I like and then I develop the story. I do research and then I start writing. I usually edit as I go along, although I don’t recommend that. I don’t plot in advance, just write and revise.

Right now, I want to be anywhere where it’s warm and sunny. In fact, I want to be on the pink sand beaches of Bermuda. So if I had to choose the perfect beach book for the perfect beach getaway it would be Under the Moon Gate.

Under the Moon Gate is set in contemporary and World War II Bermuda.

Here’s the Blurb:

Dashing sea captain Nathaniel Morgan sails into the life of prim and proper Bermuda heiress Patience Whitestone and threatens to expose her family secrets at any cost. The two are immediately at odds when Nathaniel moors his vessel in front of her estate and refuses to leave until he finds the cache of Swiss gold he's convinced was buried somewhere on the property during World War II. Can Patience save herself and her family's reputation when she finds herself reluctantly drawn to this determined "pirate"? Or will someone from the past make good on his threat to destroy them both? Their fate is inextricably linked to Nazi plots and to the beautiful moon gates of Bermuda in this compelling tale of love and intrigue.

I’ve visited Bermuda many times, which is why I wanted to set my book there. And World War II is my favorite period of history so I combined my two loves. Actually, my husband only reads books about WW II and spies so I had to write one of those if I wanted him to read it.

What do I love about Bermuda? People can’t seem to stop talking about The Bermuda Triangle, but not many people are aware of the other things Bermuda has to talk about. So, courtesy of the Bermuda Department of Tourism, I thought you might find these little known facts about Bermuda interesting.

  1. Contrary to popular belief, Bermuda is NOT in The Bahamas. It’s located 650 miles off the coast of Cape Hatteras, N.C., and is less than a three-hour flight from Atlanta. It stretches for 21 miles along turquoise waters and is surrounded by a 200-square-mile coral reef plateau.
  2. Pink sand beaches. Bermuda’s signature pink sand comes from a combination of crushed coral, calcium carbonate, and foraminifera. There’s a picture on my Web site.    
  3. Bermuda is the oldest British colony.
  4. Visitors cannot rent cars in Bermuda. Tourists can rent motor scooters, but if you’re not careful you’ll get a bad case of road rash. 
  5. Bermuda does have its own currency, but Bermuda dollars are only usable on your Bermuda vacation, so it’s a non-exportable currency. Bermuda dollars are pegged to the U.S. dollar at a 1:1 exchange rate.
  6. If golf is your game…Bermuda is home to more golf courses per square mile than anywhere in the world.
  7. Love-Love. Thank you Bermuda for introducing tennis to America. 
  8. Bermuda has a rich literary heritage. Bermuda has attracted and inspired Mark Twain, Noel Coward, James Thurber, Eugene O’Neill and John Lennon. Before publishing The Secret Garden in 1911, Frances Hodgson Burnett stayed at the Princess Hotel, giving rise to the rumor that the secret garden was located somewhere in Bermuda. William Shakespeare’s The Tempest was inspired by a shipwreck that occurred near St. George in 1609, the year before he wrote the play. That shipwreck was also the inspiration for my book Destiny: A Bermuda Love Story, the prequel to Under the Moon Gate, which was released in September.
  9. Bermuda Shorts. Bermuda shorts, made of Irish Linen, are an acceptable part of the everyday wardrobe in Bermuda and are worn by most businessmen. 
  10. Bermuda remains the world’s number one wreck diving destination.

Excerpt from Under the Moon Gate:

     “For heaven’s sake, I’m coming,” Patience called out. She yanked open the thick Bermuda cedar door, ready to brush off the unwanted visitor. Instead, she experienced a shock of recognition when she stared at the man standing before her.

     Taking a step back, she examined him cautiously. With long black hair pulled back by a stark white tie, stunning blue eyes, and a fabulous face that managed to look both sensitive and sensuous, he could easily pass for a dangerous pirate.

     Perhaps she was daydreaming or hallucinating. She hadn’t gotten much sleep last night—or any night in the past month—and she had been reading a romance with a lusty pirate hero on the cover. Probably she still had pirates on the brain.

     Although the man at her door was in desperate need of a shave, he intrigued her. Her “pirate” was a tall, imposing presence in tight-fitting but ragged khakis, with muscles bulging out of a snug, sweat-stained white T-shirt.

     Good Lord! was the first coherent thought that pierced her brain. She might have said it out loud had she been capable of speech. Her grandmother had said someone would come for her, but certainly she didn’t mean so soon and definitely not this brash pirate person. And what was he doing at her door, unannounced and unwelcome, on a Sunday afternoon, disturbing her peace and leaving her speechless? One look at this man and she was about to toss all thoughts of proper behavior out the window.

If you haven’t been to Bermuda already, I hope you get a chance to go one day.  But reading my book is the next best thing to being there.

Author Bio

Marilyn is a public relations consultant in Atlanta. She’s a member of Romance Writers of America and Georgia Romance Writers (GRW) and the recipient of the GRW 2009 Chapter Service Award. She writes humorous women’s fiction, romantic thrillers/suspense, historicals and paranormal for The Wild Rose Press and has won writing awards in Single Title, Suspense Romance and Paranormal/Fantasy Romance. She and her sister, Sharon Goldman, just released a play about Alzheimer’s called Memory Lane. You can find out more about Marilyn’s books and short stories and listen to a medley of the music from Memory Lane on her Web site at or view it on YouTube at

Here’s where you can find me:

Author’s Website

And now, I'm passing the baton to these authors:

Catch their blogs next Monday, April 7th.
Mary Marvella:
Mary Marvella had been telling stories for as long as she can remember. She's a Georgia girl through and through and Southern to the core.
Love, lust, sweet tea, and southern comfort.
MJ Flournoy:

MJ Flournoy lives in Georgia, USA. MJ writes romantic suspense with paranormal elements. MJ's motto is, "If it is to be, it's up to me." When not writing, MJ enjoys traveling, reading and doing any type of research. 


Count your blessings with the magic of gratitude

by Rebecca J. Clark

Gratitude. According to Zig Ziglar, “The more you express gratitude for what you have, the more things you'll have to express gratitude for.”

Well, that’s all fine and good when life is great. It’s easy to be grateful when your life is easy peasy. But what about the times when life isn’t so great?

About a year ago, one of my friends recommended a book called The Magic by Rhonda Byrne. It is a book about gratitude. Written by the author of The Secret, The Magic suggests how gratitude can change our lives, that we will attract all we want when we practice feeling gratitude. The author wants you to start each day with a list of 10 things you’re grateful for and why. A few of my friends had started this daily practice and they said it changed their lives. According to the law of attraction, "like attracts like" and that by focusing on positive or negative thoughts, one can bring about positive or negative results (from the explanation on Wikepedia).

Well, I did my gratitude list for a while, felt good about it, but eventually got out of the habit. Then last October, my husband lost his job. And with the job market the way it is (sucky!), the future was looking a bit gloom. I decided to start my daily gratitude list again. And I’ve stuck to it every single day since then.

Have I seen Magic appear in my life? Has my life become easy-peasy? Um, no. In fact, life has gotten harder. My husband is still unemployed with no prospects; we’ve had some family illnesses (MIL diagnosed with cancer) and drama; household issues (does everything really need to break at the same time?). Etc, etc.

So, I guess this Magic Gratitude thing doesn’t work then, eh? Well… I think it does. Every morning I list 10 things I’m grateful for, 10 good things in my life. And each night before bed, I think about 5 things that happened today I’m grateful for. Then I think of the one very best thing that happened today.

By book-ending my day with gratitude, I think it’s given me the correct attitude to deal with all the crap that life has thrown my way lately. It’s like looking through the rain to find the rainbow every day. It doesn’t make life easier (wouldn’t that be nice?), but it certainly makes the negative stuff easier to deal with.

Side note: As I write this post, I am also watching the devastating story on the news about the massive mudslide across the county I live in. [read the story] Several people have lost their lives, houses have been destroyed, and many people are still missing and presumed dead, and the threat of massive flooding is imminent.

Boy, does this put my life and troubles in perspective or what? My issues are nothing compared to this. I am grateful I have a house. I am grateful I don’t live at the base of a hill or in a floodzone. I am grateful that my family is alive and well. I could go on and on.

I find myself stuck to the news like glue as I watch the story unfold, wishing there was more I could do other than donate to Red Cross [donate here]. Even in this devastation, miracles are being reported. The man who just happened to go to the grocery store at the time of the slide—his house is gone. The entire family who just happened to be at a baseball game—their house is gone. The woman who decided to stop at McDonalds—if she hadn’t, she’d have been driving on the stretch of road taken out by the slide. The dog that had been swept 100 yards and presumed dead, then was dug up the next day—bruised and beaten, but alive.

My troubles are nothing. I have much to be grateful for. Now, excuse me while I go write down my gratitude list for the day…

P.S. For the next seven days, I will donate all the profits of my indie books (The Checklist Diet and Shameless) to the disaster relief. So please help me spread the word.

The Checklist Diet


Why Did You Write THAT?

Today on the BEACH we have Pat White! If you've ever wondering how this suburban mother got into World Championship Wrestling to write her comedic Contemporary Romances, read on...

Why Did You Write That?

Sometimes people are mystified by how we writers choose our topics.  I mean, what would compel a Mid-western housewife to write a romance set in pro-wrestling? 

The truth is, it’s my grandma’s fault.

She used to sit me in front of her black and white TV when I was a little girl to watch Sunday morning wrestling, packed with excitement, adventure and high stakes drama.  The image of Grandma, or Googie as we called her, a prim and proper elderly lady waving her fist at the TV during a match has stayed with me, let me tell you.  Heck, I thought every kid’s grandma watched pro-wrestling and shouted at the refs.

From watching pro wrestling with Googie I learned that life wasn’t always fair, and that the wrestlers only pretended to get hurt – it was all part of the show.


Some years later, as the mother of two boys, I happened to be passing through our family room and noticed they were watching World Championship Wrestling. 
I smiled, remembering Googie.  Then I sat down and watched for a few minutes.  Wrestling had certainly changed since I was a kid.  The wrestlers of today were muscular, toned and, well… hot!  The other thing I noticed was how dangerous the “sport” had become.  Now the wrestlers were jumping off fifteen-foot cages onto folding tables and being locked in cages to fight until someone passed out.  These guys were risking their bodies for…for…what?  Fame?  Money?  What motivated them to participate in a form of entertainment that was ridiculed by non-fans? My writer brain was hooked.

While doing research about pro-wrestling, I discovered that although pro-wrestling is considered “fake” the injuries are quite real.  A pro-wrestler’s list of injuries can rival any other professional athlete’s.  So besides the potentially serious injuries, wrestlers are also looked down upon.  After all, everyone knows pro-wrestling isn’t real.  Or is it? 

That’s what inspired my first book in my romantic comedy series, GOT A HOLD ON YOU.  Through their journey, Francine and Jack will struggle with their own definitions of real and will learn that in the end what’s real is what’s in your heart.


What’s real about pro-wrestling?  What I learned was that pro-wrestlers are just regular guys trying to make a living doing something they enjoy.  Hmmm, sounds like a great idea!

Note: Be sure to check out Pat's Author Page on Beach Read Authors to see her Ringside Romance Series.


Eleven Things You (probably) Don't Know About Me

Welcome, author Lori Leger, who's here to share a few of her secrets....


Here it is, Sunday night...or actually, Monday morning, since it’s 12:06 a.m. CST. I’m exhausted because, at this time last night I had my two youngest grandsons here for the night—ages 2 and 3 years old. Took my shower and was all ready to climb into bed and read until I fell asleep, which shouldn’t have taken long. So, I decide to check my Amazon sales and open my laptop, right?  I Look down at the bottom right corner and see 03/10/2014. March 10th...hmm...besides it being my parents’ anniversary—it would have been their 70th—what else am I not remembering? Then it dawned on me. It’s my turn to post on the Beach Read Authors blog.

Despite my determination, after my last ‘late’ posting, that I would get this one written early and come up with something fabulous for you ladies—eh—sorry, but I’ve got nothing—literally nothing.

So, I’m going to take the lazy writer’s way out and cheat a little. I’m stealing something from Social Media, Facebook to be exact. I admit, this is taking very little effort on my part, so I’m begging your forgiveness. There’s always hope for next time, right?

The Expanded Version

My book, Megan's Marine,
on Amazon today.
1. I’m a southern girl, born and raised deep in Cajun Country of south Louisiana. I’m from a tiny town in Vermilion Parish called Gueydan...and proud of it, I might add. I did not grow up near a swamp and paddle around in a pirogue, which is a type of canoe. We had paved roads, and carpet in our homes, and air-conditioning and everything.  We all wore decent clothes and shoes. Please don’t assume from the ‘charming’ way Hollywood and ‘reality’ programs depict Cajuns, that I’m ignorant. Sure, we have our share of ignorance, but no more than other states do. The majority of families in the area farmed and raised cattle.

My father farmed rice, until he was disabled and couldn’t any longer. Our land is flat, very flat, but rich and fertile, and though we weren’t below sea level, we were only 9 feet above.  No, I could not see the Gulf of Mexico from our place and our home never flooded. We lived out in the country and I loved it.

2. I’m one of eight children. Yes, my parents were Catholic, but they weren’t trying for eight. Mom discovered years after we were born that she ovulated opposite of when her OB told her she did. Although my parents only wanted two, the last six of us are grateful for the error.

3. My mother taught me to read at 4 years old. Although she took me to what was called pre-school round-up back then to get into the ‘optional’ Kindergarten program, the teacher told her to take me home because I’d be bored. The next year I started first grade at 5 years old with no trouble at all. My grandson has been reading since he was three, and I’m choosing to believe he gets his ability from me, whether it’s true or not.

4. Just after my 8th birthday, my family moved to East Texas, to an even tinier town than Gueydan. I spent four years there, and then moved to south central Texas, just in time for me to attend a massive Jr. High school.  It was traumatizing, since I was so shy. I remember my mother driving me over to the school before it started, which was clear across town, just so I wouldn’t be so terrified my first day. Luckily, as soon as I stepped on the bus and sat down, a girl came and introduced herself to me. She was also attending the same school, and we were close friends for the next two years, along with another girl who rode my bus to Jr. High school. That was my first taste of ethnic diversity, as the city was a good mixture of blacks, Mexicans, and whites with everything from French, to German, and Bohemian backgrounds and everything in between.  I’m still thankful for that experience.

5. The summer before my Freshman year of high school, we moved back to our hometown in Louisiana. The first day of school was like coming home—getting to see all the students I’d started school with nine years earlier. I was happy about the move, even though it broke Dennis McDonald’s heart back in El Campo, Texas.

6. I graduated high school in 1976, married my first husband just after I turned 18, and had three beautiful children with him, a son and twin daughters. We stayed together for 17 years, then divorced, but are still friends. I married my current husband a year later and we just made our 19th anniversary in December of 2013. It’s because of him that I moved from Cajun country to Kinder, LA. , the “Crossroads of Louisiana”. We have a little bit of everything here, from people who speak Cajun French, to people who possess the east Texas and Northern Louisiana twang. All five of our adult children, my three, as well as my two step-children (the hubby’s from his first marriage), live here in the same town. We have TEN beautiful grandchildren, ranging from 19 to 2 years old.

7. I went back to college when I was 32 years old and received an Associate’s degree in drafting technology.

8. I worked 18 ½ years for the state of Louisiana, drafting and designing road plans for the Department of Transportation and Development. I worked mainly on designing plans to resurface the Interstate systems in Calcasieu and Jefferson Davis Parishes.

9. I wrote my first novel at 49, six years ago, and self-published it in August of 2011, after rewriting it several times over. Since then, I’ve written and published six more full length novels, one novella, and contributed to four anthologies, both as an author and publisher.

10. I’m a Libra, so I always try to see both sides of an argument. I cannot stand it when people act pretentious, and stand by my favorite quote—“Daddy always said, an ounce of pretention is worth a pound of manure.” I didn’t bend to peer pressure in high school, and I refuse to follow trends just because it’s the ‘cool’ thing to do. I think it comes from hearing my father say “If your friends jumped off a cliff, would you do the same thing?” at least a hundred times over the years. Then my mom would add, “Be a leader, not a follower.” Those words have served me well over the years.

11. I’ve got THREE books eligible for the RONE’ awards...need your help to get past this stage to final and be judged by experts. If you don’t already receive InD’tale’s fabulous review magazine in your inbox every month, please register for it now, so you can vote.   It only takes a minute to register. Today, March 10th, my book MEAGAN’S MARINE, is up against several others in the Cops, Jocks & Cowboys genre.  In week four of the voting, two of my anthology series, SPRING PROMISE and CHRISTMAS BY CANDLELIGHT, will both be up in the anthology category.  Fellow BRA member, Kim Hornsby, is also a contributor to the CHRISTMAS BY CANDLELIGHT book. So please help us to get to those finals by logging in and voting for us.

Thanks for letting me vent! Until next time...
Lori Leger

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