Friday, April 10, 2015


Sarah Castille has a new release. You may remember Sarah’s visit to Over Coffee in 2013 where she talked about being a contest whore and the vital feedback and lessons learned and applied to her writing. I loved her article. She’s come a long way since her first release two years ago. Big congratulations to Sarah for making both New York Times and USA Today bestseller’s list!
Sarah writes steamy romances. She writes contemporary erotic romance featuring the world of MMA in her Redemption and Club Excelsior series, erotic romance suspense in her Legal Heat series, and contemporary romance with her Sinners Tribe Motorcyle Club series. Her heroes are tough but they’re the good guys and her heroines are strong enough to tame them.

Her romances usually center on über alpha males. In her April 9, 2015 interview with USA Today, she explains what’s attractive about such males.
“...for all his blustering and swagger, the punishing kisses and the bossy behavior, the über alpha romance male is a good guy, a strong man, a leader and protector, respected for his passion in everything he does. Although he will never talk about his feelings, he will never be cruel or physically harm the heroine. At heart, he has the same needs and fears, desires and motivations as other men. He has a lot to give and an über capacity to love...”
In her Redemption series she writes about the world of mixed martial arts. Sarah had to do some serious research to portray the MMA world accurately and be able to put her readers in that world. One of the things she did, in her research, was shadow and interview MMA athletes. She did an interview with the Calgary Herald, where she talks about that experience.

Sarah’s latest book in Redemption series, Full Contact, was released April 7, 2015.


When you can’t resist the one person who could destroy you…

Sia O'Donnell can’t help but push the limits. She secretly attends every underground MMA fight featuring The Predator, the undisputed champion. When he stalks his prey in the ring, Sia is mesmerized. He is dominant and dangerous and every instinct tells her to run.
Every beautiful thing Ray “The Predator” touches he knows he’ll eventually destroy. Soft, sweet and innocent, Sia is the light to Ray's darkness—and completely irresistible. From the moment he lays eyes on her, he knows he’s going to have to put his dark past behind him to win her body and soul. EXCERPT

Buy Links: Amazon:   Apple:  BAM:  B&N:  Indiebound:


Recovering lawyer, karate practitioner, and caffeine addict, Sarah Castille worked and traveled abroad before trading her briefcase and stilettos for a handful of magic beans and a home near the Canadian Rockies. Her steamy, contemporary romantic tales feature blazingly hot alpha heroes and the women who tame them.

You can find Sarah: Website, Facebook, Goodreads, Twitter.
You can also sign up for Sarah's newsletter for the latest scoop on books, contests, and appearances.

Wednesday, April 8, 2015


I had this scheduled to publish early. I just got home from yet another doctor's appointment and discovered it did not do as programmed.  Yikes, sorry folks.

One of the most famous landmarks of Missouri is the Gateway Arch. It was originally designed as a testament of the pioneer spirit of the men and women who won the west. St. Louis was considered the main starting point of many who chose to go west and settle those lands.

The Gateway Arch, aka, Gateway to the West, is a relatively new monument, completed in October of 1965. The dreams of such a monument, honoring the vision of President Jefferson and his aides that made possible the western territorial expansion of the United States, began thirty-two years earlier. It was the brainchild of an attorney, Luther Ely White, who pitched the idea of a memorial to mayor, Bernard Dickmann, who then spoke with city leaders and the non-profit Jefferson National Expansion Memorial Association was created. This was in December of 1933.  It wasn’t without opposition. 

This was project was proposed during The Great Depression and the $30 million price tag was staggering. Many felt this money would be better spent on people who needed things rather than a monument. Luther Ely Smith, however, felt that the spiritual was as important as the physical. The memorial would focus on the bravery and the intrepid spirit of Americans who expanded and built the country from the east to the west and at great cost to themselves. A focal point reminding all that one must look to the future and not just the present. It was felt that very spirit would be what pulled Americans out of the depression and back to prosperity.

President Roosevelt’s approved the building of the memorial by Executive Order 7253. It would be an 82 acre National Historic Site administered by the National Park Service.  During the 30’s there were many such national building projects and many funded, in part, by Roosevelt’s New Deal agencies with the purpose of creating jobs for Americans. The Gateway Arch fell into that category by commemorating westward expansion (spirit of Americans) and created jobs (economic and the physical of Americans) proposing about 5,000 jobs lasting several years.

The design of the memorial was actually an architectural competition. Luther Ely Smith felt that the memorial should focus on the spiritual and aesthetic values and be represented by one central feature. Something that would symbolize American culture and civilization.  The contest was under the jurisdiction of architect George Howe with seven judges and they set the parameters of the contest and design as follows: 

"(a) an architectural memorial or memorials to Jefferson; dealing (b) with preservation of the site of Old St. Louis—landscaping, provision of an open-air campfire theater, reerection or reproduction of a few typical old buildings, provision of a Museum interpreting the Westward movement; (c) a living memorial to Jefferson's 'vision of greater opportunities for men of all races and creeds;' (d) recreational facilities, both sides of the river; and (e) parking facilities, access, relocation of railroads, placement of an interstate highway."

The contest began May 30, 1947 and the finalist and winner chosen was Eero Saarinen and his architectural team on February 18, 1948.  The bidding for the construction of The Gateway Arch and the visitor center was awarded to MacDonald Construction Co. of St. Louis and on June 23, 1959 the groundbreaking ceremony was held. Only twenty-six years after the memorial was first proposed. I can’t say that a lot of jobs were created during the depression as a result of this memorial because such huge project takes a great deal of time to implement, especially when federal fund allocations (and politics) are involved. But the Gateway Arch construction began February 12, 1963 and was completed October 28, 1965.

Sadly, the founder of this Jefferson National Expansion Memorial, Luther Ely Smith, didn’t live to see his dream a reality.  He died April 1951. But he did get to see the winning design. He would have been 91 in 1963.

The memorial is huge. Standing at the foot of The Gateway Arch is amazing and as with many memorials, humbling. It's taller than the Washington Monument and the Statute of Liberty. I've stood beside all three. 

I’d say it does honor the spirit of Americans to see potential of something and tackle it. To look beyond narrow boundaries to expand and grow. I can only hope that lesson is carried forth into the future.

Photos courtesy of Wiki Commons

Monday, April 6, 2015


I haven’t always lived in Missouri. Actually, being military kid and spouse, I’ve lived many places. Some breath takingly beautiful some places not. One thing I did learn in all my travels is to look for and see the beauty in the place I am.  It’s there, provided you don’t always use the yardstick of 'home' to measure the standard of beauty. There are many hidden treasures in the places I've seen but, sometimes, you have to hunt for them.

Missouri is actually a beautiful state. It’s full of wild rivers, majestic sandstone cliffs, mountains, huge tracts of forests, and an abundance of animal life. 

Surprisingly so.

A couple of weeks ago, as I was traveling from home to town, I spotted a group of large birds congregated around a roadkill. We have a lot of carrion birds, but what made me do a double-take was the bald eagle in their midst munching away. No missing that white head.  I’ll admit to slowing almost to a crawl as I watched not one, but two take flight. That close to them I realized how huge they really are. Typical wingspan is between 5'9"-7'5". That's a LOT of wing. They weigh about 9-13 pounds and body length over 2-3 feet. Big birds.

Missouri is home to various birds of prey both various hawks as well as the bald (meaning white headed) eagle and the golden eagle. I’ve heard them more than I’ve seen them. I’ve spotted both types of eagles but at a distance. It’s quite another thing  to see bald eagles standing within 20 feet of me and then take wing? Whoa.

My place is rather secluded and as I've said many times, it's beyond the back forty. It's surrounded by forests and open grazing fields and is a great habitat for these birds of prey. There is plenty of water, open areas with concentrations of medium-sized mammals, and quite a bit of carrion. Eagles are opportunist carnivores when it comes to food.

Dark areas are where bald eagles breed. Missouri is one of those areas.
Missouri is one of the areas where the bald eagle nests. Missouri Department of Conservation has a tree nursery, as the crow flies, about two miles from my property. I spoke with one of the employees there and told them about the bald eagles I saw on the side of the road by the nursery.  I was told that this particular pair of eagles do have a nest nearby. They've been tracking them. My husband has seen them hunting down by our pond and the creek when he's been out.  Very cool. 

Most of the breeding bald eagles live closer to St. Louis area (2 hours NE of me) since we have the confluence of the Mississippi and Missouri Rivers near St. Louis. Much better fishing areas for the eagles since fish is their preferred diet. 

Traditionally, eagles have been as symbols of strength and courage. They are fierce, proudly independent, and beautiful. The bald eagle is indigenous only to North America. After a bitter six year battle in congress, the bald eagle was chosen to represent the United States. It certainly is a majestic bird of prey.

Of course, had we listened to Benjamin Franklin, the national bird would have been a turkey. <grin>

Pictures courtesy of Wiki commons