August 12, 2013

Historical: Under the Moon Gate @MarilynBaron | Interview #RLFblog #thriller

Under the Moon Gate
Marilyn Baron, welcome to Romance Lives Forever. Let's talk about your book, Under the Moon Gate
Genre: Historical Romantic Thriller
Publisher: The Wild Rose Press
Cover artist: Kim Mendoza
Length: 354 pages
Heat rating: Sensual
Tagline: A compelling tale of love and intrigue set in WW II and contemporary Bermuda.
Dashing sea captain Nathaniel Morgan sails into the life of prim and proper Bermuda heiress Patience Whitestone and threatens to expose her family secrets—ruinous secrets she wasn't aware of. The two are immediately at odds when Nathaniel moors his vessel in front of her estate and refuses to leave until he finds the cache of Swiss gold he's convinced was buried somewhere on the property during World War II. Can Patience save herself and her family's reputation when she finds herself reluctantly drawn to this determined "pirate"? Or will someone from the past make good on his threat to destroy them both? Their fate is inextricably linked to Nazi plots and to the beautiful moon gates of Bermuda in this compelling tale of love and intrigue.
Buy links:
What are your main characters' names, ages, and occupations?
Patience Whitestone is a virginal 27-year-old heiress to the Whitestone fortune in Bermuda.
Nathaniel Morgan, about 30, is a sea captain from Virginia who's determined to expose Patience's family secrets at all costs.


Who has helped you the most in your career as an author?
My critique partners and other writing colleagues as well as writing courses I've taken.
When you write, what things do you want close at hand? (Coffee, water, chocolate... pictures of gorgeous hunks for inspiration...?)
Chocolate is always good. I may be the only person on the planet who does not drink coffee. I do love hot chocolate.
When you're not writing, what would we find you doing?
Reading for sure. I love to sit in the sun and read.
Are you a plotter, or do you prefer to make it up on the spur of the moment?
I'm a definite pantser. I just write and then go back and edit.
Looking back at your first book, what do you wish you had done differently?
I wish I hadn't tried to include so many time periods in one book.
What's your writing schedule like?
When I'm in the edit stage, I'm intense and respect the deadline. When I'm writing a new book I write when I can, fitting it in between my "day job."
Any advice for new authors?
Finish the book. You can always fix copy on a page. You cannot fix a blank page.
What aspect of your life do you write into your books?
I write a lot about older women nearer to my age. I include my personal preferences—foods I love, colors I love, places I've been.
When an idea hits you, what do you do to capture it?
I take notes on any available slip of paper in my purse or on in the Notes section on my iPhone. I try to carry around a small notebook for this purpose, but it's not always available.
If you knew it would be a bestseller, what book would you write that you might not write otherwise?
So far, I've written every book I've wanted to.
What's keeping you from writing that book?
Actually, I've been very prolific this year. By the end of the year I will have five books published, one self-published and four under contract with a traditional publisher. Not all may be released in 2013.
What other jobs have you held besides writing? Or jobs you've done while you were a writer.
I head my own public relations firm. I've been editor of a regional corporate newsletter, marketing manager, and special events manager for AT&T; I was an Information Specialist for the Florida Department of Corrections (the prison system) where I learned to work with printers (the inmates in the institution that housed the printing press) and I heard a lot of "fish" stories (I'm innocent). On my first day on the job four women escaped the women's correctional institution and we had a tent city situation when the system got overcrowded. I spent one summer at the Downingtown Inn in Pennsylvania as a reservationist, living on the property in a situation similar to Dirty Dancing.
My most exciting projects were involvement in the Olympics in Atlanta, Sydney, Salt Lake City and the LA Olympics. Annual reports for one client that involved travel throughout Europe, were also very interesting.
Which of your books was the hardest to write and why?
Sixth Sense 
Under the Moon Gate took 10 years to perfect. I wasn't writing all that time. Most of that time it was dormant. But the book has been through many iterations. It started out encompassing three generations and I finally opted for two generations in one book and one, in the 17th century, in the prequel, Destiny: A Bermuda Love Story.
What are you currently reading for fun? Anything for research?
I just finished Revenge Wears Prada by Lauren Weisberger, which I really enjoyed. I got to meet the author twice at book signings. I'm in two book clubs, so between books I read for pleasure and books for the book clubs, I'm never without a book. I recently went on a Behind the Scenes tour on a Mediterranean cruise to do research for an upcoming book, a murder mystery that takes place on a ship.
What's the best gift you ever received?
The best recent gift was from my children. Two tickets to an Andrea Bocelli concert in Atlanta in December. I love him.
If you could time travel what era would be your first stop?
World War II.
Do you believe in luck?
Absolutely. I've been very fortunate in my life.
What kind of music do you listen to while driving? Same question when writing?
Andrea Bocelli and Broadway music. I love music from the '40s.
Do you play any musical instruments?
No. I took piano lessons but they didn't take. All I remember is Heart and Soul.
What is your secret talent?
I don't have a sense of smell so I have a well-developed sixth sense.
What's your favorite movie?
Are you the eldest, middle, baby, or only child?
Do you think it's important to write in just one genre?
No. I write humorous women's fiction, historical romance, romantic suspense and paranormal.
How did you get your start in the industry?
I joined Georgia Romance Writers.
What is the most important thing you do for your career now, as compared to when you first started writing?
Social media. Create my Web site.
What websites do you visit daily?
I comment on my group blog, Petit Fours and Hot Tamales.
If you could change something about your first book, what would it be?
I'd offer it in print format, not just as an EBook.
What do you enjoy most about writing?
The freedom and flexibility, the creativity.
If you could give the younger version of yourself advice what would it be?
Keep writing. Don't give up.
What is your work ethic when it comes to writing?
I have a strong work ethic, but I'm primarily motivated by deadlines. If something is due I'll get right on it. If not, I tend to procrastinate.
Do things your family or friends do ever end up in a book?
OMG. All the time. My sister always prefaces everything she says with, "Now, this better not end up in your book." My other sister and sometimes writing partner gave me a sweatshirt that said, "Be Careful or You'll End Up In My Novel." I write down snippets of conversations wherever I hear them, at the hair salon, in the grocery store, at dinner. Sorry, if you say something interesting, you're likely to end up in my books.
Which of your books would you recommend to someone who doesn't normally read your genre, and why?
My favorite book so far is Under the Moon Gate, my newest release. It's a historical, romantic thriller and it has intrigue, spies, romance, and humor. I think people actually prefer the WW II-era romance to the contemporary.
What kind of books do you read when taking a break from your own writing?
I love anything Nora Roberts writes. I love women's fiction. I love spy novels.
What do you think is the future of traditional publishing?
I think it's great but I also like self-publishing. My sister and I cowrote two books, Murder at the Outlet Mall, a comedic mystery, and The Edger, a humorous women's fiction and we enjoyed that experience. We also wrote a musical and are thinking of self-publishing it while waiting to get it produced.
What was the proudest moment of your life so far?
When I won the Maggie Award at the Georgia Romance Writers Conference in 2012.
Imagine you get to go on a dream vacation, but you have only one hour to pack and leave, and it starts as soon as you finish this interview. What will you take with you and where will you go?
My summer dresses, bathing suit and cover up, hat, sandals, something dressy. I would take my husband or daughters and probably go to Italy. We just got back from a Mediterranean Cruise and I'm ready to go back to The Amalfi Coast.
What is your favorite holiday and why?
Labor Day because we go to our condo in Florida.
What good book have you read recently?
Dorothea Benton Franks' The Last Original Wife.
What do you like to do when you're bored?
Watch TV, actually fall asleep in front of the TV.
If you were a color, what color would you be?
Definitely green. That's my favorite color and I haven't wavered in that since I was born. I have gravitated toward lighter greens, like sea greens and blue greens.
Please underline which statement is more like you:
"I am a vacation spa because I am laid back and relaxed."
"I am a ten-countries in ten-days tour vacation, because I do things as fast as possible." But I wish I were laid back and relaxed and could enjoy a vacation spa.

Please complete the sentences

I love pizza with pepperoni and mushrooms, cheese and black olives.
I'm always ready for a vacation.
When I'm alone, I like to read.
You'd never be able to tell, but I don't have a sense of smell.
If I had a halo it would be made of gold.
If I could find a producer, I would love for my play Memory Lane to be on Broadway.

Previous Books

Murder at the Outlet Mall, a comedic mystery available in eBook or print format at
The Edger, humorous women's fiction available on Amazon Kindle at
Paranormal short stories from TWB Press. A Choir of Angels, Follow an Angel, The Stand-In Bridegroom and Dead Mix at
Marilyn Baron

Books Coming Soon

Sixth Sense, a paranormal romantic suspense, from The Wild Rose Press.
Reluctant psychic Katherine Crystal, dubbed "Crystal Ball Kate," is thrust into the national spotlight when she accurately predicts the death of a movie actor's young son in a private plane crash. Besieged by requests to use her powers to help others, she realizes why her parents had warned her never to let anyone know of her visions.
By-the-book Atlanta police detective Jack Hale harbors a deep-seated distrust of psychics and ignores Katherine's warnings when she calls to report her premonition. Jack is forced to partner with Kate, who uses her eerie sensitivity to evil to help him catch a serial killer in Sydney, Australia, but that's only the beginning of the story. Jack and Kate are drawn into the investigation of a mystery surrounding Kate's birth and find murder and romance among a secret society of psychics in the quaint seaside spiritualist community of Casa Spirito, Florida.
Significant Others, a humorous women's fiction from The Wild Rose Press, Christmas 2013.

Find Me Here


  1. Thanks for hosting me, Kayelle. I'm very happy to be here.

  2. Great interview! I think all authors are always ready for a vacation, but the hardest part is turning off the muse. It's always active. All the best!

    1. So true. That muse kicks in when you're trying to sleep, too. ;)

    2. Jessica and Kayelle,

      Yes, the muse kicks in at all times, and wakes you up so you have to write down the notes, or in the shower when you can't and you think, Oh, I'll remember that, it's so good and then, of course you can't remember a thing. But actually, I get some of my best ideas on vacation believe it or not, because I'm more relaxed and my mind is freer.

    3. Oh I hate when I do that! I'm terrible about getting brilliant ideas in the middle of the night, or when drifting off to sleep. I'll think it's so darn good there's no possible way I can forget it. The next day all I remember is that I'd had a great idea. o.O How annoying! I wish the muse would be less finicky about talking to me.

    4. Kayelle,

      Yes, especially when it was an amazing title for a book. And you can't for the life of you remember what it was, except, as you say, it was so good (supposedly and we'll never know).

  3. Wow, Marilyn,
    I knew a lot of that stuff, but didn't know you'd worked with the Olympics or done a stint in PA as a hotel reservationist. Love the atmosphere in Under the Moon Gate, and of course, the historical aspect. Can't wait to read Sixth Sense and its sequel Homecoming Homicide!

    1. Debbie, Marilyn seems to be a bundle of surprises. No wonder she can write the way she does!

    2. Debbie,
      I've had jobs I haven't even included here and I think everything you do prepares you for being a writer. What they say about truth being stranger than fiction, is so true! I can't wait for Sixth Sense to come out. This was based on an experience I had flying to Australia sitting next to (for 24 hours!)a psychic and that was the seed that sparked the idea. And of course, it grew from there. The book takes you from Atlanta to Sydney to a small fictionalized coastal town in Florida. It is a romantic suspense with elements of paranormal. So I am excited it will be available early on Amazon this month (8/27). Thanks for commenting.

  4. What an amazing interview. Marilyn, I never knew you didn't have a sense of smell. My attention is totally caught by this musical you're working on. What's it about?

    1. I am trying not to feel sorry for Marilyn. If you don't have it you dont' miss it. But it's sad when know what it's like. I guess it would be like not having telepathy and someone who had it would feel sorry for us.

  5. Bryonna,
    Thanks for commenting. I think Kayelle asked amazing questions. I don't think I've ever had such a thorough interview. I inherited my lack of sense of smell from my grandmother. Since I never had a sense of smell I don't miss it, but it is sure hard to write about smell in novels when I haven't actually experienced it. My sister and I are very excited about our musical. It's called Memory Lane. It's about Alzheimer's and it takes a light-hearted, but poignant, look at this global epidemic. We have decided to put it out on Amazon initially while we're looking for a producer because that's a long process and we also have the music for it. So more to come when that releases. We've developed a medley of parts of some of the songs which we had recorded by some amazing singers. You can read a little more about it on my Web site under Anthologies and more

  6. You're to be congratulated on your perseverance on this book. Ten years is a long time to keep the story alive, and the plot sounds exciting.

    1. A story that is stuck in your mind isn't something you can walk away from, is it? They can stick with you forever.

  7. Linda,
    Thanks for commenting. I didn't actually work on the book all ten years. I was working on other books during that time, but the problem was I was trying to include three love stories in one book and finally I made the 17th century story into one book and the contemporary and WW II stories into a second. That did the trick. I do have perseverance and I never gave up.

  8. This book sounds amazing! You are on a roll!

  9. Mary,
    Thank you very much. I think readers will find it exciting, especially the WW II part, which reads like a spy novel.

  10. This book has everything, doesn't it? A modern day pirate, a thriller back story and hidden gold. What a great interview. I also have books that have stayed with me for years before I actually did anything with them. And one is coming out from The Wild Rose Press next year, so we're fellow authors. Maybe we'll meet someday.

    1. I think most writers have books like that. I have very few that just flew out like butterflies set free. LOL

  11. Velda,
    It's very nice to meet a sister Wild Rose Press Author. Thanks for visiting. Yes, this book does have everything including spies and intrigue and two romances, three if you count the prequel. Your new book sounds good too. What genre is it?
    Kayelle, wouldn't it be nice if books flew out like butterflies set free?

    1. Oh would it ever! I'd have a garden full of them by now, I'm sure. What a lovely thought.


Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.