Paisley Kirkpatrick on a Musey Sea Voyage

A few days ago I talked to my good friend Paisley Kirkpatrick about doing a guest blog about her new release in The Paradise Pines series, Forever After. Little did I know what fun I’d unleash.  As authors we always seem to carry on conversations with our characters. Paisley not only talks to them, but apparently takes them on cruises with her! Before I give away too much, here’s Paisley and Marinda floating on the seas of adventure and love.



Paradise Pines

Book Three

Forever After


Paisley Kirkpatrick


Desert Breeze Publishing



Marinda grabbed the copy of Forever After off her bedside table and left her stateroom. The day was warm and perfect for the temporary freedom. She grabbed a wide hat and left for a few hours of sun.

”Good afternoon,” a woman on deck said.

Marinda nodded and sat on a deck chair next to her. A shock rammed through to her toes. The woman was pictured on the back of her novel. ”Um, excuse me, but are you Paisley Kirkpatrick, the author who wrote Forever After?”

The woman stopped writing in her tablet and smiled. ”Yes, I am. Have we met?”

Marinda covered her mouth and giggled. ”We haven’t exactly met, but we do know each other quite well. I’m Marinda.”

”Marinda? I am sorry, but the only Marinda I know is a character in a book I wrote.”

”Yes, I know. I am that Marinda. Marinda Benjamin.”

”No, you’re nothing like the Marinda I wrote about.”

Marinda ripped off her hat, letting her long blond hair cascade down her back.

The author gasped. ”You are Marinda! How did you escape from the pages?”

”You should know. You are my creator and a great storyteller.”

Paisley reached out and ran her finger of Marinda’s her cheek. ”You’re part of my imagination, aren’t you?” She pulled back and stared. ”Pardon me, but I’ve never met one of my characters in person before.”

”It’s all right. I feel a bit strange about being free of the Kindle. I’m not sure exactly what an ebook is, but it does get crowded in there. I hope you don’t mind, but while I’m free I have a few questions.”

”Of course. I guess after all the royalty checks I’ve cashed, I owe you at least that much.”

”How do you know what to do with us? I mean, your ideas have to come from somewhere?”

Paisley snickered. ”Yes, well I’m not quite sure where the main plot ideas come from, but once an idea forms, I draw on my past experiences and put them in story form. I use you and the other characters to tell my stories.”

”I don’t mean to hurt your feelings, but some of those ideas come from me. You must realize the voices you hear aren’t some frivolous words created by your so-called muse. I give you very good ideas, but you don’t always follow them.”

Paisley sat up. ”Now, wait just a minute…”

Marinda was on a roll now. She wiggled her finger back and forth in front of Paisley’s face. ”And, I’d like to know where Ethan came from. What a stuffed shirt. Do you realize it took over half the book for him to relax?”

She leaned closer to Paisley. ”Which one of us do you like the best? Huh? My sister Amalie or me?”

”Are you done?”

Marinda pulled back. ”I’m sorry. I usually give you the silent treatment when you ignore me, but now that we’re face to face, I guess I got carried away.”

”Yes, well, I apologize, too. I am used to rejection, but I never expected it from you, Marinda. You are the sweet sister, not the one with the mouth. I left that job to Amalie.”

”Why did she get all the good lines?”

Paisley chuckled. ”It’s nothing against you, Marinda. You can blame my great grandmother. She wasn’t nice to me when I was a child and I found my revenge in Night Angel.” She shook her head. ”You have to admit though, your story had more words than hers and you did find your forever-after kind of hero.”

”Yes, and here he comes looking for me.” Marinda stood. As she left to meet her man, she turned and left with a word of advice. ”The next time you have silence in your head, pick something besides The Phantom of the Opera to get us to talk. Butler is a hunk, but he’s not Bubba.”  


Available Now


Desert Breeze Publishing







Mashed Up Romance

I’m going to be honest with you. When I went to bed last night, I had no idea what I’d write about. My brain had literally been killed by the heat and the work week. Yeah, it was one of those weeks. Don’t ask. Neither of us needs a rehash of all that. Really, we don’t.


This morning, a totally different story.


I don’t know if it was divine inspiration, or HBO shoving ‘Pitch Perfect’ down my throat 8 times on three different channels last night, but an idea greeted me when I finally crawled out of bed. Mash Up!


Okay, how does a ‘Gleeism’ apply to a Blog by a guy who writes romance? Simple! Romance is the ‘Mash Up’ master. It takes everything readers love and meshes them into a damn fine story time after time. Huh? What yo talking about Jmo?


Romance, especially modern Romance, is all about presenting a story that appeals to any reader. Seriously, it doesn’t matter what you love to read, Romance can give you a story that you’ll love. Let me give you a few examples.



Westerns. My good friend Paisley Kirkpatrick mashes the Old West with Romance in such a way that readers who normally would only read the Western genre could easily slip into the old west and feel right at home. I say that with confidence because she exhaustively researches her books before writing it. The historical details are right on the money. You read about a mining town, you better believe it’ll be historically accurate. Same with wagon trains. Trust me when I say, she goes beyond the norm to make sure her readers walk away feeling like they just stepped out of the Old West. Before I scamper off onto my next tangent, she adds a level of Suspense and Mystery to her books. That’s a Mash Up hat trick of goodness.


Suspense. Again, I’m going to touch on one of my fellow authors. Melanie Atkins goes to the same extremes crafting her stories by researching police techniques and everything else that it takes to create a story steeped in police lore. When you enter one of her books, you feel like you’ve just spent the night riding along with a detective. What about the Romance? Trust me, she has that covered. Not only are her facts top notch, she works some magic that keeps you breathless from her thrilling plots, but her characters make you fall in love right along with them.


For my last example, I’m going to a true master of the Mash Up! Jennifer Hartz in her Future Savior series doesn’t stop with combining Science Fiction with Romance. Oh no! She combines elements of SciFi, Fantasy, Inspirational, and Romance. Oh my! Out of all my fanatical reads, Future Savior is my all time fan boy pleasures. Jennifer has taken world building to a whole new level. If that wasn’t enough to knock your socks off, she gives you multiple timelines all at the same time! Past, present, future, she rips you across time and makes you like it. Like C.S. Lewis in the Chronicles of Narnia, Jennifer presents the perfect spiritual allegory in such a way that the message is subtle and gives you a warm toasty feeling that makes you dig deeper for understanding. And, the Romance? She doesn’t give you a slam bam thank you ma’am. No, her characters’ romance is a continuing story toldover five books with all the twists and turns that real life gives you. So, when you get right down to it, she mashes SciFi, Fantasy, Inspirational, Romance and real life, and you can toss in a little Contemporary. Now, you see why she’s my idol.


So, what about me? What do I mash together like a big bowl of cheesy bacon mashed potatoes? You knew it was going to be about me eventually. Wink.


I mash together whatever I can. Like Jennifer, I started off building a world. I make that world so real in my head that I live there much of the time. It’s the world we know, but slightly left of normal. My Love Bites world is a mash up of our world, ancient mythology, ancient aliens, the usual paranormal elements, but all swirled together into something new, yet old at the same time. That’s my first Mash Up.


With Love Bites and Bite Marks, I wanted to craft stories embodying all the things I love. Romance, the Paranormal, Fantasy, Comedy, a little SciFi and High Adventure, with some Tom Clancy type espionage elements thrown in to keep me hopping. Hopefully readers hopping too. Why all that? Because, when I read books, those are the things that hold my interest. So do I write Paranormal Romance? No, I write a Frankenstein version encompassing all of the above.


The Vampire stories are more story driven with plots that cross over all the books in the series to give you a broader view of the world I’ve created. My heroines and heroes main job aside from falling in love is to keep the world safe. Hey! That makes them superheroes. My Vampire Avengers! Guess I better add another genre to my Mash Up. If you’ve read my books or this blog before, you probably already knew that, but it slipped up on me. Funny how that happens.


The Southern Werewolf Chronicles is an extension of the Love Bites Universe, but it deals more with a single relationship. It is the continuing love story between Maddy and Nicholi. It begins with their unlikely reunion after a European Vacation gone furry and continues from there. So, with it I’ve mashed up Contemporary Romance, Paranormal, Comedy, and Romance with a Southern Flavor. Each book tells a snapshot of their lives growing to love each other and understanding what that love means to two people used to depending on only themselves. Something anyone in a lasting relationship has to come to grips with.


My Amor Immorati series, I’ve gone to the other side of Paranormal. For one thing, Comedy isn’t the main story element. In each book, two so far, I’ve mashed up specific genres to tell my stories. Immortally Yours combined my love of Ancient History, Fairy Tales, Detective Novels and Fantasy in the form of bigger than life heroes. Set in the modern world, it falls under the ultimate mash up genre, Urban Fantasy. Book two, Immortally Damned examines Religious themes and redemption. Immortally Yours dealt with the same theme but approached it from a different angle. That’s what’s so great about these mash ups. You can literally tell a thousand stories and be original about with each one because of the tools you use.


Mash ups are more than a musical term. It’s a tool. A tool any artist can use. I can say artist, because authors paint pictures like a painter uses brushes or pencils, or like a singer, D.J. or musician uses their individualized instruments. The creative process does not limit what you can do with the tools you’re taught to use. It’s limited to what your mind can conceive. Romance authors are the quintessential artists. We love so many genres as readers, that when it comes time for us to become writers, it’s natural for us to gravitate to those things we endeavor to paint portraits of love in the minds of our readers. We can do it in the present, the past, the far flung future, or worlds you’ve never seen before.


That’s why when someone asks me what I write, I’m proud to say that I write romance. It’s not only the language of love. It’s the language of imagination gone wild.


Before I go, a couple other Mash Up Authors you should check out.


Gail Delaney: Her Phoenix series is just amazing. If you love Science Fiction, it is not to be missed.


Gloria Clover: ‘Children of the King’ is quite simply the most wonderful adventure I’ve been on all year. A Mash Up of Science Fiction, Fantasy, and Inspirational, this series is a true delight.


Jordan Bollinger: Duty with Honor mashes together suspense, spy thrillers and romance. If you love James Bond with a Scarecrow and Mrs. King mentality you’ll love this tender tale of love and espionage.


Now, go forth and mash up your reading!


Rootin’ N’ Tootin’ with Paisley Kirkpatrick


Writing romance is like shooting the wings off a gnat at 40 paces. Sometimes you’re Annie Oakley and always hit the  mark, but most of the time you’re that crazy prospector that nobody really understands what he’s saying.  Writing is a hit and miss business — a spent cartridge at times; a fiery blast of awesome at others. What we can never forget is that quitting is never acceptable.


Think about the miners who left their families and traveled across this country in search of the elusive gold. It was hard, back-breaking work day after day without any conveniences. It took perseverance and a dream to find the nugget or vein of gold. It’s a waste of time if your dream is mediocre…go for the big one, the one you think is out of your reach. When you catch it, the reward is beyond your wildest imagination.


Twenty-three years ago I dreamed my dream. I never gave up because it wasn’t something I could do. I wanted to write a book. I had to write a book. Every day as I traveled down the mountain to work, my story ran through my head like a movie. When it was complete, I sat for ten hours and wrote it from beginning to end. I finally had my story, now I had to learn the proper way to present it.


I had no idea what kind of journey I’d travel. How many detours and dead ends I’d run into. I also had no idea how stubborn I am. I always knew my Mother was stubborn. You know — that good old Scottish dig-in kind of stubbornness. Over the years I perfected it to a science. I would not give up no matter how many judges gut-punched me in contests or how many rejections filled my wastebasket. I had a dream and it would never come true if I quit.


Looking back over the years I can honestly say the journey was the best part of getting published. We had some devastating years and roadblocks. I almost lost my way, but my friends held out their hands and led me back. I changed my target – my goal if you wish. I focused on writing the best story I could write and turned the negative into the positive. Writing became fun again. I wrote a second story, a third, and then a fourth. Now I am writing my fifth. Ideas and words come a lot easier with experience under my belt.


I found inspiration in my great, great grandfather’s handwritten journal written while he traveled from Missouri to California in 1849 on a wagon train. The makin’ of this great country came from great, strong pioneers. They lent their strength to its beginning. If we pay attention and look around, we can learn from what they left us. We are a strong and proud people. Their pioneer spirit never ceases to amaze me and I love expressing a small part of it in my stories.


It’s time for me to say ”Head ’em up. Move ’em out!” But before I head dem doggies on out, let me leave you with a bit on my second book in the Paradise Pines Series, the Marriage Bargain to chaw on.







I have five books in the Paradise Pines Series. Book one is Night Angel. It tells the tale of Amalie Benjamin, the oldest of the three Benjamin sisters when she arrives in the mountain community of Paradise Pines. Marriage Bargain is based on the adventures of the middle sister traveling west on a wagon train. Darrah Benjamin is a jilted bride who unknowingly enters a marriage of convenience with the man who left her at the altar.




Dear God, I need help, and I need it now.

She had no idea where she was. What direction they traveled. A movement across a clearing caught her attention. She stole a quick glance at the rider bearing down on her at a full gallop. Hair, as dark as the charger he controlled, whipped about his broad shoulders. His posture on the bareback mount gave credence to his power and confidence. He rode alongside her and stretched out his hand. She lashed at him with the ends of the reins.

He wrapped a strong arm around her waist and hauled her out of the saddle. She landed prone across the shoulders of his stallion, gasping for breath. Flailing for something, anything solid to grab onto, her hand knocked against the slick fabric of his pant leg. His arm clamped around her waist, pulling her secure against him.

The enormous black horse slid across the muddy ground to a stop. Darrah slipped to the forest floor, thankful to be on firm ground again. She flipped the tangled mess of curls enmeshed with twigs and leaves out of her eyes. Rain and wind whipped across her face as she stared into probing dark eyes.

“How dare you take such liberties with me?”

“A bit ungrateful, aren’t you?” The brim of his dark hat tipped low, blocking a better view of his face. “Did I hurt you?”

She shook her head.

“You’re all right then?”

She drew in deep gasps of air. Straightening her bodice and skirt the best she could, Darrah nodded. “Yes.”

He leaned closer. “Take my hand. I have shelter.”

Common sense urged her to use caution. She didn’t want to act ungrateful after he’d come to her aid, but who was this man appearing out of nowhere? Her father could have sent him to bring her home. She ignored his command and took a couple of steps backward.

He moved his restless mount forward, blocking any attempt to flee. “Don’t be foolish. Take my hand and step on my boot so we can get out of here.”

Darrah drew herself up to her full five feet eight inches and slapped his hand away. “I’m not going anywhere with you.”

A brilliant shaft of lightning struck a nearby tree, followed by a massive crack of thunder. Acrid smoke permeated the air. Prickles ran through both her hands and feet as every hair on her rigid body stood straight on end.

He extended his hand again.

Staring into the surrounding woods in frustration, her heart thumped rapidly. The forces of nature pounded in furious frenzy, whipping, tearing at her resolve. Without a horse, there was no way of escaping the storm. She thrust a near-frozen hand into his strong grasp and placed her boot on top of his.

Without an ounce of strain, he lifted and placed her upright in front of him. In full command of the animal, he turned the powerful stallion and headed back through the woods from where he’d come. His right arm enveloped her waist, forcing her against his solid chest while he maintained an equally tight grip on the reins.

She shivered, all too aware of the power the stranger possessed.    






Where to buy Marriage Bargain:


Where to buy Night Angel: