Carla interviews Sandy Kelly, author of ‘Up the Creek Without A Saddle’

Hi, Carla Roma here! I recently spotted Sandy Kelly at a live music bar in downtown Calgary and followed her into the bathroom.

Carla: Sorry, I know everyone is told not to corner a writer in the bathroom, but this is the first chance I’ve had to chat with you when you’re not either up dancing or involved in a conversation with all your friends at the table.

Sandy: Ha! Not to worry… it’s actually publishers and agents you’re not supposed to follow into the bathroom. Writers are pretty much fair game! And you’re right – when I drive in from my little town to enjoy an evening of live music, fine wine and fun friends in the city, I’m rarely sitting quietly alone. Unless I’m in the bathroom, of course!

Carla: What’s the best part for you – the music, the wine or the friends?

Sandy: Hmmm… hard pressed to choose a favourite from that list, but I do love the energy that fills everyone up when they’re enjoying live music – indie music, in particular. My friends and I especially love a jam-session when a bunch of independent musicians come together to share their love of music and originality. It’s magic.

Carla: Is that why you have enjoyed participating in the Bandit Creek series? Is it like a jam-session of writing for you?

Sandy: Absolutely! You take a bunch of independent writers who are working hard on their own craft and then mix them all together to follow their own story lines from the same quirky little town of Bandit Creek. Stir in pretty much every literary genre imaginable, add a hefty dose of talent and a generous helping of support… and you have a perfect recipe for a unique and successful series. It’s magic.

Carla: Your story, Up the Creek Without a Saddle, sounds pretty playful.

Sandy: I consider it a ‘Bandit Creek-lite’! My story is one of the last few in a long and diverse story list. The Banditoes have taken readers on such a journey, from mystery to erotica, from children’s fiction to other worlds. I wanted to create something light-hearted and a little goofy. Up the Creek Without a Saddle plunks a very wealthy young woman into Bandit Creek and into the arms of a handsome rancher who believes he is coming to the aid of a beautiful, but poverty-stricken damsel in distress. The story pokes fun at what happens when a simple misunderstanding brings two people together. And when they start telling little white lies in an effort to stay together.

Carla: Sounds fun – thanks for the bathroom chat. It’s time to hit the dance floor again!

‘Thief of Hearts’ Released Today!

Thief of Hearts released today! Pick up your copy from Amazon today!

Trying desperately to escape an abusive husband, Melissa Stacey drives until she reaches the town of Bandit Creek. She doesn’t know why she has stopped here, but as she sits looking at Lost Lake, she realizes that she too is lost. She has no family, no friends and no hope of ever escaping her cruel husband. Her hopelessness drives her to make a rash decision.

After being warned by Bandit Creek’s town drunk/prophet, depending on who you spoke to, Gabriel Waters rushed to save her. He didn’t know who she was but Old Jack told him he had to hurry or he’d be too late. He arrives at the shores of Lost Lake in time to see a woman disappear below the surface.

What happens next is a story of how two people, brought together by tragedy and fear, can find each other and solace in the discovery of true love. Love that can be found everywhere, even in Bandit Creek. After all everything happens in Bandit Creek.

Click here to read an excerpt.

Carla interviews Vivien Harben, author of ‘Thief of Hearts’

Hello, I’m Carla Roma. All you Bandit Creek fans hold on tight because we are racing towards our next release. Just like all the others that have preceded it, Vivien Harben’s book Thief of Hearts promises all the fun, spice and adventure we have come to love from all the Bandit Creek Books. Recently I had the opportunity to sit down with Vivien to have a quick chat about her book. Here’s what she had to say.

Carla: Hi Vivien, I’m so glad we have this chance to sit down and chat. Can we talk?

Vivien: Hey Carla, you know we can always talk. In fact getting me to talk is never our problem, it’s getting me to stop that is the challenge.

Carla: (laughing) Too right! Before we get into Thief of Hearts I wanted to ask you what made you want to write books?

Vivien: I have always wanted to write ever since my grandmother used to come and read us bedtime stories. I loved the pictures words evoke in your mind as you travel through any story. In fact I recently found one of my first books, written when I was 5…colored construction paper stapled together with lines of squiggles running neatly across the paper.

Carla: Sounds like a great read!! What was the story about?

Vivien: Well a princess of course!!! Then when I finally tried using letters I started writing fables, the one I finished was “Why Hippo was Green”.

Carla: And so why was Hippo Green?

Vivien: He rolled in the grass of course!!

Carla: Now about Thief of Hearts what can you tell me about where the idea came from to write it?

Vivien: I have always heard the saying “write what you know”. So some of this story comes from very personal experience. I myself was in, survived and overcame a very abusive relationship. It is always a challenge to overcome adversary but to come out the other side still open to and willing to risk loving someone again; well that is real life for me. I wanted something sweet to come out of something dark.

Carla: That is quite intense and remarkable that you can still think that way after what you’ve been through.

Vivien: We should never be defined by the dark hard times we may endure. Rather we should grow from them to try to make our outlook more positive than it was before.

Carla: So how come the hero comes from South Africa? Where’s the connection?

Vivien: I have family that lives there and every chance I get I go back to Africa because that continent draws me like no other. I think I’m still trying to find Harry the Green Hippo! When I can, I like to sneak Africa into my writing just because I love it so much, makes things a little more mysterious too.

Carla: Well you wrote and self-published another book as well. Was Africa in that one?

Vivien: No, Border Passions is an English historical romance. Africa didn’t really fit there. But Bandit Creek? That’s a different story, pardon the pun, isn’t it? After all EVERYTHING HAPPENS IN BANDIT CREEK.

Carla: It certainly does. So Vivien, thanks for your time. I know you have to get back to work.

Vivien: You’re welcome, Carla! It was nice chatting with you.

Carla: So readers, there it is. Our next installment in the Bandit Creek series is ready to roll. Hopefully you too can see the good come from amongst the ashes of something bad. Stay tuned for my next interview and I think we really know after all our books: Everything does happen in Bandit Creek!

Breaking Love’s Curse released today!

Chance Guiley has left the Marines and returned home to Bandit Creek to keep his end of the contract he signed years ago with his biological father, Zeke Guilley. However, it’s not what Zeke expects. Chance found a loophole in the contract and hired his best friend’s baby sister, Nikki Sayors, to take his place at the firm flaming Zeke’s ire. The arrangement does allow Chance to keep his promise to his best friend and watch out for Nikki. He now also has the time to take over his aging grandparent’s ranch – the only thing he has ever wanted to do since the first time he pulled on a pair of cowboy boots. But Chance’s perfectly crafted plan backfires when Nikki comes to town. She’s always been attractive, but now she’s grown into a full-blown bombshell turning every man’s head. If he doesn’t make a move – and soon – someone else will. Chance must choose between his loyalty to his best friend and his attraction to the one woman he has never been able to get out of his head.

Nikki’s loved Chance from the moment she met him years ago and has always wished he would see her as a woman instead of his good friend’s kid sister. Since her brother’s death in Iraq, Chance has played the part of fill-in-brother, constantly calling to make sure she is doing okay but always careful to keep a physical distance. She’s out to annihilate the distance in every way and make him understand she doesn’t need a protector – she needs a man and her sights are set on him. Time isn’t on Nikki’s side though. Like the legends of Lost Lake, the Guiley name is cursed and Nikki is the only one who can change the past. If she doesn’t set things straight between father and son, she loses everything, including Chance.

Pick up your copy at Amazon or Smashwords today!

Carla Roma Interview:

Hello, I’m Carla Roma and it’s no secret to any of you who know me – I love wine. Red, white, blush – just bring it on!  While I was hanging out in a very quaint winery in California sampling some merchandise, I met author Kreseda Kaine. She was sitting at a table overlooking the vineyard, glass of wine in her hand and a captivating look in her eye. I couldn’t deny my curiosity. I approached her table and asked if I might join her. Kreseda gave me one of the most inviting smiles I had ever encountered from another person – and I knew – we were going to be good friends. After our introductions, I asked her what she had been thinking about before I came over. Kreseda’s eyes nearly glazed over.  “An idea for a steamy book I’m going to write!” she told me.  “So you are a writer?” I asked.  “I’m going to be,” was her reply.  From the passion in her voice, I knew one day she would succeed and asked her to tell me about her idea.  Once I heard it, I knew she would fit in well with the authors of Bandit Creek and asked her to join the group and write a novella as her debut publishing project. 

Today I have the pleasure of hanging out in beautiful Kananaskis Country, sitting before a natural fireplace in the massive hotel lobby with my friend, Kreseda Kaine, to interview her about ‘Breaking Love’s Curse.

Carla:  So before we get to your book, do you have a new favourite wine you would like to share?

Kreseda:  I have the tee-shirt that says ‘I share well with others’.

Carla:  Perfect! lol

Kreseda:  My new favourite is a South Eastern Australia Cabernet Sauvignon.

Carla:  Hmm, sounds heavenly.

A mischievous glint sparkles in Kreseda’s eye.

Kreseda:  Would you like a splash? (Kreseda pulls a bottle of wine out of her oversized purse with one hand, and two wines glasses with the other hand and waves them at me)

Carla:  And that’s why I love you, girlfriend. lol

Wine poured followed by a crisp tink of stemware

Carla:  Enough about wine for now. Let’s talk about your cover – it’s to die for.

Kreseda:  Thanks – I truly loved that whole process and I wanted the cover to portray the emotion between the characters.

Carla:  Mission accomplished. Where did you get the idea for this book?

Kreseda:  I like writing about things I know or have experienced myself and then adding a little heat to take the average to the ecstatic. I love the connection you feel when you meet someone special for the first time, and you just know in your gut, this is something good. So I took that feeling, added some heat and there came the idea for the story of Chance Guiley and Nikki Sayors. You feel the heat of their history before they even come together in Bandit Creek.

Carla:  I’m hooked. Tell me about these characters.

Kreseda:  Nikki’s loved Chance from the moment she met him but because she is the sister to his best friend, Bobby, he’s always kept her at a distance out of respect. Chance and Bobby met in the Marines and were as close as brothers. They made a pack to each other to take care of things should one of them fall. The day Bobby dies, Nikki becomes Chance’s responsibility and Chance being the man he is, takes this responsibility very seriously. However, in an effort to keep his emotions hidden, he accepts back-to-back deployments putting thousands of miles between them and hoping the attraction will pass. All the while, he is diligent about calling and keeping tabs on his Nikki to ensure she is doing okay.

Carla:  Oh, poor Chance. Is Nikki going to continue to let him hide?

Kreseda:  LOL – Would you? Nikki comes to Bandit Creek to uncover a mystery and make Chance finally see her as a woman instead of his best friend’s kid sister. You’ll have to read the book to find out how Nikki handles her big bad Marine.

Carla:  Consider it done! Kreseda, thank you for your time and sharing a little about ‘Breaking Love’s Curse’. I look forward to reading your novella and wish you all the best with your writing career.

Kreseda:  Thank you, Carla.