Nov 1, 2012

Blog Tour: Romance in the Rain

• Authors: Kristine Cayne, Dawn Kravagna, Charlotte Russell, Sherri Shaw, Clare Tisdale, Marianne Shillings
• Pub Date: October 11, 2012
• Publisher: Kristine Cayne
• Format: Ebook, 360 pages
• Age Range: Adult

From the pioneer days of Seattle through the smoke-filled clouds of WWII and into the present, Romance in The Rain takes readers on a journey with four generations of the strong-willed and passionate Caldwell family. The anthology of six novellas is a collaboration of the Seattle-based Rainy Day Writers group.

Splendor in the Moss by Charlotte Russell—By the spring of 1853 Englishman James Caldwell has traveled thousands of miles in a quest to find a place to call home. Newly settled Seattle isn’t that place and he’s ready to move on again when widowed Mattie Jensen marches into his life as somber as a cloudy day. But James can see through the solemn haze to Mattie’s strength and passion. Now he has a reason to stay, if he can just convince Mattie to take a second chance on love—and him. (22,000 words)

Final Approach by Marianne Stillings—With the world at war, Women's Auxiliary Ferrying Service pilot Lt. Charlene (Charlie) Thompson faces personal battles as well. Pearl Harbor left her a widowed bride, certain love would never come again – but battle-scarred Capt. Joe Caldwell has other ideas for the beautiful lady flyer, if he can just keep her safe from the secret saboteur who's already taken the life of Charlie's best friend. (17,000 words)

Love Phantom by Dawn Kravagna—University of Washington, 1983: A great place to get an education and meet single men. Drama major Kara Caldwell prefers to hide behind the characters in her plays, yet feels pressure to live up to the example set by her brave and witty grandmother, a veteran of WWII. Can she learn to overcome her reticence and prejudices to discover which guy truly cares for her--and who is just putting on an act? (17,000 words)

What’s Wrong with Mr. Perfect? by Sherri Shaw—No sooner did Chef Ivy Turin wish to meet the perfect man than Sam Rockney walked into her restaurant. But is the sexy Seattle quarterback for real or is there something wrong with Mr. Perfect? (17,000 words)

Shelter from the Storm by Clare Tisdale—Seven years and one broken heart later, JD Caldwell returns to Seattle to pick up the pieces of his old life, never imagining he will fall for Maya—the mysterious woman who lets him into her house and bed but keeps the door to her heart tightly closed. When their summer fling takes an unexpectedly serious turn and Maya gives him his walking papers, JD has to decide whether their love—and his legacy—is worth fighting for. (21,000 words)

Aftershocks by Kristine Cayne—When Seattle is struck by a devastating earthquake, technical rescue firefighter Jamie Caldwell must save his estranged wife and daughter from the wreckage of a collapsed building. He's defied the odds hundreds of times, but will his luck finally run out for good? (24,000 words)

Top Ten Favorite Villains in Literature
by Charlotte Russell, Sherri Shaw, and Marianne Stillings

Sherri Shaw’s Top 10 List of Favorite Villains in Literature

1. Count Olaf - A Series of Unfortunate Events by Lemony Snicket
Count Olaf is a classic slapstick villain. He uses over-the-top disguises that manage to fool naïve adults as he concocts elaborate schemes to steal the Beaudelair fortune. Fortunately for the Beaudelair children, they see right through his lies and manipulations.

2. Lord Voldemort - Harry Potter Series by J.K. Rowling
He is as cold-blooded as the snake that holds part of his soul. People are drawn to him out of fear, and a misguided sense of superiority. Voldemort is the ultimate hypocrite. He detests people of mixed blood, yet he himself is not a pure blood.

3. Joseph Edgeworth - Scoundrel, Blades of the Rose by Zoe Archer
Joseph Edgeworth is the leader of the Heirs of Albion, an elitist group of Englishmen who steal the world’s magic to expand British colonialism. He doesn’t see himself as a bad guy, yet he has no compunction about killing anyone who gets in the way of his plans, including his own daughter.

4. Jimmy – Practical Magic by Alice Hoffman
Jimmy is a wife beater, an abusive, manipulative man who you want to see punished. Gillian accidently kills him, but death doesn’t stop Jimmy. His spirit comes back to haunt she and her sister.

5. Capricorn - Inkheart by Cornelia Funke
Capricorn is literally brought to life after the hero reads him out of a book. The character acts as he was written, evil without a soul and no hope of redemption. He is the type of villain you can’t wait to see defeated.

6. Hannibal Lector - Silence of the Lambs by Thomas Harris
His intellect and outward charm hide the blackness of his true nature. He is the kind of villain that repulses, yet fascinates you at the same time.

7. Cruella De Vil, 101 Dalmatians by Justine Korman
“If she doesn’t scare you, no evil thing will.” The song is right about that. She is cold, calculating, and wants a puppy coat! A great villain with a great name that spells out her true nature.

8. The Grinch - The Grinch Who Stole Christmas by Dr. Seuss
A man with a heart too small, the Grinch takes great joy in tormenting the happy people of Whoville. Of course, he is redeemed in the end, but his actions leading up to his heart growing were not very nice.

9. Scrooge – A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens
Scrooge is a crotchety old man whose innate cheapness and intolerance for others weaknesses makes him an obvious villain. As the story progresses, we discover how the pressures of life turned him from an idealistic youth into a cold, bitter man. In the end, he realizes what he’s been missing and opens himself up to change.

10. The Warden - Holes by Louis Sachar
“Excuse me?!” Is her favorite line, but she doesn’t mean it nicely. She is sickening sweet to your face, but watch your back, this woman will leave you stranded in the dessert to die if you get in her way.

Charlotte Russell’s Top 7 List of Favorite Villains in Literature
This was hard because I’m not a fan of villains, so I could only stretch it to 7

1. Severus Snape (Harry Potter series)—Technically Snape is probably a pseudo-villain, but Harry thinks he’s a real one throughout most of the series, so I include him here. In a strange way, I adore Snape for all that he suffered and all that he does for the love of his life, even while half-despising Harry, the one he really must help. I was very afraid JK Rowling wouldn’t give Snape the glory he deserved in the final book. I won’t say she totally succeeded in that, but the ending did enough to mollify me.

2. Unnamed villain (Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn)—The villain isn’t revealed until toward the end of the novel, so I don’t want to spoil the story and name names. Suffice it to say, this villain is SCARY. If he/she smiles at you, my advice is to run. Run far, far away and do not ever look back.

3. Mr Wickham (Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen)—I love how subtly Austen plays Wickham. For much of the book the reader—and the heroine Elizabeth Bennett—aren’t even aware Wickham is a villain. In fact, Wickham makes the beloved Mr. Darcy seem like the villain. Nicely played, Jane.

4. Samuel Whiskers (The Tale of Samuel Whiskers by Beatrix Potter)—my youngest is fascinated by Potter’s stories, as am I. But to find Samuel Whiskers in a children’s book is a bit disconcerting. He is one mean rat. He matter-of-factly goes about plotting to bake Tom Kitten into a pudding. The first time I read this, I honestly wasn’t sure Tom Kitten would escape. As it is, I think he must end up mentally scarred. Let’s hope my daughter isn’t!

5. Maddy Clare (The Haunting of Maddy Clare by Simone St. James)—Maddy is one terrifically honked off ghost. With good reason, I might add. Her fury fuels this novel and no amount of placating is going to dampen her fire.

6. Sauron (Lord of the Rings trilogy by JRR Tolkien)—I would face Voldemort over Sauron any day. Voldemort just seems petty and power-mad while Sauron IS powerful and has all those armies of nasty creatures at his command, plus he made the One Ring to Rule Them All.

7. Cruella deVille (101 Dalmations)—This is just a shoutout to a good friend—a villain-loving friend—who thinks Cruella is the most delicious villain. As an animal lover, I have a hard time agreeing, but to each their own!

Marianne Stillings’s Top 10 List of Favorite Villains in Literature

I'm not a big fan of villains, even though they are a must-have to make a story work. There are literally (pardon the pun) thousands of memorable characters who could be included, so here are my top ten at this moment in time (in no particular order and subject to change depending on my mood).

Book Title
Why I love/hate him/her
The Wonderful Wizard of Oz by L. Frank Baum

Wicked Witch of the West
I'm sure she was simply misunderstood, but when she sent her flying monkeys out, I was terrified.
101 Dalmations by Dodie Smith
Cruella DeVil
She wanted to make a coat from puppy fur. I mean, puppy fur! You just can't get any more evil than that.
Harry Potter by J.K. Rowling
Lucius Malfoy
Nothing is more scary, evil, sinister than a bad guy in a position of power who has fooled people into thinking that he's harmless.
Les Miserables by Victor Hugo
Unrelenting, rigid, self-righteous, a policing machine dogging Jean Valjean's trail for hundreds and hundreds (and hundreds!) of pages.
Rebecca by Daphne Du Maurier

Although Mrs. Danvers is thoroughly evil, the behind-the-scenes villain is really Rebecca herself who has reached out from the grave to set her husband up for her "murder." Like, what a bitch.
Misery by Stephen King
Annie Wilkes
"Paul, I’m your greatest fan." Creepy! What makes thoroughly nutty Annie so truly horrific is that she believes she's "helping" Paul to write what he "should" be writing—and she's willing to go to absolutely any (violent) lengths to make sure he does.
A Series of Unfortunate Events by Lemony Snicket
Count Olaf
So deliciously devious and over-the-top conniving. As the adult who has control over the kids and their money, Olaf's efforts to eliminate the defenseless orphans is scary funny.
Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde by Robert Louis Stevenson
Mr. Hyde
Dr. Jekyll is not a good guy who becomes a monster—he's already a monster who wants to participate in certain vices he's denied as an upstanding member of society without anybody knowing that it's him. When he finds the means to transform, his dark side runs amok, but since nobody's the wiser, he continues on when a truly decent man would have stopped.
Jaws by Peter Benchley
The shark
Hey, he's a shark. Need I say more?
Real life
Time is ever the penultimate villain—Leave before the stroke of midnight or turn back into a pumpkin!—You have 48 hours to find the killer before he kills your little sister!—The bad guys get off the train at high noon and they're gunning for you!—Check those must-dos off your bucket list before The End! Time has no compassion and cannot be coerced. If you don't beat it, it will beat you. What better villain could there be?

From left to right: Charlotte, Kristine, Sherri, Clare, Dawn, Marianne
Writing fiction is difficult and lonely and more often than not, the "normal" people in your life don't understand the writing process and can't fathom why you are possessed and obsessed with finding the perfect word or phrase that says exactly what you want to say right where you want to say it. Only other writers comprehend and accept that kind of torment.

To fill this need to surround herself with like-minded obsessive-compulsive self-doubting lunatics, in 2005, Marianne Stillings, who writes Romantic Suspense, established what came to be known as The Rainy Day Writers.

There were only two requirements for joining the group: You must be serious about writing and getting published, and any criticisms of co-members' work be honest, gentle, and kind.
Over the years, the membership has changed; some people moved on, others joined. The group we have now has been stable and constant since 2009. The Rainy Day Writers are a family.

Charlotte Russell joined the group in 2006 at the suggestion of a former member. Charlotte writes Historical Romance.

Dawn Kravagna became a member in the spring of 2007 because of a writers' list where Marianne had posted looking for new members. Dawn writes Comedy and Mystery.

In the Autumn of 2007, Sherri Shaw found her way to the group because she and Marianne happened to sit at the same table at the Emerald City Writer's Conference that year. Sherri writes Historical Romance and Paranormal Historical Romance.

Clare Tisdale joined in 2008 as the result of an email Marianne posted on the Greater Seattle Chapter Romance Writer's list seeking new members. Clare writes Contemporary Romance.

Kristine Cayne found the group in 2009 because she won Marianne's raffle basket at the Emerald City Writer's Conference that year. The basket included an offer to critique the winner's manuscript—an evaluation that resulted in an invitation to join. Kristine writes Romantic Suspense.

Find Rainy Day Writers:

Giveaway Alert!!

All giveaway ends November 22, 2012 at midnight. Make sure to only enter the giveaway you are eligible for.

Giveaway for US residents only.
Grand Prize:

- 1 autographed copy of Deadly
Obsession + SWAG
- 1 autographed copy of
Deadly Addiction + SWAG
- The Secret Diaries of
Miss Miranda Cheever, by Julia Quinn (autographed copy)
- Blood Trinity, by
Sherrilyn Kenyon and Dianna Love
- 1 e-book copy of
“Falling Angel” by Clare Tisdale
- 1 handmade shell
necklace by Clare Tisdale
- A handmade afghan
crocheted by Marianne Stillings
- 1 autographed copy of
- 1 autographed copy of
- 1 autographed copy of
- 1 bag of truffles from
Seattle Chocolates
- 3 chocolate bars from
Seattle Chocolates
- $15 Starbucks gift
- 1 autographed copy of
Cattle Capers: Search For The MooMoo Pearl by Dawn Kravagna

Prize #5: 

- 1 ecopy Deadly
Obsession by Kristine Cayne
- 1 print copy Accidental Cinderella, by Nancy Robards
- 1 print copy Everything I Know About Love I Learned From
Romance Novels, by Sarah Wendell

Prize #6: 
- 1 ecopy Deadly
by Kristine Cayne
- 1 print copy The Angel
in My Arms, by Stephanie Sloane
- 1 print copy The
Naughty List, by Donna Kauffman, Cynthia Eden and Susan Fox (autographed by
Susan Fox)

Prize #7: 
- 1 ecopy Deadly
by Kristine Cayne
- 1 print copy Tsunami
Blue, by Gayle Ann Williams
- 1 print copy A Tale of
Two Demon Slayers, by Angie Fox (autographed copy)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Giveaway for both US and International residents.

Prize #1:

- 1 ecopy Deadly
- 1 ecopy of A Week to Be Wicked by Tessa Dare
- 1 ecopy of The Sergeant's Lady by Susanna Fraser

Prize #2:

- 1 ecopy Deadly
 - 1
ecopy of Unraveled by Courtney Milan
- 1 ecopy of Unlocked, a novella by Courtney Milan

Prize #3:
- 1 ecopy Deadly
- 1 ecopy of One Night in London by Caroline
- 1 ecopy of Ruined by Rumor by Alyssa Everett

Prize #4:
- 1 ecopy Deadly
- 1 ecopy of Mr. Impossible by Loretta Chase

Prize #8-10:
- 1 ecopy Deadly
- $10 Amazon or B&N

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Prize #11 US and International Giveaway

a Rafflecopter giveaway


  1. Thank you so much for spotlighting our anthology!

  2. All the stories in the anthology sound very interesting but I am most curious about the first 2 because they are historical: Splendor in the Moss and Final Approach.

    Thanks for the great giveaway!

    1. You'll love those two stories, Tin! Marianne and Charlotte are fantastic writers. Good luck with the giveaway!

  3. Splendor in the Moss sounds wonderful! I love historical romances :) And I'm also intrigued by Aftershocks. It sounds like it's going to be exciting! A thrill ride for sure! I can't wait to get my hands on this anthology! :)

    Thanks for a wonderful giveaway!

    songbird1613 at yahoo dot com

    1. Marie - thank you for your interest in Aftershocks. It is indeed a very thrilling ride. :) I hope you get the chance to check it out since it's the prequel to my new firefighter romance series. Good luck with the giveaways!

  4. "What's Wrong with Mr. Perfect?" and "Aftershocks" sound like fun reads.

    Ironically, I have always heard that it rains alot in WA, but when I visited my fiance' in Spokane early this year, it did not rain much at all.

    bookaholicholly at gmail . com

    1. Hi Holly! The confusion stems from the fact that Washington state is bisected by a range of mountains. Spokane is on the eastern side, which has typical mid-west weather: very hot and dry in the summer, cold and snowy in the winter. Seattle is on the western side. Here, it really does rain a lot, a drizzly London kind of thing mostly. But in the summer months, the weather is very dry if not terribly hot. This year, we went 82 days without an significant rain. The grass was dead, dead, dead.

      Good luck with the giveaways!

  5. I think they all sound great, and I love that many of them are on the longer side for stories. "What's Wrong with Mr. Perfect?" does sound fun.

    I also like that the various villain lists all seemed to include Harry Potter characters, but they were all different villains from the tales.

    1. I agree, Sarah. The ladies did a fabulous job of finding interesting and unusual villains for their lists. I hope you get a chance to check out the anthology, which is jam-packed with our six novellas. Good luck with the giveaways!

  6. I don't even know where to start?! They all sound like great fun, and the chance to just sit back, read and smile :) I also love the autographed copies... it seems to make everything just a little more special..

    Thanks for giving all of us this opportunity!


    1. Krista - you're very welcome! I hope you get a chance to read ROMANCE IN THE RAIN and journey through the generations of Caldwells with us. :) Good luck with the giveaways!

  7. I'm excited about deadly obsession and A Week to Be Wicked by Tessa Dare
    sena.sagani at gmail dot com

    1. Whoo!! So happy to hear that you're excited about DEADLY OBSESSION. I loved writing that book. I also hope you get the chance to read Aftershocks, my novella in ROMANCE IN THE RAIN. It's the prequel to my new firefighter romance series. Good luck with the giveaways!

  8. I was so excited to see this giveaway because I'm also from the Pacific Northwest (Seattle, actually.) I don't normally read romance books, but I'm interested in reading what local authors have written. :)



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