Romance in the Rain Anthology: Interview, Review, and Giveaway!!!

18 Nov

Title: Romance in the Rain (A Seattle Anthology)

Authors: Kristine Cayne, Dawn Kravagna, Charlotte Russell, Sherri Shaw, Clare Tisdale, Marianne Stillings

Publisher: Kristine Cayne

Release Date: October 15, 2012

Pages: 360

Buy Link: Amazon (US) | Amazon (UK) | B&N | Kobo | ARe | Smashwords


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)


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.

For more information on Romance in the Rain and the Rainy Day Writers, visit them at

Romance in the Rain Excerpts

Splendor in the Moss by Charlotte Russell

After telling the dog to stay, he steered her away from the Jensens’ cabin, towards the woods to the south. “Thank you.”

“For what?”

“Giving me the time of day. You were gone for such a long while, I wasn’t certain you’d come back.”

“I had to fight my better judgment.”

James laughed. He couldn’t put on airs around Mattie if he tried.

Final Approach by Marianne Stillings

“You were there.” Caldwell’s voice was quiet as though he were speaking to a timid child. He took a step toward her. “You saw it, didn’t you. Didn’t you, Charlie?” Another step. And another. Suddenly, he was standing before her and she was standing, too, and his arms came around her as she pressed her head against his strong shoulder and for the first time in a year, she felt safe. Safe enough to relive the agony—and let it go. Safe enough to let someone be strong—so she could be weak. Safe enough—to cry.

And so she did.

What’s Wrong with Mr. Perfect? by Sherri Shaw

“Somehow I can’t picture you as a nerd.” You’re too perfect, Ivy silently added, fingering the amulet at her throat.  It hummed under her fingertips as the vendor’s words skated across her mind: If you truly want to find the perfect man, and restore your faith in true love, then this necklace will be your good luck talisman.” She dropped her hand, shaking off the crazy notion. It was merely a coincidence that she wished to meet the man of her dreams and Sam showed up. The necklace had nothing to do with it. Right?”

Shelter from the Storm by Clare Tisdale

A shadow crossed the window, and JD looked up in time to see a seagull fly by. Beyond the downtown high rises,  the waters of the Puget Sound lay brooding, glazed by morning mist. Much as JD hated starting over again, he realized that if he had to, he’d rather do it here than anywhere else. Seattle was his home; he belonged here.  Maya and her beach house had helped confirm that for him.

Aftershocks by Kristine Cayne

Adrenaline surging through her system, Erica hung onto the doorjamb as the quake rocked the old courthouse. The building swayed and groaned, windows rattled and shattered as the earth continued to tremble. Cracks raced across the ceiling and plaster dust showered down, covering everything in a thin white film. She’d lived in Seattle all her life but had never experienced a quake as powerful as this one.

And her daughter was all alone.

Here’s the interview with the lovely Sherri Shaw!!

What was your favorite part of the book?  The ending.  When I first conceptualized the story, I wasn’t sure how I wanted to begin, but I knew exactly how I wished it to end.  Without giving anything away, I hope the reader will remember my story with a smile on their face, and magic in their heart.

What was the hardest part to write in the book?  The scenes where Sam is talking about football.  I watch the occasional game, but I’m by no means an expert on the sport.  All sports related talk was verified accurate by a diehard Seahawk fan, my mother.

What do you wish was different about the book? I wish it could have been longer.  I had such fun writing the characters, I hated to end it.

Who are your favorite authors? Oh, the list is long and eclectic.  Rick Roirdan, Zoe Archer, Cherie Adair, Amanda Quick, Meg Cabot, Janette Rallison, Alice Hoffman, and all the members of the Seattle Rainy Day Writers.

Favorite books?

The Percy Jackson novels by Rick Roirdan

The Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling

A Series of Unfortunate Events by Lemony Snicket

My Fair Godmother by Janette Rallison

Blades of the Rose series by Zoe Archer

Practical Magic by Alice Hoffman

What sparked the idea for your novel?  I read an article in a popular magazine about how to meet the perfect man, and it got me thinking.  If such a paragon exists – a truly perfect man– wouldn’t he be looking for a perfect woman?  And if a normal woman dated him, would she feel confident in their relationship, or insecure that she might never measure up?

How personal is your writing? While my stories are fiction, a small part of me exists in all of my characters.

How strict are you with plotting? I’m not strict at all. Starting out, I often know what my complication will be, the catalyst that begins the main conflict, but I usually let the characters drive the story. Sometimes they take me down another path so the plot is in constant flux until the last chapter is written.  Even then, nothing is final until it’s in print.

Do you outline or go where the story takes you?  When I first started, I tried to work with an outline, but for me, it was too restrictive.  Once I get an idea, I let the characters speak to me (yes, I hear voices) and the story develops on its own.

What is your writing routine? I usually write in the evenings when I get off work and on most weekends.  Being single, I have time to follow my muse when the mood strikes.  I used to write until my fingers cramped on the keyboard, but I recently started using Speech Recognition software. I love it.  At first it feels crazy to sit in your chair and talk to yourself for hours on end, but my thoughts aren’t stalled by my poor typing skills and the story flows more readily.

Which comes first? The character’s story or the idea for the novel?  Ninety-nine percent of the time, the idea of the novel comes first.  Like with What’s Wrong with Mr. Perfect, the magazine article triggered a question, and the question manifested itself into dialogue between Ivy and Sam.  As I mentioned before, I already knew how I wanted it to end, and it was a relief that everything fell into place.

How did you choose the genre you write in?  I have always been enamored of the romance genre since I was thirteen and picked up my first Barbra Cartland novel.  I started out writing strictly regency period romances, but I have branched out to contemporary, romantic suspense, steam punk, historical fantasy, and young adult.

How did you come up with the title? I have to give credit to Clare Tisdale for that one. Since Ivy always wanted to meet the perfect man, I tentatively had a working title of Mr. Perfect.   When the Seattle Rainy Day Writers group were discussing our anthology, I asked for suggestions for a new title.  Clare simply smiled and asked, “What was wrong with Mr. Perfect?”  Thus, a title was born.  It sums up the theme of the book.  After her last disastrous relationship, Ivy feels Sam is too good to be true, and is constantly asking herself that very same question.

What project are you working on now? I am currently working on a medieval paranormal romance entitled Bewitching Knight.  Born with the witch’s mark and a sixth sense for danger, Lily possesses powerful magic.  After her guardian commits treason by leading troops to fight against King Henry II, the Norman, Pryce, retaliates by seizing Corvine Castle.  Saxon born, Lily, vows to do whatever it takes to protect her family from the invaders, but something about Pryce repels Lily’s magic, and she must rely on her wits to defeat the enemy knight.

Are there certain themes you like to address in your writing? Not intentionally, but I think trust is a common thread in most of my stories.  Lack of trust is a great catalyst for conflict, whether the characters don’t trust each other from the beginning, or their trust is shaken by real or perceived wrongs.

What advice do you have for someone who would like to become a published writer? Perseverance is key.  Don’t give up, no matter how many  times you get rejected. And don’t write for the market, write for yourself.  Predicting the next big trend is like a dog chasing his tail.  Sometimes you get lucky, but most of the time you just end up spinning in a circle.

What has been the toughest criticism given to you as an author? Getting rejected is tough, no matter how nicely worded the sentiment.  What has been the best compliment?  To pitch my story at a conference, and have an editor hand me their card.  A request to mail my manuscript  directly to them, and not to the general mailbox is a sweet feeling.

If you could have dinner with three people, dead or alive, who would they be and why? I would have dinner with Daniel Craig. Handsome, charming and with a rockin’ body, he is the best James Bond, ever. Elizabeth Cady Stanton.  I would love to ask her a ton of questions about the suffragette movement.  As a woman, I am indebted to her for fighting insurmountable opposition and gaining the right for women to vote.  And since I’m on the subject, and it is election year, I think this is a great opportunity to remind the fantastic women and men reading this to cast your ballet.  Women only won the right to vote in 1920, a mere 92 years ago.  No matter your political affiliation, make yourself heard. Mike Myers because he makes me laugh.
Now the fun questions:

Favorite junk food?  That’s a toss-up between a McDonald’s Wild Berry Smoothie, and Salted Carmel ice cream.
Tea or coffee? Tea, preferably herbal.  I love peach iced tea.
Favorite superhero(ine)? Why? Lora Croft, Tomb Raider.   Her life is a grand adventure. She is rich, uber smart, and always looks great no matter how beat up she gets.
Favorite color? I love red. It’s the color of passion.
Favorite place you’ve visited? Washington D.C.  My cousin is a lobbyist and he took me on a behind-the-scenes tour of the Capital building as well as the House of Representatives.
What’s one quirky or fun fact about you? I am a Photoshop addict.  When I’m not writing, I am designing my own book covers.

Here’s my review of Romance in the Rain:

This was a wonderful collaboration with six unique stories from six unique authors all centered around the Caldwell family in Seattle. A happy mix of genres, from historical to paranormal, from contemporary to the oft-neglected WWII, and from sweet to spicy. There is a story here for everyone.

I found each story to be well-written and fast paced with pertinent dialogue. There was nothing extraneous and no filler. All story, all the time.

I would find myself hard-pressed to pick a favorite; they were each enjoyable in their own right. What I especially loved was the opportunity to get introduced to new authors – the goal of every anthology. In that regard, this collection delivers.

Overall, these stories were engaging and interesting, and beautifully executed. Five out of five stars. All of them well-deserved.


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


6 Responses to “Romance in the Rain Anthology: Interview, Review, and Giveaway!!!”

  1. Beckey November 18, 2012 at 11:14 am #

    Romance in the Rain sounds like collboration of excellent reading… I really enjoy the blurb …
    Congrats on the release 🙂 We all need friends that can offer constructive criticism.glad to hear about an out that you call upon one another …

    As for the giveaway question:

    There is a few that I have read from the list and really enjoyed

    Angie Fox is one author that I am familar with, I have read a few of her book perviously and really enjoyed them 🙂
    (don’t think that I have read the one that you have posted)
    Another two would be Courtney Milan and Julie Quinn …



    • Kristine Cayne November 18, 2012 at 2:57 pm #

      Thank you so much for the your comments, Beckey. I hope you have the chance to read ROMANCE IN THE RAIN and join us on the amazing Caldwell journey. Good luck with the giveaways!


  2. Kristine Cayne November 18, 2012 at 2:57 pm #

    Tara, thank you for the wonderful post! The interview and review are both fabulous. Good luck to everyone who enters the giveaways!


  3. Charlotte Russell November 18, 2012 at 10:10 pm #

    Thanks for highlighting our anthology! So glad you enjoyed the book; we hope others do as well. Time’s running out to enter the giveaway, so get your name in quickly.


  4. Sherri Shaw November 19, 2012 at 10:39 pm #

    Thank you so much for hosting Romance in the Rain and the wonderful review. I had a fun time chatting with you about my wacky creative process. Good luck on the giveaways, readers!


    • tarawood21 November 19, 2012 at 10:52 pm #

      It was great to have you! Loved the stories! Best of luck!!


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