Sharon's INSPIRATIONAL Short stories of Faith and Romance can be found HERE or visit her
Facebook Page, which also has the links in the comments.)

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Wednesday Spotlight with Mary Ricksen

Hello and welcome to Wednesday Spotlight! Today my special guest is friend and fellow Wild Rose author Mary Ricksen. Mary is here today to chat with us about her book
Tripping Through Time

But first, here is a blurb and excerpt:

In the waters of Lake Champlain there is magic, and a Celtic Ring with a mystic spell
proves that love is truly timeless.
For years Keealyn McCalley has been under her father's commanding thumb. After a
young child dies in her arms, Keealyn leaves nursing school despite his disapproval.
She ends up staying at a camp on Lake Champlain, in Vermont.
Depressed and overwhelmed she takes her first drink and before she knows it she is
stoned. Hungover and not thinking clearly she jumps into the lake. Her misguided
act leads her to find an ancient Celtic ring with a spell on it. Putting it on sends
her back to the year 1869. Found on the shore by Ryan Wolf, she is immediately attracted
to his misty green eyes, hard body, and compassionate nature.
She must learn to trust him not to abuse her, save her heart, and teach her the powerful
healing power of unconditional love.

Finally, her father left, furious and disgusted
with her. He gave her a non-refundable bus ticket
and his last words echoed in her mind.
“Take your choice, either come home with this
ticket, or go back to school immediately. I’m finished,
do whatever you want, I really don’t care. The only
reason I came is your mother made me. As far as I
am concerned you were our biggest mistake.”
“To you I am a mistake, but I am a mistake that
has a mind, feelings, and the right to choose how I
want to spend my life. You can’t make me into what
you want me to be.”
“That’s for sure, you can’t even come close. Try
living without any money, let’s see if you dare to
speak to me like that when you are begging for my
“Dad, I will never beg for your help, I’d rather be
dead. You will not hear from this mistake ever
“Good.” Her father shook his head, the look of
disgust on his face apparent. He turned and walked
out of her life forever.
After she left the police station, she ripped the
ticket into small pieces and watched wistfully as the
small pieces blew away in the wind. Finally
emancipated, it was over—bittersweet because now
she could never go home again.
Slowly her thinking became less coherent and
her lungs screamed for air.
The longer she held her breath underwater, the
slower her thoughts came, her mind now numb,
jumbled. She saw fish dart by above her and
followed them with hazy eyes. One seemed to stare
into her face, before swimming to the bottom. It
circled below her, as if trying to get her attention.
She saw something on the bottom. Bright gold,
it glowed, its radiance attracted her and she realized
it was a ring. At that point, she felt indifferent, so it
must have been reflex, or providence, that coerced
her to reach down, pick it up, put it on and then
open her mouth to end it all.
Before the water could fill her lungs she felt a
shock, her body tingled and her blood burned
through her veins. A bright flash of light surrounded
her for a moment and she passed out with a last
thought. I hope I don’t go to hell for this. That
Catholic rhetoric they’d drilled into her head still
made her question her actions.

Sharon: Let’s have a warm welcome for Mary Ricksen. But as Mary waves madly to her fans, her Celtic ring flies off her finger and into the icy waters of Lake Champlain. The audience gasps in horror and screams in unison, “Mary! Don’t jump!”

Oliver dashes out in his red hot speedos, executing a graceful swan dive into the water to rescue Mary. He scoops her up in his arms, biceps pumping, and places her on the cement. She gurgles once, then twice. Then the gold ring spouts forth from her lips before she passes out cold. Oliver revives her by delivering mouth-to-mouth resuscitation. Mary bolts upright, a big smile on her face. Thunderous applause explodes once the crowd is assured Mary Ricksen is out of harm’s way and will live to write her next best seller.

Sharon rushes out with a plush towel and a big hug for her friend. Well Mary, that was some entrance, I’d say! Have a seat and Oliver will bring you your favorite drink. Oliver is at the ready, strawberry frutista in hand. He places it on a Duncan Donut napkin along with a huge plate of pistachio nuts. He stares at Mary, awe struck, hoping to be the romantic hero of all her dreams.

Sharon reaches for her coffee with trembling fingers. She salutes Oliver for his heroics. Relieved that Mary has stopped shivering, Sharon raises her coffee mug. Here’s to drama on the high sea! So let’s talk about this book. I love the sound of it. The Celtic Ring had me hooked and anything with magic and legend gets my full attention. Tell us how you came up with the plot for this spellbinding tale?

Mary: Thanks for saving me Oliver. I don’t swim well and I was getting tired. Phew.
The idea came to me while I was having a conversation with a friend. We were talking about when my DH lost his wedding ring in the Long Island Sound. His hand was greasy from working on the motor. And when he went in to look at the prop. Plop that was it, gone! Well we both freaked and I gave him the devil for it and eventually I forgot. It was a year later when my DH and his brother were snorkeling and he decided to look for the ring. Never in a million years did I think he would find it. He couldn’t see his hand in front of his face the water was that murky. But with his face right on the bottom he saw a glint on the bottom. He reached for it and bingo, the ring.

Sharon: Wow, and what are the chances? You know, there are so many legends associated with the Celtic folk, aren’t there? And I’m a real sucker for them all. You have Celtic blood running through your veins. Can you share a favorite legend with us?

Mary: My Irish red headed mom always told us about the banshee, she heard it before someone would die. She is a bit fey.

Sharon: Is there a reason why you chose the waters of Lake champlain as the place where the Celtic ring is found?

Mary: I grew up spending my summers there, it’s a wonderful place.

Sharon: How long did it take you to write this book?

Mary: It took me four years to get it right. And now when I look back, I see things I should and would have done a lot differently. I’m much quicker and I’ve learned so much since then. I think I have improved!

Sharon: Isn’t it the truth, girlfriend! Let’s talk about reviews. While it’s an awesome feeling to get a fabulous one, especially a five star rating, there is a certain phobia associated with seeing your name out there before you know what a reviewer wrote about the book you poured your heart into. Tell us what went through your mind when you read your very first review.

Mary: Ahhhhhhhh! Help me I almost passed out! I had to grab something so I wouldn’t fall on the floor. My first reviewer trashed me! It was awful, and she actually apologized, she was having a horrible day. The blurb was incorrect so she was expecting a totally different book. And it really annoyed her. I think she thought I was trying to trick people, when I had nothing to do with her getting the wrong blurb. I’ll never forget it as long as I live. Be careful when you do a review, there is someone that can be very hurt by careless words. My second review was a whole lot better, which made me, feel better. Those are the only two I have had. I wonder why, although I know some people never get any reviews.

Sharon: Oh and here comes Oliver with dessert. Oliver strolls out with a cut glass plate of cannolies. Then he picks up a bronze statue and presents it to Mary with a sweeping bow and a wink.

Sharon: Thank you, Oliver. Mary tears up when she reads it. She holds it up to her adoring fans. Inscribed in beautiful handwriting, it says, To Mary Ricksen, The Wild Rose Press Resident Blogger.

Sharon: As I once told Mary in an email, she has to be our designated resident blogger. Every time I’ve been to a blog, Mary is one of the first if not the first to leave a comment. She told me that it makes her feel good to promote fellow authors. Let’s hear it for Mary Ricksen!

Thunderous applause as Mary gets a standing ovation from her fans.

Mary: Wait I can’t talk with the cannoli stuffed in my mouth. My goodness these are great. Thanks everyone. Let me put it this way. Don’t you feel great when people comment on your blog? I do. That’s why I do it. How else will a blogger know you liked it?

Sharon: All right. Perhaps your statue can have a place of honor in your garden. Tell us about your garden of statues. What is your most unique and why?

Mary: The most unique one is called the Weeper. The Weeper does your crying for you so you don’t have to cry. I have a set of statues on the Alice in Wonderland theme. The Queen of hearts is so sassy. Amongst my stepping-stones, but not too near the Weeper is where I’ll place it. I am so glad it’s weatherproof!

Sharon: I love it! The Weeper. I’ll have to run out and get one of those. So what’s next for Mary Ricksen? What is your current wip and why?

Mary: I just finished my second in the series called, Time Can Heal Your Heart. It’s called Burned Into Time. Yep, my heroine is in a horrific car fire in the beginning. My friend, Linda Nightingale, said she was afraid to get in her car for a week after reading it. I hope it will be contracted. The waiting is horrible isn’t it?

Sharon: You know it, girl. I’m doing the waiting game right now as a matter of fact, so I can relate. Unfortunately, I’m afraid that brings us to the end of our interview. But before we go, just a few more questions. How would you like to be remembered when you leave this earth? What footprint would you like to leave as your mark?

Mary: I’d like to be remembered as a good, kind, person, who was an author. I’d like people to say, “That Mary Ricksen was so nice. Did you read her books? I’m going to miss her.”

Sharon: And if you could live any where in the world where would it be and why? If you could be the starring lady in any literary fiction, which would it be and why? And last but not least, who would you like playing your romantic hero?

Mary: Am I rich or poor.
I have never left this continent so I have nothing to use except my imagination. But I think Ireland or Scotland would feel like home. Here it’s North Carolina in the smokies, the winters on Lake Champlain are hard to take. We own a piece of property between Bryson City and Cherokee which we would like to build on.
I’d like to be Clare in Diana Gabaldon’s Voyager series. Jamie is perfect as the main man.
As for my hero, Helen Hardt has a picture on him on her blog. Gerard looks exactly like Jamie should look.

Oliver stands in the corner blubbering.

Sharon: Ah, pipe down, Oliver. You can’t be everyone’s romantic hero! Sharon rolls her eyes. And there you have it folks, a close up and personal with Mary Ricksen. Mary, it’s been a blast and I hope you come back again. Where can readers buy your books and get in touch with you?

Mary: My books can be purchased at all the usual places; Amazon, Fictionwise, B&N, Kindle etc. But it is a print on demand and will have to be ordered if one wants the book in hand. E print can be downloaded right away. I can be reached on my email address
Thank you Sharon for the privilege of inviting me to be interviewed for your blog. I so enjoyed it and I hope that people enjoy my books. Reading is such a gift to us, for me it’s the greatest gift of all!


Sharon Donovan said...

Welcome, Mary! Have a seat, girlfriend and enjoy the poolside view. Just don't go diving in again or you might just give Oliver heart failure. Oh, Oliver, do bring our refreshments from Duncan Donuts please. And a big plate of pistachios. So how ya doing today, Mary?


Sharon Donovan said...

Thank you, Oliver. Oliver beams and winks wildly at Mary as he hands her a strawberry frutista from Duncan Donuts. Then with a sidelong glance at Sharon, he places a pot of steaming coffee down. Sharon rolls her eyes. So Mary, exactly what is a strawberry frutista? Is it like a slush puppy?

liana laverentz said...

Good morning, Mary and Sharon! What a delightful interview, and how amazing that your DH found his ring again, Mary. You never know when inspiration will strike! I believe Sharon has a story about a ring, too. They're such romantic items. Best of luck and many sales to both of you.


Hywela Lyn said...

What a fascinating interview - two fo my favourite authors who both wrote beautiful stories about rings, as Liana says, those are such romantic items - a perfect circle - a circle of love!

I've yet to read your story 'Tripping Though Time' Mary, but it is on my tbr list and I'm sure I'll enjoy it, it sounds amazing!

Sharon Donovan said...

Hello, Liana and Lyn! Mary will be along shortly, but until she joins us, please give Oliver your drink orders and he'll be at your service, won't you, Oliver? Oliver did you hear me? And some biscottie and herbal tea for Liana and some nice Earl Gray for Lyn.

Margaret Tanner said...

Hi Sharon, Mary and Oliver,
Great interview. Loved your excerpt Mary, sounds like a great read.

Sharon Donovan said...

Hi Margaret. Mary will be along. She's traveling this morning or maybe traveling through time. LOL But Oliver is happy to bring you a cup of Earl Grey and some potato crisps! Enjoy!

Miss Mae said...

Hi Mary,

We have three things in common. 1) My hubby lost his wedding band too, 2) I used to live close to the Smokies in east TN, and I really miss them, and 3) I've had a bad review too!

You just forget about that review, though. At least the woman apologized so that's something!

And smack Oliver...he's over in the corner gobbling down all the chocolates!

Autumn Jordon said...

Mary, I've got to tell you, I instantly hated the father. Wow! No wonder Keealyn felt alone. I can just imagine her mother was abused by the man too.

I spent part of my honeymoon in the Lake area. I remember the cold water and biting wind.

Great interview ladies. Now know Mary much better. WINK


Sharon Donovan said...

Oh the party's heating up already! What? Sharon gasps, horrified. Oliver, go call Mary and see if the guest of honor is stuck in traffic. In the meantime, ladies, help yourselves to coffee, tea and dessert. Autumn, welcome. Can you contact me at
You won a copy of Echo of a Raven and I need your address. Oliver, stop flirting with the guests! Oh, all right, you can give them white roses to remember you by. LOL

Sharon Donovan said...

Hey Miss Mae! What? Oliver, get your hands off the chocolate! No it is not all for you. It's for the guests and Mary hasn't even arrived yet. Now run out and buy more! Miss Mae, we could use a slug of your recipe!

Kathleen said...

What a great excerpt! Wishing you all the best.

Miss said...

Mary makes a grand entrance. Smiling to those on either side of her as she attempts to sit down next to Sharon.
Mary rubs her eyes and asks, "Are you people crazy? How do you get up so early?"
Mary takes the strawberry fruitista, a fruity frozen concoction, and gulps it down. She asks Oliver for some PGTips, she needs to wake up.
Liana, we couldn't believe it!

P.L. Parker said...

Good Morning Ladies! Enjoyed the post and I am buying a copy of Tripping (I have a Sony reader you know). Anyway, I agree that Mary is so supportive. Can only think of a few others who are even close. Good job, Mary.

Mary Ricksen said...

Whoops, not Miss, it's me!
Darn computer. Oliver sugar please.
Oliver you are such a gentleman.

Thanks for stopping by Maggie, Lyn, Miss Mae, Autumn, and Kathleen, welcome, sorry to get you all wet. But I had to get the ring back.

Jianne Carlo said...

Mary is as always wonderful to chat with and Tripping Through Time is terrific tale.

Great interview,

Jianne Carlo

Mary Ricksen said...

Thanks Patsy. Ohhhhhh! EEEEKK! Oh man, I had a fish in my bra!

Mary Ricksen said...

Jianne is that you? Where have you been? Mary puts the ring in her pocket. Can't lose that again.

Mary Ricksen said...

Patsy, a Sony E reader. Nice, how is it?

Linda Swift said...

Wonderful interview, Mary and Sharon. And I enjoyed the excerpt. A heartbreaking scene. And now I understand why Mary always shows up on my blogs with kind words. It is greatly appreciated, Mary. And speakaing of showing up, how nice to see Oliver again. Is he for rent for social events? Wishing you both success with yor books.

Sharon Donovan said...

Welcome Kathleen, Patsy and Jianne. Oliver, more drinks and chocolates, please. Mary, you're here! Oh, Oliver will help you get that fish out of your bra! LOL

Beth Trissel said...

Mary, get yourself over here. I see Oliver and Sharon are busy hosting. The party is rocking, girl. Ah, there you are making your grand entrance. The white steed is a nice touch.

Your book (love the title!)is at the top of my TBR pile or to be finished pile. I enjoyed the beginning and then got called away to write my own time travel, but plan to pop back into your delightful tale. Your setting is lovely. My brother lives near there and sends gorgeous pics.
I would like an autographed authors copy if you're giving any of those away today. I need an E-reader to more expediently finish these E-books. My laptop is not the most convenient and acts up periodically.
OK, so maybe I'll buy my own print copy. :)

E.A. West said...

Wonderful interview, ladies!

Judy said...

Wonderful conversation! I especially appreciated your sharing your experience with your first reviews. With two books set for release next year, I'm already dreading the reviews---so you've given me courage!

Mary Ricksen said...

Hi Linda, how are you.
Beth with all your releases how do you have time to read. Thanks for stopping by EA and Judy I hear some people never get reviews.

Oliver, I can get the fish out by myself. Watch it or it'll be in your speedo.

Anna Kathryn Lanier said...

Well, as Sharon said, Mary is always stopping by and commenting on everyone else's blogs, so I figured it was time for 'turn about is fair play.' I loved the interview and learning about Mary's stories. Thanks for sharing!

Sharon Donovan said...

Hi Linda, Beth, Judy and E.A. Oliver is now passing out white roses for you ladies but he's wanting a kiss in return. Linda, I keep threatening to auction Oliver to the highest bidder if he doesn't shape up, so stay tuned for coming attractions. Oliver winks at Mary's suggestion.

Miss Mae said...

Ah ha, Miss Mae to the rescue! I brought Harry the pelican straight from the Georgia coastline and he's after that fish! Quick, duck, squee, run!

Mary, get that fish outta your hair! Here comes Harry's beak! Ouch! Yank!

Mary Ricksen said...

Ooowwwwwwww! Oliver help!I have a pelican stuck in my hair!
Yhanks Anna Kathryn sooooo much for commenting, but I have a bird on my head. OOOOHHHH NNNNOOOOOOOO
Pelican poop. Ugh.

Sharon Donovan said...

Big hello to Anna. Oh, quick, Oliver to the rescue! Bring a fishnet to catch that wopper of a fish out of Mary's hair. Eeeee Yikes! It's a scorpion!

Miss Mae said...

That can't stink as bad as a pelican knocked Oliver off his feet and he fainted dead away!

Sharon Donovan said...

But he's still smiling! Quick ladies, who wants to give Oliver mouth to mouth to bring him round?

Mary Ricksen said...

I have a scorpion in my hair????
Mary runs down the road screaming.

Sharon Donovan said...

Mary, come back! Oliver leaps on top of Mary, knocks her clean over and captures the nasty Scorpion and dangles it in front of Mary. Oops, just a giant cricket. Come back and have some PGTips! Grin

Miss Mae said...

Hey, somebody better do something about that fish! He's just flopped into my barrel packed with ice, lemonade.

Sharon Donovan said...

Horrors! Sharon shrieks. Get that fish out of the ah...lemonade Miss Mae. Jumpin' cat fish! Nothing worse than a drunk guppy. Eeeeks! He's blubbering worse than Oliver! Oh dear! Is he doing the dead fish's float?

Mary Ricksen said...

Mary stands behind Oliver hiding,
scorpion fish are scary.
She throws pistachios at the scorpion. Then she runs out the door.

Miss Mae said...

Scaredy cat...Miss Mae sniffs haughtily and delicately picks the fish up by its tail...

Wait a minute! That's a pirahna!

Miss Mae joins Mary in running for the door.

Mary Ricksen said...

Their screams are deafening.
Miss Mae loses a shoe but still keeps running. Both scream louder as Oliver chases them with the piranha, teeth still chopping

Sharon Donovan said...

Oliver comes out with a pair of choppers, tweaks the fangs from the Piranha and hands them to Mary with a sweeping bow. Then he turns to Miss Mae, hands . shaking, in search of the lemonade. Grin.

Mary Ricksen said...

Oh Oliver, you're my hero.

Toni V.S. said...

Just wanted to pop in for a minute before starting my new edits, and say, "Great Blog!" Enjoyed it, Mary and Sharon. Isn't Oliver a doll?

Mary Ricksen said...

Hi Toni, Oliver's head is swelled already.
Thank goodness he decided to stop chasing us Sharon. Eewww. nasty fish.
Oliver you are such!

Sylvie said...

Enjoyed your interview, Mary and Sharon! Very clever :-)
It's amazing about your hubby finding the ring. Talk about true love and the stuff romance is made of! Bad reviews...yikes, most of us have had them. I did. Best to glean a sentence or phrase to quote, then forget it and move on.
And getting older helps me forget! Who knew there was an advantge!

Sylvie Kaye

Mary Ricksen said...

I guess the advantage to getting older is that I can forget easier! Ha! Sylvie you always find the positive in any given!
Oliver please give Sylvie something to drink would you?

Sharon Donovan said...

Welcome Toni and Sylvie! Oliver, do bring the ladies some refreshments. Sylvie, what would you like? Toni, a Fuzzy Navel I presume? LOL

Mary Ricksen said...

Thank you Sharon for having me. Thank you Oliver for the refreshments. No you cannot have my fruitista.
Have a great day to all and thanks for stopping by. I will keep looking to see if there are more comments. I like comments.

Debra St. John said...

HI Mary,

How fabulous that your husband found his ring after all that time. Definitely inspiration for a story. How romantic.

Mary Ricksen said...

I have to tell you Debra, when he came out of that huge murky expansive of water, with his lost ring in hand, I was shocked!
I'll never forget it.

Sharon Donovan said...

Hi Debra. Thanks for stopping by to chat with Mary. What a story about her husband's ring, huh?

Sharon Donovan said...

Mary, you have been a delightful guest today and Oliver has a gift for you. Oliver runs over with a white rose between his teeth. With a sweeping bow, he kisses Mary and bestows it on her. And who says Valentino is dead? He lives on and on and on. Long live Oliver!

Well folks, this brings us to the end of another Wednesday Spotlight. I hope you enjoyed chatting with Mary Ricksen as she Traveled through Time. Until next week, may the luck of the Irish be with you in your travels through life.
Hugs and farewell,

Mona Risk said...

Hi Mary, hi Sharon, I know I am late reading this blog but I just made time to open my Internet. What a fun interview.

Mary, I can't believe your hubby found his wedding ring after a year at the bottom of a lake. An editor would say it's pushing the coincidence too much. LOL

I love the story of Tripping Through Time and I am the lucky one who knows that Burned in Time is going to be even better. BTW I can use a drink, and a hug , and a massage from Oliver. What a great guy. Can't wait to be waited on by your dear Oliver.

Mary Marvella said...

My goodness, Mary! You wowed them again! Always a great blogger.

Love Mama Mary

Sharon Donovan said...

Hi Mary and Mona. Thanks so much for dropping by today to chat with us. Oliver is always happy to serve with a smile! Please join me next week when my featured guest for Wednesday Spotlight will be Skhye Moncrief. As always, farewell until we meet again.

Jane Richardson, writer said...

Mary, the tale of the wedding ring is astonishing! How amazing! No wonder it kicked off your own story. Nothing more symbolic than a wedding ring!
Loved your excerpt. Good luck with your writing!

Jane x

Skhye said...

Poor Oliver!!! I want to know more about your series with the burned heroine. Great interview. :)

Catherine Bybee said...

Oh and just look at how many of your fans are here, Mary. Wonderful interview!

Mary Ricksen said...

Not fans Catherine, but beloved friends.

Jane,Skhye,Mary Marvelous, Catherine and Mona, thanks for commenting. You guys are the best.
Oliver please, I know Sharon left for the time being, but please, drinks for everyone and a nice foot massage for Mona, she really needs it right not. Thanks for stopping by everyone! What an honor.

Julie Robinson said...

I missed the party! And Mary's stupendous rescue by Oliver!!

Hi Sharon and Mary. Sorry to be late, but I've not been on-line for the past week. However, Sharon, I just saw you won the author prize package on Kerri Nelson's blog. Congratulations, I am so happy for you!!

Now, back to the Mary. Great blurb and excerpt. Sounds like your story gives hope to females who've lived under an abusive thumb. I will recommend it to females who've suffered this predicament.

I enjoyed 'meeting' you Mary, and thanks to Sharon who always has such an entertaining way of treating her guests!


Sharon Donovan said...

Hey Julie! Yes, Kerri and Val have notified me. Wow, all those prizes. Awesome. Hey, did you get my email? The one about being a guest? Email me at
Thanks, Julie.

Karen Michelle Nutt said...

Sharon and Mary great interview.

Loved the excerpt Mary. Just love time travel.

Take Care

Historical Writer/Editor said...

Skhye, what interesting ideas you come up with for your writing! I wish you the best in your endeavors. -Laura Hogg