Posted in Guest Reveals/Announcements

Kissing Bandits Blitz: Where the Heart Is by Jennie Marsland

Where the Heart Is by Jennie Marsland

GENRE: Historical Romance


When Rochelle McShannon moves with her father from Morgan County, Georgia to the Yorkshire Dales, she thinks she’s leaving behind everything that matters to her. Her mother has passed away, her twin brother is going west to avoid the looming Civil War, and her family’s unpopular views on slavery and secession have destroyed her relationship with the man she hoped to marry. If returning to her father’s childhood home eases his grief, Chelle asks for nothing more.

Martin Rainnie understands grief. Since the loss of his wife in childbirth, he’s known little else, except anger. He’s retreated to his farm and turned his back on the world, including his baby daughter, who’s being fostered by Chelle’s relatives. With little Leah drawing them together, Martin begins to wonder if he can love again – and convince Chelle to do the same.

But the war overseas has far-reaching consequences, even in a small English village. Can Martin and Chelle overcome danger, loss, and bitterness to make a home where the heart is?


A few stray notes from Martin’s fiddle drifted from the open window. He played the first few bars of a tune, stopped awkwardly and began again, feeling his way through the waltz as if he hadn’t played it in a long time. Then he played it again with more assurance. The lilting melody rang out, warm and full of expression, until Chelle felt like getting up and dancing. Jessie was right. The man had a gift.

He slid from the waltz into an arrogant march that he played with a hint of a bounce, as if he were making sly fun of the tune’s seriousness. Chelle closed her eyes and smiled. Martin followed the march with a haunting air that sent her soaring over the dales in her imagination, looking down at their windswept emptiness.

One tune blended into the next until twilight faded and the stars came out. When Martin stopped playing, Chelle came back to earth with a jolt. How long had she been sitting there?

The house behind her was dark and silent. Jessie must have turned out the lamp and gone to bed. Through the open door, she heard Martin put away his fiddle and come to stand in the doorway. Then she felt his presence behind her. His voice touched her ear as he sat next to her. “You’d best come in, lass. It’s gettin’ late.”

AUTHOR Bio and Links:

AUTHOR BIO:  Jennie Marsland lives in Halifax, Nova Scotia, on Canada’s beautiful East Coast.  She has had a lifelong love affair with words and history, starting with her family’s stories of life in Nova Scotia in earlier times. Jennie teaches English, science and history at a local private school, and when she isn’t writing, spends her free time cooking, gardening, playing guitar, and catering to the whims of her two very spoiled Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retrievers.


Buy Link:


Jennie will be awarding a digital copy of Where the Heart Is to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.

Enter to win a copy of the book – a Rafflecopter giveaway

Posted in Be My Guest

Kissing Bandits Interviews Dorothy Callahan

KB: Welcome to Kissing Bandits Blog! Tell us a little bit about yourself!

author photoDC: Hi, Michele, and thank you for the invitation! My name is Dorothy Callahan, and I’ve been writing since high school (we’ll pretend that was only 5 years ago, despite all the reunions my graduating class has had) but only published since 2013. I love “love” and all of the nuances involved with it. I don’t limit myself to one genre, since the characters who demand I tell their stories don’t care if it’s a time travel, paranormal, contemporary or even historical. I write what the story (and characters) demand. Basically, I’m a slave to imaginary people.

I adore kittens and get my “fix” by fostering for our local humane society. My husband and I have fostered 16 litters since we moved here, but I’ve been fostering since 2001. We built a pen in the finished basement complete with yellow walls, window dressings, and multiple cat trees and posts. I love knowing that my efforts not only save lives, but also keep these babies from growing up wild and contributing to the feral cat population.

I also started a book group called READ AND RESCUE, where one can find animal-loving authors who support their own favorite shelters and causes. Every book on the site earns money for animals!

KB: Tell us a little bit about your most recent release.

DC: I’m going to thank our temporary Fed Ex guy for my latest release. He was seriously the hottest guy I’ve ever met. (Have you ever met a man who made you blush? As as adult? When you’re happily married to your best friend?) I took one look at him and thought “HOLLYWOOD ACTION HERO,” so I set about creating this new character’s and conflict.

TCASAMZ ecover 72dpi-1500x2000In “To Catch a Star,” Rex Ronin gets shipwrecked in Hawaii when his filming session turns into a tragedy. He washes ashore on a wildlife reserve where his agent wants him to build a resort in his name. But the scarred woman who saves him is so unlike his life of glamour that he’s immediately reminded of his life back home in Idaho. If Rex wants to ensure his fame and forturne, he’ll need to destroy Tori. And if Tori falls in love with Rex, he’ll want her to live in society, where everyone will notice the scars that drove her to work in solitude.

Was their shipwrecked encounter a disaster, or their destiny?

KB: What was your defining moment as a writer?

DC: I’d have to say it was the moment I opened up the email from Crimson Romance stating they wanted to buy my manuscript. I felt my jaw drop open, and even though I read it and reread it, the words hadn’t changed. They really wanted it! I kept saying, “Oh, my God. Oh, my God,” until my husband came up and asked if everything was okay. And then every word I ever knew spilled out of my mouth, and I started screaming that they wanted to buy my story, and suddenly I had to call my mom, and his mom, and my friend, and then another friend, and another and another and….

It exhausts and invigorates me every time I think on it.

KB: Pick out one of the best lines in your novel. What do you love about it?

DC: “I can’t compete with the world, Rex.”

“No, Tori, it’s the world who can’t compete with you.”

Tori is so self-conscious about the scars on her face from the car accident that she can’t believe anyone can see past them. But Rex has been so intrigued with her white-blue eyes, her gentle disposition, and her unity with nature that he doesn’t see them and has fallen in love. But how can the hottest man in America love a woman as scarred as Tori?

KB: What are your top three guilty pleasures?

DC: Chocolate, chocolate, and chocolate. No, that’s not exactly right.

Chocolate, cats, and chocolate. Um, close… but no cigar.

Chocolate, cats, and shopping for antiques. Well, I don’t need to buy any, actually, just window shop. Does window shopping count as guilt, since it’s free?

Cats, reading, and chocolate? Maybe.

Cats, writing, and chocolate ice cream.

Writing, chocolate ice cream, and surrounding myself with cats.

DING DING DING! We have a winner!

KB: What kinds of male characters do you prefer to write?

DC: I’m a big fan of the “Best Friend” archetype. I love my men to be supportive and am so lucky to have that in my personal life. I love “Warriors” as an archetype, too, so most of my heroes don’t mind kicking a little butt when necessary. Is that a Warrior trait, or simply being a Best Friend? They’re protective and strong and determined. They love their women unequivocally and always want to do what’s best for them and make them happy.  In my world, THAT’S a good man!

KB: What is something nobody would guess about you?

DC: I love shocking people with the fact that I both have and can play bagpipes. The next story I’m working on has a master piper as the hero. (He’s swoon-worthy, ladies, I promise!)

Thank you so much for inviting me to your blog. It’s been fun hanging out with you and I hope we can catch up sometime! If you want to find me, I’m at, on Facebook at Dorothy Callahan Author, and also Pinterest at: callahan3768.  Hope to see you soon!


Posted in Uncategorized

Kissing Bandits Welcomes M.S. Spencer

M. S. Spencer: The Interview


KB: Welcome to Kissing Bandits Blog! Tell us a little bit about yourself!

M.S. Spencer: Thank you so much for having me, ye Kissing Bandits! Me, huh? Okay. Although I’ve lived or traveled in every continent except Antarctica and Australia (bucket list), and spent more time than was good for me in academia, for the last thirty years I’ve been in Washington, D.C. I’ve enjoyed life as a librarian, Congressional staff assistant, speechwriter, editor, birdwatcher, kayaker, policy wonk, non-profit director and parent. Since 2007 I’ve published ten romantic suspense/mystery novels, nine of which have recently been re-released as second editions. Blessed with two fabulous grown children and an adorable grandchild, I now divide my time between the Florida Gulf coast and a tiny hamlet in Maine.

KB: Tell us a little bit about your most recent release.

M. S. Spencer Author (3)M.S. Spencer: My latest release, the romantic suspense/murder mystery The Mason’s Mark: Love and Death in the Tower, rose in part out of a true story. Starting in the 1940s an Italian named Licio Gelli embarked on a lifetime of bizarre scams and crimes. Gelli is most famous for founding a Masonic lodge called Propaganda Due, a renegade group that was erased by the Grand Orient of Italy for corruption. He is the model for the shadowy puppetmaster in The Mason’s Mark.

The setting for the Mason’s Mark, the George Washington Masonic Memorial, stands nine stories tall atop Shuter’s Hill in Alexandria, Virginia. The rooms get gradually smaller as you go up the levels, and the elevators that begin 61 feet apart on the first floor are only four and a half feet apart by the time you reach the ninth level. So, in the tiny space housing a replica of Solomon’s throne room on the ninth floor, it would be difficult to hide a body. Or a murderer.

The fourth floor contains a museum dedicated to George Washington. Washington served as the Charter (first) Master of the Alexandria lodge, and many of his letters and memorabilia are housed here, including the Washington family Bible. Since our heroine and hero meet in the museum, it follows that the Mason’s Mark would involve long lost papers, distant family scandals, and academic intrigue concerning our first President.

Here’s the blurb:

In both the best and worst first day at work ever, docent Claire Wilding meets  TheMasonsMarkLoveandDeathintheTower_M. S. Spencerthe man of her dreams, but her carefully rehearsed guided tour of the George Washington National Masonic Memorial collapses when she discovers a body and is drawn into a dark world of black ops and Italian renegade masons, of secret cabals and hidden treasure. Also cloaked in mystery is handsome Gideon Bliss, a George Washington expert who haunts the Memorial, his manner evasive. What is his secret? Claire fears she’ll fall in love with him only to learn he’s a thief or even a murderer. Juggling two eccentric mothers, an inquisitive sister, and an increasingly smitten detective, Claire must find answers to a complex web of intrigue, including who to trust and who to love.

KB: If you could have drinks with anybody (real/fiction, living/dead,) who would you choose and why? What would be the topic of conversation?

M.S. Spencer: So many…but I would choose Benjamin Franklin. For one thing, he loved beer! More important, there are so many topics he could expound upon. I’d love to hear his insights on journalism (it was pretty rough and tumble in his day), on the birth of our nation, on American relations with France, on the art of invention. Like Jefferson, he was well versed in so many areas. And he was wise. Of course, it might end up more an interview than a conversation…unless, as I suspect, he’d want to hear about the state of our country and the world today.

KB: What is something nobody would guess about you?

M.S. Spencer: That, with all the gorgeous men populating my books, not to mention many relationships over the decades, I am still desperately seeking my soul mate. Could be because I’m so weird. When I was young my family lived in many countries and my main companions were books. By the time I returned to the U.S. for high school, I didn’t fit in at all. I had experiences and knowledge that my classmates were unfamiliar with, and I had no clue what current fads were. I was considered rather an odd duck—so much so that I even had a blind date to the senior prom!

KB: Share a funny or ironic anecdote.

M.S. Spencer: I had been dating George for three years. He was married before and reluctant to take the plunge again, so our relationship was subject to lots of fits and starts. Now, there was a house around the corner from his that had always fascinated us. It had a huge, hand-hewn stone fireplace, a beautiful Japanese garden, and a swimming pool. One day it went up for sale, but was soon sold. I didn’t think much about it—at the time I didn’t see any future for George and me. Then one day, as we drove by the neighborhood, I made the totally idle comment that if the house ever went up for sale again, George would have to marry me. We had a good laugh.

You might guess what happened next. Well, the look on George’s face when he saw the FOR SALE sign was worth all the years of wishing and hoping and planning and dreaming. Even more delicious was the squirming, the hemming, the hawing, the blowing out of cheeks. Suffice it to say, he proposed that day.

KB: You can find M. S. Spencer at these sites:




Google +:


Linked in:

I Heart Book Publishing:

The Wild Rose Press:

Romance Books 4 Us (you can find my schedule of events here): OR

Amazon Author Page:

KB: M. S. Spencer has the following titles out. They are available in ebook and print-on-demand from all fine on-line book stores, including IBooks, Barnes and Noble, and All Romance E books. She has provided the Amazon buy link for your convenience.

The Mason’s Mark: Love and Death in the Tower:

The Penhallow Train Incident:

Mai Tais and Mayhem: Murder at Mote Marine (a Sarasota Romance):


Dear Philomena: Love, Lust and Murder on Chincoteague Island:


Coming July 20: Artful Dodging: the Torpedo Factory Murders (an Old Town Romance)

Coming in August: Whirlwind Romance