Who doesn’t love to romanticize the past, especially when we’re reading historical romance? We forgot about flushing toilets, dental floss, shampoo and conditioner, and food we can buy at a store. Well, Edie Whitecrow, my heroine from Born for This, book one in the Maizemerized series, is no different. She’s so obsessed with her Ojibway ancestors. So obsessed that her major in university is Indigenous studies. Edie’s mother hoped she’d outgrow the obsession, but the older Edie becomes, the more she needs to feed her obsession.
If anyone saw a corn maze where it shouldn’t be, I think we’d all stop to check it out—especially if there is a live scarecrow beckoning us to him. Mandaamin is the Corn Spirit of the Ojibway people, a powerful being who sacrificed himself long ago so the People could live and feed from the maize he offered. It is he who tells Edie to enter the maze and her biggest dream will come true.
I think we all know what Edie’s biggest dream is: to go back in time and witness her ancestors in their true environment.
I, along with three other author friends, kicked around the idea of a scarecrow and a corn maze that coincided with the spookiest night of the year—Halloween. This is the inspiration for my latest release. Being Ojibway, myself, and exclusively writing romance about Canada’s First People, I knew I could come up with something special that complemented my author brand. Thus, Born for This was…born.
Today, is release day. Yay. And you can purchase Born for This at eXtasy Books. While you’re there, take advantage of the sale happening until November 30, 2021. You can purchase my backlist (excludes new releases and book bundles) at 40% off.
Born for This – Maizemerized, Book One
She’s always been obsessed with her ancestors, and now he’s offering her a chance to live with them…forever.
Second-year university student Edie Whitecrow gobbles up each course on Indigenous studies. If only she could experience the lives of her Anishinaabe ancestors instead of reading about them. On her way to a Halloween party decked out as a historical Ojibway maiden, she spies a corn maze in a spot known to be barren.
A scarecrow figure beckons Edie to enter with the enticing offer of making her biggest wish come true. She jumps at the chance and finds herself in the past, face to face with the man who haunts her dreams—the handsome brave Thunder Bear. He claims he’s spent twelve years waiting for Gitche Manidoo to send her to him.
Life in the eighteenth century isn’t what Edie romanticized about, though. When her conscience is tested, she must choose between the modern-day or the world of her descendants—where the man she was created for resides.
Excerpt from Born for This…
One headlight, probably from a motorcycle, appeared behind her. The weather was unusually warm for the end of October, but driving a bike at this time of the year was rather brave.
Edie adjusted her rearview mirror to block out the light, although the driver used his low beam. She also slowed to let him safely pass. Maybe he was a partygoer, making his way to the Halloween bash. Or he could’ve crossed the international bridge in Rainy River, an American coming from Baudette. Or he could be a Canadian approaching from the town of Fort Frances.
The engine of the bike didn’t possess the distinct sound of a Harley Davidson, nor did the sporting and athletic roar resemble the high squeal of the Asian-made racing machines. Whatever he drove was loud enough to cut into her music.
He was by her side. She stole a quick peek out the side window at a helmeted silhouette of black.
He also turned his head.
Déjà vu was a hidden being lurking in the backseat, its claws settling on Edie’s shoulders. For a moment, her heart stood still. The haunting dream since she was but a child unfurled through her brain—a strong hand possessing long fingers stretching to reach hers, and a man’s black, narrow eyes staring through the mist.
Edie swatted the air, shooing away the crazy thought. The guy on the motorcycle was simply passing her on the highway. But his continuous attention opened up a discomforting twitch at the back of her neck.
With a tilt of his helmet, he whizzed past her. The bike slid from the left lane and into the right. He was moving so fast that his taillight quickly vanished into the night. The man had better slow down. In the fall, deer tended to pop up out of nowhere.
Edie sank further in her seat and tapped her nail on the steering wheel. He couldn’t be a partygoer. From what she’d spied, there’d been no costume draping his masculine silhouette. Or maybe he was the man hidden in the mist, stretching his hand to hers, giving her a glimpse of his long nose, thin lips, and razor-cutting cheekbones.
Get real. If Mom snuck into your thoughts, for the bazillionth time, she’d tell you to get out of your imagination and quit thinking about the old days.
She bounced her left foot in beat to the song. Maybe Mom was right. Edie’s obsession with their ancestors must stop. Fat chance of that happening because her BA major was Indigenous Studies. Plus, what was wrong about wishing for a life amongst her relations from long ago?
The corner of her eye caught the moonlight shining down on a…corn maze.
Want to read more? Go ahead and purchase a copy at eXtasy Books.
About the Author
An Ojibway from Northwestern Ontario, Maggie resides in the country with her husband and their fur babies, two beautiful Alaskan Malamutes. When she’s not writing, she can be found pulling weeds in the flower beds, mowing the huge lawn, walking the Mals deep in the bush, teeing up a ball at the golf course, fishing in the boat for walleye, or sitting on the deck at her sister’s house, making more wonderful memories with the people she loves most.
In the scientific community, there is some argument on whether time travel is possible. The hypothetical theory for it is called an Einstein-Rosen bridge, otherwise known as a wormhole. A wormhole is a short cut through the space-time continuum. It acts like a tunnel connecting two places in three-dimensional space, the present, and the past or future, with time as the forth-dimensional element.
The key aspect of a time travel novel, regardless of what time it takes place, is the fish out of water trope. Imagine, for a moment, that you suddenly found yourself in the 1800s. All the everyday things that you are used to haven’t been invented yet. How do you survive?
In 1876, Edison was still perfecting his telephone. The carbon arc lamp was the first practical electric light in use, but only in larger cities. Women’s clothing included a long line bodice and hemlines that reached the floor. Freedoms and socially acceptable behavior were different. Louis Pasteur and Robert Koch established the germ theory of disease in 1870 but it is not widely practiced. The first city to have a comprehensive sewer system was Chicago in 1885.
How does a woman who is used to having her independence and modern conveniences, cope in a world that doesn’t have cars, air travel, air conditioning, television, radio or even the right of women to vote?
The heroine in my latest time travel story has to make the decision to return to her own time or remain in the past with the man she loves knowing what she is giving up. Is love more important than indoor plumbing or owning your own business? The answers are in my Halloween novella, THE PORTRAIT, part of the Love through Time series. Coming September 17th.
They had only the ghost of a chance…
The first time Catherine went to the historic Hamilton House, she was looking for whatever haunted it. But what she found was even scarier: a portrait of a woman who looked exactly like her. But Catherine was not going to let a look-alike from another century—or a broken heart in the twenty-first—stop her. She would still put on the fund-raiser of the mayor’s dreams so she could realize her goal: a bed-and-breakfast of her own.
David gave it all he had, but couldn’t escape what felt like a life-sentence in his family’s 19th-century prison. He wanted to go West, build his own business, and find his own wife. But his parents stymied him at every turn, choosing both the woman he would marry and the career he would follow. It wasn’t until Catherine popped into his life—and into his arms—that he found hope again.
What do you think the future will look like? We’ve had a lot of television shows and movies depicting different possible futures. The most well know would be the STAR TREK series. The series portrays humans in the future as explorers who have gone into space to see who and what is out there. The film BLADE RUNNER gives a dystopian view of the future. There are cartoon shows like FUTURAMA and THE JETSONS which give a different twist and serious programs like THE EXPANSE and ENDER’S GAME. The future is limited only to the imagination of the writer.
There are difficulties in imagining what things will be like in thirty or fifty years. In the 1985 movie, BACK TO THE FUTURE, the DeLorean travels thirty years forward in time where Doc Brown gives it a flying upgrade because all the cars thirty years in the future could fly. Well, 2015 has come and gone and we still don’t have flying cars. In 1987 my father passed away from a heart problem of a leaky valve. Last year my husband had robotic heart surgery to repair a leaky valve. We have made amazing advances in medicine in the last thirty years. What will the next thirty look like? In 1969, Apollo 11 landed on the moon using computers with less computing power than most people carry around in their pockets today, smart phones. What will the machines and computers of the future look like? Today we can buy devices for our homes that turn on and off lights, music, television and appliances. What new innovations will we have in the year 2050?
In my latest novel in the Love through Time series, A WAY BACK, my character, Jack Sinclair, is accidently sent eighty years into the future and has to deal with all the strange things he finds there while figuring out a way to get home.
I’ve had to think a lot about what the world will be like in eighty years. What changes and advancements do you think we’ll have by then?
A Way Back
Time travel only seemed like a good idea.
Like many before her, Sarah Anderson is determined to make her fortune in the Wild West. She loads up her skirts with twenty-first-century necessities, gives her fiancé a kiss, and takes the leap. Only to land in the wrong decade. She’s lucky. She finds a job. But until she can save enough pennies for the return trip, she must contend every day with the fear of discovery, slop buckets, and roving hands.
Jack Sinclair returns from yet another business trip only to learn that his fiancée has left him for another time. They are now many miles and two centuries apart. Jack is stunned. But only for a moment. He sets out to find Sarah and bring her back home. Or die trying. Jack’s only fear is that he might be too late to save the love of his life.
Woodstock’s 50th Anniversary is this summer, Thursday, August 15 to Sunday, August 18, 2019. Fifty years ago, in 1969 from August 15 to 18, throngs of people came together in Bethel, N.Y. for four days of peace, love, and music. It turned out to be one of the biggest and grooviest rock festivals ever, and an iconic cultural and historical event. The concert was far-out with thirty-two acts including Joan Baez, Santana, the Grateful Dead, Janis Joplin, Sly and the Family Stone, The Who, Jefferson Airplane, Joe Cocker, Jonny Winter, The Band, Blood, Sweat, and Tears, Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young, and Jimi Hendrix with what was probably the most memorable performance of the festival—his profound rendition of “The Star-Spangled Banner”.
Food was in short supply at Woodstock because the promoters only expected about 50,000, but around 400,000 showed up—which also created the largest traffic jam in the history of the Catskills, forcing State police to close the New York State Thruway’s Exit 104. Plus, on the second day of the festival, a downpour transformed the grounds of Max Yasgur’s dairy farm into a sea of mud.
Yasgur’s former farm, the site where all of this took place, has been remembered by the opening of both the Bethel Woods Center for the Arts and the Museum at Bethel Woods on the grounds and was also added to the National Register of Historic Places.
I am a babyboomer but I was only 12 in 1969—too young to hitchhike to Woodstock, unfortunately. However I always wanted to go, so by writing about it, I got to go, at least mentally, and I get to take all you wonderful readers along with me as well as two of my favorite characters, Cash and Keith. This Woodstock, time-travel, baby boomer, comedy romance of mine is called Back To The One I Love.
The thrilling adventure of first love and self-discovery is just as groovy the second time around.
A free-spirited, baby boomer couple, Cash and Keith, find their marriage of forty-five years unraveling amid apathy, boredom, and retirement. Cash feels Keith is no longer attracted to her and he’s consumed with a couch-potato life of streaming The Orville and Game of Throne episodes all day long. Trying to hang on to their marriage and rekindle the romance they lost along the way they turn to a counselor. The therapist uses an unorthodox magical method of a time-traveling Volkswagen van to cast them back into the garden…four days of Eden at Woodstock….the epic music festival… where they first fell in love. Will the freedom of Woodstock lure Keith and Cash to push their individual boundaries and seek new lovers? Or can Déjà Vu and grooving to music….truly lead them to rediscover the peace, love, and harmony they once shared?
Cash’s mind was in a haze, floating with the music, moving her body freely―bouncing, jiggling, dancing her heart out.
Keith clapped with Cash as Jimi Hendrix picked the strings and worked the frets as he played “The Star Spangled Banner.”
In his hands, the inanimate object, the sleek, white electric Stratocaster, came to life, with jolts of electricity like Frankenstein’s monster.
This was no confused, lonely monster Hendrix created, Cash thought. This is raw, spiritual beauty.
“The notes are ‘The Star Spangled Banner’ mixed with truth and distortion, fear and hope, chaos and order, all fighting each other. It sounds like bombs and guns, screams of pain, and the whirl of army helicopters, all from the strings of his guitar,” Keith said.
“The national anthem has never been played like that before him or since him,” Cash said, with an edge of awe to her voice.
“He’s telling a story of freedom fighting to break through prejudices, lies, and cover-ups just by the way he’s playing the song,” Keith added.
“He’s incredible.” Goosebumps prickled on Cash’s arms when Jimi Hendrix laid the guitar on the stage and picked it as he ritually set it on fire, letting hype and lies go up in smoke and flames.
Tears formed in the corners of her eyes. “It’s the most incredible thing I’ve ever seen,” she said in an emptily charged, broken whisper.
Keith gulped hard. “It blows my mind.” He slapped his palms together, clapping with Cash, a long time after Hendrix left the stage.
“And we saw it twice, together.” She slipped her arm around Keith’s waist.
“How special are we?” He slid his arm around her shoulder and pulled her tight to him.
You can find more on Back To the One I Lovehere and Peace, Love, Music here.
Since I live in a 200-year-old house, I’d have to say I do. In fact, I think these “sprits of the past” are the ones who helped me bring my new novel Lacewoodto life.
They didn’t haunt me by moving things or slamming doors, yet somehow I know they’re here. They have to be. People lived in this place. Had babies here. And died here.
Wondering about the lives they lived was the initial spark that got me started on this novel—along with one other strange occurrence. I began noticing sycamore trees while driving to work. Suddenly, they were everywhere…stretching their ivory white limbs up to the sky in the distant fields. Most people would ignore this sudden fascination, but being an author, I knew it was the prodding of my writing angel (that’s what I call her)—and I don’t ignore the writing angel.
After doing some research, I discovered that sycamores have quite a history—all the way from the Bible to the American Civil War. I also stumbled across a reference that referred to sycamore trees as lacewood.
Lacewood sounded beautiful…like the title of a novel. This was wonderful news, because I usually struggle with a book’s title long after it is completed. The bad news was…that’s all I had.
Staring at a blank computer screen brought to mind the image of a house beyond a gate that was deserted for some reason. I decided the house must have secrets—but I had no idea what they were. From the beginning, I envisioned a portrait on the wall with a second portrait missing. Unfortunately my writing angel didn’t tell me who the portraits were of or why one was missing…
Back to the house I live in. I searched for years for “just the right house,” and finally bought the one I still live in (even though it only had an outhouse at the time). After doing some research, I discovered it was owned by a Revolutionary War captain, whose family was among the original founders of the town of Gettysburg and surrounding county.
Many years later, while visiting a local cemetery, I noticed the last name of the former owner listed as a middle name of one of my ancestors. I soon found out that my grandmother’s kin married this man’s kin, so that this wonderful house that took me so long to find, belonged to someone in my own past.
Random chance? Or grand design?
If you read Lacewood, you’ll get a glimpse of how the spirits of the past seem be the ones directing us all along…
To learn more about Lacewood, watch the 1-minute video trailer here. The Launch Week price of $3.99 ends on June 23.
A love story that spans centuries…
Two people trying to escape their pasts find a connection through an old house—and fulfill a destiny through the secrets it shares. Part love story, part ghost story, Lacewood is a timeless novel about trusting in fate, letting of the past, and believing in things that can’t be seen.
MOVING TO A SMALL TOWN in Virginia is a big change for New York socialite Katie McCain. But when she stumbles across an abandoned 200-year-old mansion, she’s enthralled by the enduring beauty of the neglected estate—and captivated by the haunting portrait of a woman in mourning.
Purchasing the property on a whim, Katie attempts to fit in with the colorful characters in the town of New Hope, while trying to unravel the mystery of the “widow of Lacewood.” As she pieces together the previous owner’s heartrending story, Katie uncovers secrets the house has held for centuries, and discovers the key to coming to terms with her own sense of loss.
The past and present converge when hometown hero Will Durham returns and begins his own healing process by helping the “city girl” restore the place that holds so many memories. As the mystic web of destiny is woven, a love story that might have been lost forever is exposed, and a destiny that has been waiting in the shadows for centuries is fulfilled.
A powerful and poignant tale that vividly conveys the heartache of war, the tragedy of loss, and the fulfillment of destiny…even when souls are separated by centuries. Lacewood takes readers on a journey that connects the past with the present—and the present with eternity.
Turning in a circle, Katie studied the room again. Faded wallpaper curled and peeled above the dusty wainscoting, but the walls themselves appeared sturdy. On the far side of the entryway, and dominating the wall, stood a mammoth fireplace with an ornately carved hearth. Her attention was immediately drawn to a painting of a woman in nineteenth century dress that hung prominently over the mantel.
“Who is she?”
The sheriff turned to the dusty, sun-bleached portrait in the heavy carved guilt frame. “One of the previous owners, they say.” He shrugged. “The family history kind of got lost with the house. Everyone around here calls her the Widow of Lacewood.”
Katie stood spellbound. The woman was clothed completely in black, but the magnificence of the gown gave the impression of sophistication and class. Her chin was slightly elevated as if to project strength, yet there was more than a hint of sorrow and pain in her eyes.
“She looks so sad.” Katie spoke without removing her gaze. “And so young. How could she be a widow?”
The sheriff had already started to walk away, but he turned back and glanced at the painting. “Not sure, but they say she never remarried.”
Katie’s heart suddenly struggled to beat. The anguish in the woman’s eyes kept her riveted. She could see the pain. Feel a heart ripped apart. Something was missing that could never be replaced. Katie had felt such loss before. In a way that’s why she was here.
Jessica James believes in honor, duty, and true love—and that’s what she writes about in her award-winning novels that span the ages from the Revolutionary War to modern day.
She is a three-time winner of the John Esten Cooke Award for Fiction, and has won more than a dozen other literary awards. Her novels have been used in schools and are available in hundreds of libraries including Harvard and the U.S. Naval Academy.
Long before Marie Kondo was touting the joys of downsizing and living more minimal, I was clearing out clutter.
When I was growing up, I was probably the only kid I knew who never had to be told to clean their room. And every spring (and fall), on a Saturday afternoon, I’d close myself in my bedroom with the vacuum, a dust cloth, and a garbage bag. When I came out a few hours later, everything had been moved and vacuumed under or dusted. I’d have gone through my closet and bookshelves. Even though my bedroom was only about eight by twelve, I’d have managed to move some of the furniture around.
As an adult, I’m still the same. I’ve already started going through cupboards and closets getting things together for the big family yard sale we usually have every year over at my brother’s place. The thing is, tastes change. Things I’ve enjoyed for a few years may no longer suit my style. And that’s okay. I’ve used and enjoyed them and now it’s time to let them go. That makes space for things I do love. The yard sale is a fun family day and gives me a few dollars to put toward something I might like. What doesn’t sell gets taken off to charity. Everyone wins!
With her abusive ex-husband safely behind bars, Roxanne Sykes is trying to carve out a quiet life for herself. Just as she’s beginning to feel free to explore her new possibilities, word reaches her that her cruel ex has been released from prison. When he shows up at her door bent on destroying her, it’s only through the magic of a well-loved tapestry that Roxanne is whisked away to safety—and into the world of a warrior she’s known only from her fantasies.
Radnor Craddock has known only a life of violence and brutality at the hands of his older brothers. Now that they have fallen in battle, Radnor and his twin brother Sednar can finally put their house in order. Just as their efforts are bearing fruit, fate smiles upon them again by delivering a potential tapestry bride to their doorstep. Well aware of what they must do to win her hand and her heart, the brothers dedicate themselves to granting Roxanne every imaginable pleasure, driving her to sensual heights unlike any she has ever known.
With each new erotic encounter stirring a loving bond between the three, Roxanne is tempted to accept the promise of the tapestry and make a new life and new home with the brothers. But she has trusted before and been painfully wrong, and she’s frightened by the whisperings of the brothers’ violent past. Unsure of herself and threatened anew when her merciless ex finds his way to her once again, Roxanne must trust her heart as the brothers vow to protect her and destroy her ex—and to give her a life and love she had never dreamed possible…
N.J. Walters is a New York Times and USA Today bestselling author who has always been a voracious reader, and now she spends her days writing novels of her own. Vampires, werewolves, dragons, time-travelers, seductive handymen, and next-door neighbors with smoldering good looks—all vie for her attention. It’s a tough life, but someone’s got to live it.
If you had told me five years ago, “Carol, you’re going to self-publish books, create short stories for competitions, and write a few magazine articles,” I would have had trouble believing it. I did write creatively now and then. I never considered it as a serious venture.
Occasionally, I would have flights of fancy, composing poems and plays. I was enamored of an early 70s television show, a western with handsome guys in the lead roles, Alias Smith and Jones. I wrote an episode. I even included timing for commercial breaks in the 30 minute show, but it was only for me. I never considered submitting it. I was just a kid too.
So, how did I start writing seriously? One day, about four years ago, I was using the computer doing the usual thing—researching on the Internet and checking out social media. Then, something hit me, metaphorically speaking. I wanted to create a book. The desire seemed to just come out of the blue.
For now, where my books are concerned, I do everything myself—from start to finish including cover design. It’s a lot of work, but incredibly rewarding when your concept comes into being.
Resonance is my first romance, and it has a time travel twist.
There’s a lot of me in Bea, one of my protagonists. We both love music—in particular the classic rock of the 70s and 80s and enjoy art museums. In fact, the art museum in the book is based on the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts in Richmond where I’m a frequent visitor.
She and I jump at the chances to sail on ships and boats. We love going to festivals that feature tall ships—those grand, masted ladies of the sea and checking out the artisans who usually attend the events.
This past July, I was honored to be able to sail on the frigate USS Constitution, “Old Ironsides,” on her turn around cruise. I got to explore every inch of her open to the public. Members of the crew, in historical uniforms, gave interesting presentations throughout the ship about the dangerous life on a warship in the “old days.” We landlubbers also got to see sailors demonstrate how to load a cannon. When it came time to fire, they shouted out a hearty “BOOM”—so much fun. Talk about being in heaven.
Constitution was never defeated in battle, and stepping onto her deck was awe-inspiring. She’s still a commissioned ship in the United States Navy.
I’d love it if you read a sample of Resonance and dropped me a line too. I’m always interested in what you have to say and any questions you may have. Don’t be a stranger.
Bea is never lucky in love. There’s always something missing sooner or later. No man has ever been able to end the emptiness plaguing her. She’s just about ready to stop torturing herself with the possibilities–destined to live the rest of her life unfulfilled.
Enjoying a girls’ day out with her best friend, Bea discovers an old record album by her all-time favorite rock band. Why is she thrilled and enchanted by Maximilian’s face gazing up at her? He didn’t hold that power over her in the past, and he died ten years ago.
That night, researching him on the Internet well into the wee hours, she learns Maximilian never found his lasting love.
Bea decides to enter her birth date and his into her trusted astrology site for a compatibility report. The results slash through her already wounded heart.
Bea and Maximilian are soul mates! How is this possible? He’s gone. Any hope of finding that one enduring flame is gone with him. Or, is it?
Would time be willing to give Bea and Maximilian another chance?