Friday, December 3, 2021

Gaming Hell Christmas by Kathy L. Wheeler and Amanda McCabe - Book Blitz

Gaming Hell Christmas

GAMING HELL CHRISTMAS - VOLUME 1: Mysteries abound at the newest Hell in town.

A Gift for the Duke's Illegitimate Daughter - Kathy L Wheeler
Miss Alexandra Blessing, the Duke of Winsome’s illegitimate daughter longs for anonymity and a home of her own where her younger half-siblings don’t commandeer every moment of her day. Escape is imminent—right after her family’s annual Christmas fete.

But Alexandra is missing from the ball, and Theodore Millburn must find her before he loses something important: his chance for love.

The Merry Widow's Christmas Adventure - Amanda McCabe
Annabelle, Lady Ranstruther, after a year of lonely widowhood is ready for new love—and she knows exactly who she wants—her wild friend, the gorgeous William, Lord Deansley. She fears he doesn't want her, until they meet again at the exclusive, discreet gaming hell la Sous Rose, at Christmas.

Will it mean a future of love—or the end of all her dreams?

Miss McCabe’s talent for lively characters and witty dialogue is always a winning combination.” ~ Romantic Times Reviews

Purchase Links

Author Q&A
1. What would you consider to be your Kryptonite as an author?
Amanda: Procrastination!  Especially if a story isn’t going as smoothly as I would like (which is usually the case) it can be hard to sit down with it.  Once I do get started, it tends to go well and I get lost in my own world, but I know if I find myself mopping the floors or dusting, the story is in trouble...

2. If you could tell your younger writing self anything, what would it be?
Kathy L: Start sooner. The younger the better. I tried writing in 9th grade, and it scared me because I couldn’t come up with an ending.

3. What book do you feel is under-appreciated? How about overrated?
Kathy L: 50 Shades. Overrated, except that the series single handedly saved Barnes and Nobel. So that makes it underrated too. 😊

4. Favorite childhood memory involving books?
Amanda: My mother reading to me!  We had a special chair, and she would let me choose a book before naptime and bedtime.  I loved the “Eloise” stories, but I found out later my mother hated them, because they were on the long side, had a quick reading rhythm and lots of French words.  It gave me a deep love of stories and other worlds, as well as a lovely memory with my mom.

Kathy L: My mom would come back from the store and always have a book for me… Trixie Beldon.

5. If you could dine with any literary character, who would it be and why?
Amanda: I think it would be lots of fun to share a bottle of wine with Elizabeth Bennet!

6. What fantastical fictional world would you want to live in (if any) given the
Kathy L: I want to be a heroine in one of Susan Elizabeth Phillips Chicago Stars series. I love the NFL.

Amanda: It’s not a book, but a TV show—I wouldn’t mind living for a while in the “Downton Abbey” world.  Especially if I could have along chat with the Dowager Countess!

7. Did you want to be an author when you grew up?
Amanda: Yes, along with an opera singer (until I found out I can’t sing!).  I loved making up stories just like the books I loved, and later imagined living in a cozy cottage like Jane Austen or Virginia Woolfe, walking in the woods with my dogs before I sat down at my sunlit desk.  I’m not sure it occurred to me that it actually COULD be a career until later, though!

8. What is your most unusual writing quirk?
Amanda: I don’t think it’s unique, since I’ve met other writers who do this, but I write all my rough drafts in longhand!  I buy special pens, and Disney-themed notebooks at back-to-school sales, which is great because I have a weakness for office supplies.  Somehow my brain just works better that way when a story is working itself out.

Kathy L: Same as Amanda on the office supplies weakness. But I have to write with the TV on. Not music. The other day, our cable went out for the whole day. I didn’t write a word. I read.

9. What’s one movie you like recommending to others?
Amanda: If they have the same taste in movies as me, I always say my favorite movies are “Room With a View” (that kiss!), and “Enchanted April.”  They are wonderful escapes

10. If you could own any animal as a pet, what would it be?
Amanda: I have two dogs right now, and have had cats in the past!  They are terrific writing companions

11. Have you ever met anyone famous?
Kathy L: I’ve met Tony Dorsett, George Stephanopoulos, Elizabeth Fargus, Kathy Kinney (Mimi on The Drew Carey Show). And, a bunch of my favorite authors: Jayne Ann Krentz, Susan Elizabeth Phillips, Nora Roberts, Kristan Higgins, Brenda Novak, Tracy Ann Warren. Should I keep going? Sabrina Jeffries, Anna Campbell… Amanda McCabe 😊

12. What is the first book that made you cry?
Amanda: I don’t actually remember what it was (I was about 4 years old!), but I know it featured animals in peril, which still always gets me in the feels.  If I start a book that has a dog or cat, I must check the ending and make sure they are still there!

13. How long, on average, does it take you to write a book?
Amanda: It completely depends on the book!  I’m not nearly as fast as many authors (I envy them), but I have written a story that was going very well in about 2 months.  That was an exception.  I’ve also taken as long as 6 months.

Kathy L: I can be really fast. Last year, Amanda sent me a text on October 10th saying we should do a Christmas book… and that it should come out on December 1st. That was definitely the fastest story I ever wrote. Lady Felicity’s Feud with Christmas. And, my husband wrote a Regency Christmas song to go with it. This was a busy household.

14. How do you select the names of your characters?
Amanda: They just seem to come to me and tell me their names!  If they don’t, I look at sources from that time period to see what was popular and what was unusual but used.  It’s lots of fun!

15. What are your top 5 favorite movies?
Kathy L: I love romcoms. 1) Legally Blonde; 2) How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days; 3) Romancing the Stone; 4) Die Hard (It’s a Christmas movie); 5) The Philadelphia Story.

16. If you were the last person on Earth, what would you do?
Kathy L: Read. ALL. THE. TIME.

17. Do you have any advice for aspiring writers?
Amanda: Just to read a lot, and write on a steady schedule!  There are no shortcuts, but the more your write the better you tend to get.  (I used to think writing would get “easier” as I went on, it hasn’t but practice has helped a lot with things like pacing and characterization).  Also hold onto your confidence!  Creating art can be a tough world, but it’s worth it in the end.

Kathy L: My advice is simple. Sit Ass In Chair (SAIC). I recently wrote a series with my sisters, who aren’t writers. They didn’t quite understand what goes into writing a good story. The dedication, the commitment, or the entire process. If you love to write, you’ll write. If you want to make a career out of writing, then you definitely have to SAIC.

18. Tell us 10 fun facts about yourself!
Kathy L: 1) I was a computer programmer, 2) I have a vocal minor in music, 3) I sang at the Oklahoma Opry, 4) I played in several community theater productions, 5) I sold AFLAC for a couple of years. Here are five. I don’t know how interesting they are… 😊

19. If you could live in any time period, what would it be and why?
Amanda: I like this one, for the simple reason that I am diabetic and like my medications!  I also like air conditioning in the summer, lol.  But I’ve often wished I could have a time machine and visit other times to see what it was REALLY like to live there.  I write Regency, Victorian, and Elizabethan (with a smattering of other times), and while research is fascinating, I always feel like I’m missing something fundamental about being a human in those places.

20. What is your favorite genre to read?
Amanda: I will read almost anything that looks interesting!  Romance, mystery, fantasy, literary fiction.  Lots of non-fiction research.  It’s hard to pick just one favorite!

Kathy L: I love contemporary and historical romance. I always love suspense intertwined.

21. When did you write your first book?
Amanda: When I was in first grade, I think!  I used to make these little books for my grandmothers at Christmas, writing stories, drawing illustrations, and binding them.  When one of my grannies passed away, I found them tucked away in her dresser, and thought they weren’t too bad, though a bit derivative of “Little House on the Prairie,” lol.  I later wrote an epic romance in high school, with all my friends as the characters.  Though as they tended to change SOs pretty often, the plot usually got derailed...

22. What sparks your creativity/how do you get your ideas?
Amanda: So many things!  I have more ideas than I can ever use, and keep them in files.  A painting or song might spark a “what if..”, a non-fiction book about a certain era, an overheard conversation, daydreams, they’re all so useful.

Kathy L: I’m with Amanda on this. Ideas come from everywhere. I was once in line to check out from Borders (yes, Borders) when I saw this book Quotationary. I opened it and saw this quote “He who sees the inaction that is in action, and the action that is an inaction, is wise indeed.” That quote inspired an entire book. Then of course, there’s listening to other people’s conversations at lunch. 😊

23. What do you like to do when you’re not writing?
Amanda: Read, of course!  And watch British mysteries on BritBox.  During lockdown last year, I got back into doing cross-stitch and worked on sewing projects while watching all the “Poirot” episodes.  Walking the dogs, visiting thrift stores and estate sales...

24. What’s a typical writing day like for you?
Amanda: I try to write first thing after I get up, while the day is fresh and before I can get sidetracked (this isn’t always possible, though!  Sometimes life gets in the way.  Late at night is also a good writing time).  Then I walk the dogs, eat lunch, look at email, do research or marketing, and get a bit more writing done before bed.

25. Do you listen to music when writing?
Amanda: Yes, but it has to be strictly instrumental!  I usually just have the classical music radio station on.  If it has lyrics, I get distracted and start singing along.

Kathy L: Absolutely not. I tend to stop and try to figure out intervals. Or, find myself wondering if I know the song. Can I learn it for karaoke?

26. If you could have a dinner party with 3 other authors, who would they be?
Amanda:Jane Austen, of course!  Shakespeare.  Maybe Emily Dickinson?

Kathy L: Jayne Ann Krentz, Susan Elizabeth Phillips, Shelley Thacker

27. If you had to pick a celebrity to cast for your main character, who would it be?
Kathy L: Natalie Wood

28. If you could travel anywhere in the world to write, where would you go?
Amanda: Paris is my favorite city!  I’d love to spend at least a year there, have a little apartment with a view of the Eiffel Tower where I could sit and write before going off to the neighborhood pattiserie.  Or maybe I would write in cafes like Hemingway.  The English countryside would also be wonderful!

Kathy L: Ditto. But I would add Ireland and Scotland to my travel list.

29. Would you ever write under a pseudonym?
Amanda: I have!  I’ve written as Amanda Carmack, Laurel McKee, and Amanda Allen...

30. Do you have a favorite food/snack/drink when writing (or anytime)?
Amanda: Chocolate is always a life necessity!  And tea.  Green usually, but sometimes a day needs something stronger like PG Tips.

31. How do you choose your book covers?
Amanda: My publisher usually chooses them!  And luckily for me they usually do a fantastic job.  For “Gaming Hell Christmas” we turned to the fantastic Kim Killion, who helped us devise this gorgeous image.

32. What’s one thing you’d like to say to your readers?
Amanda: A most heartfelt thank you!  If not for you, I wouldn’t be able to jump into my fantasy worlds every day, you are the best.  I hope the stories give you pleasure and escape...

Kathy L: I hold up my flute of champagne to Amanda and the readers, hoping for a long and prosperous future.


Author Bios –

Amanda wrote her first romance at the age of sixteen--a vast historical epic starring all her friends as the characters, written secretly during algebra class (and her parents wondered why math was not her strongest subject...)

She's never since used algebra, but her books have been nominated for many awards, including the RITA Award, the Romantic Times BOOKReviews Reviewers' Choice Award, the Booksellers Best, the National Readers Choice Award, and the Holt Medallion.  She lives in Santa Fe with a Poodle, a cat, a wonderful husband, and a very and far too many books and royal memorabilia collections. 

 When not writing or reading, she loves taking dance classes, collecting cheesy travel souvenirs, and watching the Food Network--even though she doesn't cook. 

 Amanda also writes as Laurel McKee for Grand Central Publishing, the Elizabethan Mystery Series as Amanda Carmack, and the Manor Cat Mystery Series as Eliza Casey.

 Visit her at


Kathy L Wheeler loves the NFL, the NBA, musical theater (don’t ask how her how many times she’s seen Phantom of the Opera (12); or Wicked (7), travel, (Europe, Grand Cayman, Mexico, All over the US), reading (practically a book a night), writing (25 published books and counting) and karaoke (well… what can I say). She assists other authors in critiquing, formatting, and creating covers for their publishing dreams.

She writes contemporary and historical stories where the heroines save themselves and the heroes who honor their courage with suspense and humor.

She migrated from Texas, to Oklahoma to the Pacific Northwest with her musically talented, lawyer husband, her adorable dog Angel (who lives up to her name…mostly).

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