Monday, August 25, 2014


I had a blast last week with His Royal Hotness Week, and hope you did too! If you'd like to see it again next year, let me know. Three raffles ended in the wee hours of the last two mornings, and I'm excited to announce the winners:

Congratulations to April Erwin, winner of copies of Quest of the Hart and The Mystery Prince,  to Kathy Fleming winner of a copy of Sanctuary of Nine Dragons, and to Kai Strand, winner of a copy of Woman of Honor. Be sure to contact me at by Wednesday to claim your prizes!

And now, for my featured guest. As you know, I've been reading HK Carlton's family saga, Always Cambridge. (Previous posts can be found here, here, here, and here). This saga follows the life of mobster daughter Holly Cambridge, and I'm eagerly awaiting the last installment. Although I must admit, I will be sad to see the series come to an end. But, that's the beauty of books, you can always re-read them!

Afterlife is the next to last book in the series, and it takes you on an emotional roller coaster. You can read my review here. To keep things as spoiler free as possible, I tried to focus on questions that wouldn't give away what happened at the end, but were things that I was curious about when I read. So, here's my Q&A with HK.

MW: Without giving away the ending, can you tell us if when you started writing the series, is this where you saw it heading or did it change along the way?

HK: This story has had many incarnations. The first, as I think I’ve mentioned in our discussions, was a stand-alone novel. Simply Always Cambridge. Without giving away the ending, the original story ended when Randy came back into Holly’s life after their six years apart. 
Even Alex’s part was just a quick summary. And Victor’s part was even smaller than his. Witness Protection was mentioned, but they set off into WP as their happily-ever-after and it would have been up to the reader’s imagination as to how their lives panned out from there.

But once I’d finished the stand alone, I had questions that I needed the answers to, and the characters had other ideas. Especially Victor. He was the most vocal that his and Holly’s story was not finished. 

Alex’s story extended or filled in/the missing years story and evolved into Running, book two. And Victor’s story turned into Misfortune of Birth, which then snowballed into Law & Order Crime and Chaos. And when Lorenzo Mayhue reared his ugly head and took on the real face of evil in this story, I was pleased but hated his guts. 

Books 5 and 6 were not even in my realm when this idea took shape. They were a gift from some where far beyond what I thought I was capable of. 

In the beginning, I had no idea where this story would lead. The twists and turns that it took surprised me and took me on an emotional ride. And it has continued through the entire process, from submission, to editing, to publication and back again. I can honestly say this entire experience has been a saga. But that’s another story. 

Little sidebar: (not sure if I’ve mentioned this before) In the original stand-alone, Victor and Lorenzo were just one arrogant cheesy, gum-chewing, mobster type character in one. He had Victor’s charisma with the ladies but he was more interested in reaping the rewards of living the mob kind of life—doing whatever the hell he pleased with no consequences. He wasn’t a killer. But when the two characters spilt into their own beings, I was left with God-like Victor and the no-conscience Lorenzo. Which made for some interesting writing. 

MW: Oh, you hadn't mentioned that before. I'l so glad he split into two characters, as I think I'm as smitten with Victor as Holly!

I love how in Afterlife all the men in Holly's life make still make appearances, even if they weren't all with her. In fact, I thought with the postal mishap, Victor might be making an appearance, but we only saw him stateside. (not that I'm complaining, mind you!) And then there was the letter Randy sent to Victor. I'm curious. Will we find out about that in ALWAYS HOLLY?

HK: The only mention of the letter, from Randy to Victor, is in Afterlife. But some other details of the contact between Randy, Victor and Alex will be touched on in the conclusion, Always Holly.

MW: And how about that tease of Victor wanting Alex's number. Did he ever get in touch and what did he say? (So many teases here, and I'm dying to know!!)

HK: This was also the only mention. I did not really elaborate on the phone call either. I was afraid to give too many hints at this point. I think by this stage, the reader has a pretty good idea of which way it might go, and Randy‘s hopes for the future, but there are still so many unknowns. Especially, Holly’s state of mind by the end of Afterlife.

MW: I know this series is about Holly, but I can't help but wonder if you might have a spin off about Tyler and Maura? (For those of you who haven't read Afterlife yet, I'm not telling who Maura is. You'll have to read and find out. :-P)

HK: Without giving too much away, I hope all the remaining questions will be answered and all the loosed ends tied up to the reader’s satisfaction in Always Holly. That is my hope.

MW: Is it September 1st yet? Not that I want time to move quicker or anything (I don't), but you really left me hanging here, HK! 
Although I'll be sad to see the saga come to an end, I really want to see Holly find some kind of happiness (more than she had with Randy, cause while she was happy, she still wasn't totally happy.) 

HK: I’ll be sad to see the end of this series as well. This story and these characters have come to mean so much to me. Book Five was emotionally draining. Every time I had to work on edits, I was in tears and as my husband commented, in ‘a foul mood for a week‘.  [Given what happened, I totally understand this. That had to be so gut wrenching to write!]

And the road to see this entire series published has not been an easy one. There have been some rocky days and weeks with the monthly releases and some other unforeseen obstacles which had me questioning my path. But the conclusion will be bittersweet for me and perhaps Always Cambridge fans as well. 

To see The AC Series published was a dream (sometimes a nightmare). But I guess anything you have to fight for means all the more in the end. So, I will take the good with the bad and reflect on the lessons learned. But ultimately, I am extremely pleased with the series, my characters and the story itself, and I truly hope readers have come to care about Holly, Randy, Alex and Victor, each in their own way, as I have. And Maur and Ty, too. 

MW: I know I've come to care for each of these characters, and, as I've said, as much as I can't wait to read the conclusion, I'll be sad to be reaching the end. Thanks so much for stopping by to visit, HK

HK: Thank you so much, Mary, for having us back and for the amazing reviews. Only one more to go!

MW: It's my pleasure!

Always Cambridge

The Always Cambridge Series chronicles the life of Holly Cambridge through her tumultuous childhood, violent teen years into adulthood, and the consequences that stem from being the daughter of mob boss, Bill Cambridge. 


Dreams of second chances are only nightmares in the making.

Holly Cambridge and Randy Phillips are dead!

But they re-emerge in Witness Protection as Beth and Andy Gregory, far away from the mob life that nearly destroyed them.
Can Holly finally realize her dream and live in peace without the threat of violence shadowing her every step? Settle down in one place, put down roots with the husband and the loving family she’s always dreamed of?

Or will the Mayhue vendetta reach across the ocean and strike Holly where it hurts the most?

eXtasy Books Amazon US Amazon UK Amazon Canada

Follow the saga from the beginning… Always Cambridge

Always Cambridge


Misfortune of Birth

Law & Order : Crime & Chaos



  1. Good Morning, Mary. Thanks for having us back!

    1. You are so welcome! I think when I finish the series I'm going to go through Blog with HK withdrawal :-)

  2. Ahhh, another series to add to my TBR! Sounds fantastic!

    1. I totally love this series. Should throw out the warning here : it's adult. Nothing bad or anything, just sex and more mature themes.

      Oh, and if you love historical romance, HK's THE DEVIL TAKE you is Amazing!! And for time travel romance, LOST TIME.

      Honestly I really haven't met an HK book I haven't read at least twice :-)


Thanks for dropping by. I love reading comments and will respond by e-mail as soon as possible.