RELEASE DAY! A Matter of Time is HERE! + plus short excerpt


Yes! A Matter of Time is finally here, available today in Kindle and paperback format! Wahoo!!!

Thank you to ALL of you for your marvelous support – you stunned me by pre-ordering 107 copies! I can’t wait to read your reviews on Amazon and GoodReads, to find out what you think of Eliza and Deveric’s story – and of course you may always drop me a personal email to let me know what you think.

Just for fun, here’s a small excerpt, one of my favorite passages, perhaps because of how often my daughter and I watched each Disney Princess movie – especially my beloved favorite, Beauty and the Beast:

If only it were as easy as waltzing one time at a ball, and falling instantly in love. Cinderella didn’t know how good she had it. She’d won over her Prince with one look. The tale said nothing about the Prince having a suspicious mother or a handful of sisters. Much less a recalcitrant son.

Cinderella may have occupied the bottom rung in the world in which she lived, but at least she’d been familiar with all the rules, had known the ins and outs way better than Eliza did, no matter how much she’d thought she’d known before coming here.

Eliza sighed. She’d always liked Belle better, anyway. Belle hadn’t given a fig for what society thought, and ended up with that amazing library of books. After taming the Beast, of course. Ah, the Beast. He hadn’t really been a beast at all, just a wounded man looking for love . . . and acceptance. Okay, maybe he had been beastly, at first, in human form; but it was Belle’s love that had transformed him, had healed him, had accepted him, and allowed him to open his heart again.

Cat had known Beauty and the Beast was Eliza’s favorite story; had she been thinking of that when she drafted Deveric’s tale? Was Eliza Belle, Deveric her wounded beast? And Regency society the mob of angry townspeople she needed to appease?

Only $2.99 on Kindle, or $13.79 on paperback (though Amazon has it marked down to $12.14 – not sure how long that will last!), and FREE on Kindle Unlimited.

Here’s the link:

*** Please feel free to share – word of mouth is still the best way to make others aware of books you like, and we indie authors need all the word of mouth we can get. ***

I am so very, very grateful to everyone who’s come into my life this year via my books – I’ve met such terrific authors and readers who are now friends, and I can’t tell you how moving that is, to know my book, my writing, touched someone enough to reach out and connect with me. Much love to all of you!

#Giveaway! A Matter of Time & Mark of Four & Amazon Gift Card

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Good writer friend Tamara Shoemaker and I have novels debuting on the SAME DAY (11/30/15)! And to celebrate, we thought we’d give stuff away – because who doesn’t like free stuff?

So enter the Rafflecopter giveaway above for your chance at an autographed copy of A Matter of Time or Mark of Four (Kindle version for international participants) or a $10 Amazon gift card – and tell your friends!

Here’s a quick blurb about each book:

amatteroftimesmallA Matter of Time is Margaret Locke‘s new time-travel Regency romance, in which a modern-day Austenite’s dream comes true when she lands in the arms of a Regency duke – only to realize some fantasies aren’t all they’re cracked up to be when he proves less than a Prince Charming.

Can a duke with a past and a woman from the future forge a love for all time?

mofMark of Four is Tamara Shoemaker‘s new Young Adult fantasy in which Elementals wield one of four elements, and teens are sent to an Elemental training center to hone their talents.

But what happens when one Elemental can wield all four? Further, what happens when all the powers the world over, both good and bad, want this Elemental’s powers for themselves… and will stop at nothing to obtain it?

The West Virginia Book Festival – My Experiences as Author & Reader #wvbookfestival

AMOCSueLondonThis past weekend I was privileged to attend the West Virginia Book Festival in Charleston, WV, headlined by no less than Neil Gaiman, and featuring such spectacular author-speakers as Homer Hickam, Jodi Picoult, Jeff Shaara, and Jacqueline Woodson. The wonderful Jane Friedman also presented a seminar on self-publishing for authors, which I was thrilled to attend.

I wore dual hats for the two days of the festival – one as reader fangirl, and one as author. You see, fellow Virginia Romance Writer Sue London was there featuring her marvelous Haberdashers series, and she graciously allowed me to display A Man of Character in her booth. I even got to spend a few hours hanging around to sign copies for anyone who wished one (and to my utter delight, there were some people who did!). It was my first big book festival signing (I’ve been blessed to hold signings at the Artisan Galleries in Massanutten, but the two venues are quite different). I met several enthusiastic book aficionados, sold a few books, and several readers signed up for my newsletter – hooray!

Speaking of which, congratulations to Carla W. for winning a copy of A Man of Character! Maria G., Elizabeth S., Debbie S., and Holly W., thanks for signing up for my newsletter. Even though you didn’t win a book, I hope you’ll stick around to find out more about my books and me!

NeilGaimanI wasn’t alone in my adventures, either – luckily for me, fellow friends and Shenandoah Valley Writers Foy Iver and Rebekah Postupak were in attendance. After a delightful dinner together on Friday, we listened in awe as Neil Gaiman charmed the entire audience with his humor and insights, and even read us a story.

Saturday morning that reader hat was firmly fixed to my head as I hit the famed used book sale, and scooped up a rather insane number of romances for under $20. Woo hoo!

My camera was blurry, but who cares? Foy, Rebekah, and I still managed to ham it up for this silly selfie.

HomerHickamThen it was off to hear the charming Homer Hickam speak – he’s really quite entertaining and funny, and the stories he told about his folks were both amusing and touching. My favorite anecdote was when he talked about meeting Harper Lee. She appeared at an event at which he was scheduled to speak, where she said to him, “So I hear you wrote a classic?” “Yeah, that’s what they say,” he responded. “Your readers will never forgive you,” was her comment. Something about that struck a real chord in me – we do tend to associate an author of a famous book only with that book, and anything else they write likely pales in comparison, right?

JodiPicoultI missed Jeff Shaara and Jacqueline Woodson, as I was chatting with Sue at the romance booth while also meeting and greeting folks, but finished off the festival by listening to Jodi Picoult speak. It’s with great embarrassment I admit that I’ve only read one of her books — House Rules — but I have a number of friends who love her stories, and after hearing her talk about some of the subject matter and research methods for a few of her hard-hitting books, like 19 Minutes, many more of hers are on my list.

Book Festivals are fun, y’all. When I’m there, I truly sense I’m with my tribe, my people. I felt that both as a reader and as an author, and it makes me even more determined to get to RWA and any other romance festivals I can find — and has me anxiously awaiting the Virginia Festival of the Book in Charlottesville next spring.

Thank you, Sue, for allowing me to join your party!

Sue and her husband setting up shop. They are both so very warm and charming, y'all.
Sue and her husband setting up shop. They are both so very warm and charming, y’all.

Thank you, Charleston and West Virginia, for a fabulous weekend!


This photo doesn’t do the stunning scenery justice, but I have to admit, I literally whooped and hollered at the gorgeous fall foliage draped across the mountains.

The Truth In Fiction: The Florence Pictures from A Man of Character


Just for fun, I thought I’d share with you a photo of the Florence pictures hanging in my dining room. They were the impetus behind the posters Cat Schreiber describes hanging on her wall in A Man of Character, and behind her view of Florence as the ultimate romantic destination.

The Palazzo Vecchio
The Palazzo Vecchio

See, in 2004, my husband and I were privileged enough to travel to Florence for a week. By ourselves. It was the first major vacation we’d taken since our son was born in 2001, and the whole week was magical. The Duomo, the Ponte Vecchio, the Uffizi, the gelato… Heaven.

A view you don't often see of Michaelangelo's David...
A view you don’t often see of Michaelangelo’s David…

I remember the mesmerizing architecture, the stunning artwork, the 440+ steps to climb to the top of Giotti’s Bell Tower, the absolutely orgasmic food. Hubby remembers trying to climb up high enough to take a picture over a plastic barrier in the Duomo, and getting cussed out by an Italian security guard.

My husband was there for a conference, so there were days I had hours to myself, and I happily spent them exploring old churches and just soaking up the sights and sounds of the city. Everywhere you turned, there was history. Amazing doesn’t even begin to describe it.

Entryway to the Duomo
Entryway to the Duomo

Though London is my all-encompassing love now, to this day, Florence holds a huge spot in my heart, and I would love to go back (though my waistline is probably happy I haven’t – I cannot rave enough about the food we ate while there).

I’ll throw in a few pictures below to show some of the spots we saw, including one from the day we zipped down to Rome.

What’s your ultimate fantasy destination? A tropical island? A European city? Backpacking in Asia? Let me know!

The sense of peace inside the monastery walls was phenomenal. I loved strolling and just sitting to soak it all in.
The marvelous interior of an 11th century church.
The marvelous interior of an 11th century church.
The Roman Forum
The Roman Forum
My darling husband as we sat in a cafe, preparing to snarf down our next delicious meal.
My darling husband as we sat in a cafe, preparing to snarf down our next delicious meal.

Writer Wednesday: Guest Post from Kathryn Barrett

Kathryn BarrettWriter Wednesday is back! Par-tay!

This time, we’re shaking it up a little bit. Instead of a standard interview, Kathryn Barrett is taking over the whole shebang (with my blessing, of course, especially since she was already subject to my quizzing in March) and giving us a little insight into her novels, including her latest, True Gold.

It’s kind of fun sitting back with the rest of y’all and seeing (okay, reading) what she has to say.

(Also, if you haven’t checked out her first book, Temptation, you should! I adored it – and have both Redemption and True Gold in my stack of books to read next!)

You gotta have friends…and so do your characters

Redemption Cover Kathryn BarrettLike any author, I love my characters, but sometimes, I love their friends more. My third release, True Gold, features a character who first appeared in my last book, Redemption. He’s the head of the company the main character works for, and he makes a brief appearance at the end, a supportive boss and friend. But as I was writing Redemption, I wanted to know more about this guy, who first appeared to me as a shadowy figure, a quiet man who didn’t have many friends, but who’d formed a friendship with Claire because they were very much alike in temperament.

My first book, Temptation, also features a friend of the main character Laura, who was also the hero of Redemption—Matt Grayson, a Hollywood A-list actor and director who, I knew, had been recently reunited with his true love.

When best friends pop in for brief appearances in my books—or even in the many book ideas that for now exist only in my head—I want to know their story too. When I first started writing I’d often be led astray by these friends. At its midpoint, the book I was writing became dull and difficult, so I let myself be distracted by the shiny new friend who’d appeared. Who is he? What’s her story? What’s he hiding? The tantalizing secrets they held intrigued me, tempted me away from the current work in progress. Finally I had to get tough with myself and just finish the book, promising myself I’d go back and write the other stories—discover what that character was all about—later.

temptationI think friends are easier to include than family members. There’s a reason why so many romance heroes and heroines are orphans: parents are often an inconvenient complication in a plot—unless they’re estranged, they need to show up once in a while if the story is to be realistic. But a friend can pop in long enough to offer valuable advice a character needs to get beyond the Black Moment she’s found herself in.

Other authors I like write the same sort of loosely connected stories: Nora Roberts, Susan E. Phillips, and Judith McNaught, whose books first convinced me I needed to write romance. And the best thing is, there’s never a shortage of story ideas. As long as a character isn’t totally friendless, there’ll be someone in my head, waiting in the wings for his story to be told. And then, I get to check in on my previous characters, too, as they inevitably make an appearance in their friends’ books.

What about you? Do you like to read or write about friends of previous main characters?


TrueGold_FINALConnor Forrest is a self-made billionaire only one generation removed from the emerald turf of his mother’s Ireland. Jaded by the high risk, high tech investment world he inhabits, he has little time for introspection, poetry, or true love. A piece of perfectly thought out logic, on the other hand, makes him weak in the knees.

Rebecca Evans is a brilliant computer programmer disguised as a ditzy blonde. She’s looking for love, but people are not as predictable as mathematical equations.

A fall in San Francisco’s Golden Gate Park sends her straight into Connor’s arms, but getting into his heart is a much harder task.

Can Connor learn that true love, like gold futures, is worth a little risk?

Find True Gold here:

Simon and Schuster:

Barnes and Noble:





Kathryn Barrett reluctantly put aside childhood dreams of becoming an author and took a more practical approach, majoring in Business Administration in college. But after marrying an Air Force officer, she realized a career in high finance didn’t suit an itinerant lifestyle. She happily returned to her first love, writing stories that feature larger-than-life characters, family relationships, and of course, a happy ending.

Her award-winning novel Temptation was published in 2013, followed by Redemption in 2014.

Having lived all over the world, Kathryn and her family have recently relocated to northern Virginia. She enjoys long walks with her squirrel-obsessed dog, traveling to tiny European countries, cooking vegan feasts, and, only occasionally, she still reads the Financial Times.


Twitter: @KathrynSBarrett


Amazon Author Page:

Thanks so much, Kathryn!
I, for one, LOVE series interconnected by siblings or friends (as all my stories will be).
I’m so glad you could share your insights today.