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Howard K invites you to ‘Dial M for Merlot’

I’m happy to introduce today’s guest, Howard K.

I ‘met’ Howard a little while back when he hired me to freelance edit his novel. I was a little wary after learning it was the first novel he’d ever written and that it was well over 100,000 words. However, I was pleasantly surprised once I started reading. While it needed some polishing, (as all stories do, even those from seasoned writers), it did not need a ton of reworking. The story was well written and immensely entertaining.

If you love wine and love to laugh (or if you even like ONE of those things), you’ll definitely want to check out Howard’s debut novel.

Now, let’s get to know a little more about him….

Where did you get the idea for Dial M for Merlot?

I had been a wine lover for many years, fully enjoying going to tastings, traveling to wine country destinations and attending wine themed dinner extravaganzas. In late 2007, I was diagnosed with throat cancer and had to endure surgery, radiation and chemo. I am happy to report that I bounced back and have remained cancer free since then, but for many years after, I lost all sense of taste. If you could see my wardrobe and clothing choices, you might be of the opinion that I never had any taste anyway…but that’s another story

Anyway, after a long while I was finally able to once again enjoy great wines and good times out with friends. It was at one of these wine dinners that someone suggested I write a book about the experience of being a ‘wino’, losing all sense of taste and the ability to enjoy wine, and then fully regaining my health and senses. It sounded like a good idea at the time, and I gave it try…but when I sat to write, the title “Dial M for Merlot” popped into my head and the story revealed itself to me as I typed.

What book have you read that you wish you would have written?

Tai Pan by James Clavell. I really love history and historical fiction.

Do you have another occupation, other than writer? If so, what is it and how do you like it?

Well, since I’m in my fifties and this is the first book I’ve written…one would think I’ve had another occupation, but I actually haven’t had a real job in my entire life! I have been a musician since I was in my teens and I’ve spent the last 25 years composing and producing music for commercials. I’ve been very fortunate to have done work for HBO Sports, McDonald’s, The Florida Lottery, Florida Grapefruit, Ritz Carlton Hotels, about a million car dealerships. My favorite project of all time: a down home-style jingle for ‘Black Kow, the Mature Manure.’  You know you’ve arrived when you can get paid for singing about bullsh*t!

What’s your favorite childhood book?

Goodnight Moon.  I loved reading this book over and over again to my two sons when they were very young, and we’ve still got the old, well-worn copy on the shelf in one of their bedrooms.

What do you want readers to come away with after they read Dial M for Merlot?

A few good laughs, a smile, and hopefully, a sense of anticipation and enthusiasm for the sequel.

Would you rather have a bad review or no review?

I would just rather have a good review.

What is your favorite quote?

‘Ich bin ein Berliner’   Of course JFK’s iconic quote was meant to send a message to the Soviets that America would stand with Germany in the face of the communist threat to freedom and liberty, but it has a different and personal meaning for me. I lived in West Berlin for a few years before the wall came down, and from the very first moment I arrived at Tegel airport in 1982, I had the strangest and most unexpected feeling that I had come home…that I belonged in Berlin. So yes, Ich bin auch ein Berliner- – I, too, am a Berliner.

If you were stranded on a deserted island and you could have 3 (inanimate) objects, what would they be?

A magic lantern with a Genie inside, a bottomless wine cellar and a corkscrew. The Genie would take care of everything else

What celebrity would you most like to be stranded on an island with?

Penelope Cruz. No explanation needed.

What is your favorite…

Movie  For a recent release “The Way Way Back”

Music:  The film score from “The Shawshank Redemption,” by Thomas Newman

Place you’ve visited:   the Priorat wine region in Northern Spain

Place you’d like to visit:   Burgundy, France

TV show from childhood:  Get Smart

TV show from adulthood:  Night Court

Food: Steak au poivre, medium rare, with a side of well done potatoes Lyonnaise, broiled asparagus and a bottle of smashing, full throttle cabernet sauvignon.

Which do you prefer: Board games/card games or television?

None of the above..I’ll take a good book anytime!

Keep reading to learn more about Dial M for Merlot (Only $2.99 for ebook…Click on the cover to be taken to the Amazon buy page where and find links to other outlets below)

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Blurb:

In Vino Veritas—in wine there is truth, and the truth is that Justin James is a 30-year-old, socially inept guy who just can’t seem to get a second date. Maybe it’s because of his abiding love for all things sci-fi, including dressing up in costume at every Comic-Con® that comes to town— not exactly the universal definition of “sexy.”

One Friday night, after being stood up for the zillionth time, the lovelorn nerd wanders into a wine tasting at a local shop that opens his eyes, turns on his taste buds and totally changes his life.

Join Justin on an exhilarating, intoxicating and potentially dangerous voyage of discovery and transformation that leads him out of his shell and into the world of fine wine and fine living. From Florida to France and back, Justin discovers there is so much more to life than just Star Trek, Star Wars or Harry Potter—fun, stimulating, and seductive things like fabulous wine, fantastic food, hot sex…and murder. But not necessarily in that order.

Excerpt:

Chapter One

 Justin James felt the pounding in his head even before he fully regained consciousness. When he finally succeeded in prying open his hangover-heavy eyelids, the room slowly came into a blurred, topsy-turvy view of unreality.

The soft light filtering through the yellowed linen curtains suggested a peaceful post-dawn morning, but the foul taste in his mouth and the fire bubbling up in the back of his throat screamed midnight in Hell.

He slowly propped himself up on one shaky elbow and tried to rub the pain out of his brain. That wasn’t working too well. He resumed crash position and massaged his throbbing temples, struggling to remember just how he had gotten back to the house after what must have been a very long night of wine-fueled debauchery.

Yesterday evening had started on a remarkably high note; attending an invitation-only wine tasting and dinner at one of the most renowned châteaus in all of France. The gigantic, but elegant, gala was co-sponsored by the largest, most powerful wine distributor in North America—the Richard Fox Company, along with its French counterpart, Beverage DeBussey.

It was the Célébration de Vin, an event held only once every ten years, and yet, Justin and his traveling companions managed to wrangle admission. They weren’t a particularly well-connected group of important movers and shakers in the wine industry, just a small band of vino tourists on-the-loose in France for a little fine living and some excessive wine drinking, during the week of the Vin Expo trade show in Bordeaux. Their names were nowhere on the guest list. But no matter.

Right place, right time, a little language barrier misunderstanding, and voila—admittance into the wine party of the decade. In some corners of the world that would be called chutzpah, but as some pissed-off Frenchman would later remark, “Those American bastards had some big balls.” Big balls, indeed.

So there they were—rubbing elbows with some of the most well-known figures in the world of wine, all of whom Justin had never even heard of until a few months back. He watched as the guys spread out into the main tasting room, standing side-by-side with some of the rich, famous, and beautiful people he had read about here and there, but never dreamed of actually seeing in person, let alone tasting outrageously expensive wines with and then discussing their marvelous attributes. Mind blowing. Really. Mind blowing.

Yes, it had started out as a wine enthusiast’s night-of-a-lifetime, but something had gone awry. Between the pounding, the bubbling, and a fair amount of spinning, he couldn’t remember much of what had happened after those first few minutes at the Grand Tasting. How had he wound up back in his bed, wearing clothing he didn’t recognize, with a half-empty to-go box of some sort of disgusting French version of KFC planted next to his head on the pillow?

And where were the guys? He should have at least heard them snoring their brains out in the adjacent bedrooms of their rental house, but strangely, he heard … nothing. If he hadn’t been in France on a vino-expedition, he might have vowed never to drink again.

Being a novice wino was hard work.

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About Howard: 

First-time author and full-time wine enthusiast Howard K is an award winning composer and producer of music for television, film and advertising. He lives with his wife and family in the Tampa Bay, Florida area.

Contact:     howardkbooks@gmail.com

Find Dial M for Merlot here:

http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00KLRLLDC

https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/id883031847

http://www.barnesandnoble.com/s/dial-m-for-merlot?keyword=dial+m+for+merlot&store=nookstore

http://www.kobobooks.com/ebook/Dial-M-for-Merlot/book-LlCyz6jOD0OZu3PuoAwl1g/page1.html

 

 

 

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Elvis Presley – Ramblings of a Lifelong Fan – Part XIII – Quotes by Elvis

Elvis has been quoted many, many times over the years. In some of the quotes, his vulnerability and insecurity come through. In some, his wisdom, and in others, his love for his fans. Those who were close to Elvis emphasized how much he loved and appreciated his fans. In spite of his unparalleled success, he never forgot how it came to be.

 

Here are some of my favorites…

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A Fall Freebie – Two Reunion Stories FREE on Amazon for a limited time…

Please welcome two wonderful authors and dear friends, Jannine Gallant and Margo Hoornstra.

Ladies, the floor is yours…

 

Celebrate Fall with TWO FREE Reunion Anthologies 

September is here and the kids are back in school. A time for reflection…the years go by so fast. Maybe you’re remembering your own school years and feeling a little nostalgic. Why not take a trip down memory lane to a high school reunion? And the best part is you can do it for FREE! 

We’re offering our Serendipity Reunion Anthologies free for a limited time Sept. 16th through the 19th. Six complete stories in two volumes. Classmates from Serendipity High make a return trip to Vermont for their 20 year high school reunion. Will they get a second chance at love? 

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Road To Serendipity by Jannine Gallant

Will a twenty year high school reunion inspire old classmates to risk it all for love? 

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Lonely Road To You

Kate Abbott is content with the life she’s built in Seattle, even if her son thinks she’s in an uninspired rut. Former rock star Tyler North is happy on the Montana ranch where he fled to escape the ravages of fame and fortune. Neither plans to attend their high school reunion, but fate throws them together on a journey of discovery. Can Kate and Tyler put aside fear of change to take a chance on love? 

Rough Road Ahead

When Chantal Day’s cosmetics company is consumed in a hostile takeover, she’s left broke and homeless. Abandoning Manhattan for the Adirondack Mountains, she discovers her high school flame is back. Widowed with a daughter to raise, Flynn McKenna doesn’t need a sexy woman tying his life up in knots. They broke each other’s hearts once. Will they find common ground before an old threat finds them? 

Winding Road Home

Adam York attends his high school reunion hoping to see his old running pal but is doomed to disappointment. When Chloe Lane walks off the set of Get Lei’d with her dignity in shreds, she swears off men…until she runs into Adam on the course of the Lake Tahoe Marathon. Attraction threatens their friendship with the promise of something more, but will Chloe risk her heart before it’s too late? 

Click HERE to download your free copy of Road To Serendipity from Amazon.

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Saturday In Serendipity by Margo Hoornstra

A twenty year high school reunion changes the lives of former classmates and leads to unexpected futures. 

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Three Strikes Thursday

Barry Carlson, a pro baseball success, could have any woman he wanted. Except one. Twenty years before, Barry won Amanda Marsh’s love, only to crush her heart. He’s returned to Serendipity, determined to win her back. Recently divorced, Amanda is happy—until Barry slides back into her life. Can they put aside old wounds and new misunderstandings to find a forever love? 

Two On Tuesday

Blane Weston’s construction company needs the venture capital Matt Durand has. With his reputation for hostile takeovers, she wants no part of him. Mixing business with pleasure, she’s off to Serendipity  to hook up with a former flame. Not used to being denied, Matt follows. How can Blane enjoy a journey to her past when Matt is determined to dictate her future? 

One Fateful Friday

His high school reunion in Serendipity over, hospital CEO Jake Holbrook regrets his single state. When a special woman from his past tumbles back into his life—and his bed—he’s determined to keep her there. Family practitioner Bethany Thomas avoids an entanglement with her new boss, but unknowingly betrays him. As the holidays approach, can they overcome a lack of trust to find their Christmas miracle? 

Click HERE to download your free copy of Saturday In Serendipity from Amazon.

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Margo Hoornstra is an empty nester from Michigan with an awfully full nest! She balances her writing with long walks around her small town and plenty of time spent with her grandchildren. Visit her Website or follow her on Facebook and Twitter.

 

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Jannine Gallant lives in beautiful Lake Tahoe. She squeezes time for cathartic hikes in the woods with her dog between writing, a part time job and keeping up with two teenage daughters. Visit her Website or follow her on Facebook and Twitter.

 

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TWRP Western Historical Romance Novel ON SALE…Loveland by Andrea Downing

A great bargain from Wild Rose Press!!! Check it out and be sure to follow Andrea on her social media sites…

 

Andrea Downing, Loveland, western historical romance novel 

When an English Lady reunites with a Colorado cowboy, will Loveland live up to its name?

Fun fact:

I’ve spent most of my life in England but, in 2008, returned to the city of my birth, New York.  I always had a deep interest in the American west and family vacations were often spent on ranches; to date, my daughter and I have visited about 20 or so throughout the west.  When I returned to America, I was reading a biography of the Jerome sisters; Jenny Jerome was Winston Churchill’s mother, but her sister Clara was married to Moreton Frewen, who owned one of the first ranches on the Powder River in Wyoming.  One thing led to another and my research began into the British in the west.  It turned out there were numerous cattle ranches in the mid to late 1800s owned by British companies, more able to get funds than Americans in the post Civil War years. Most of the Brits who came out were lesser aristocrats, on allowances, or remittances, from their fathers or older brothers who had inherited titles.  This gave rise to the name, ‘remittance man’—and gave me the idea for my book, Loveland.

A favorite line:

“I guess that smart mouth of hers is learning its lesson at last” 

 ON SALE through September 26 for ONLY $2.99…

 

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Find Loveland here:

Amazon:

http://www.amazon.com/Loveland-ebook/dp/B008VEXSB0

The Wild Rose Press: 

http://www.wildrosepublishing.com/maincatalog_v151/index.php?main_page=index&manufacturers_id=991&zenid=8056610c65a9d0f13b6883882eb494a6

Find Andrea here:

WEBSITE AND BLOG:  http://andreadowning.com

Facebookhttps://www.facebook.com/writerAndreaDowning

Twitter@andidowning  https://twitter.com/AndiDowning

Goodreads:  http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6446229.Andrea_Downing

Linkedin:  http://www.linkedin.com/profile/view?id=124888740&trk=nav_responsive_tab_profile_pic

AMAZON AUTHOR PAGE:  http://www.amazon.com/Andrea-Downing/e/B008MQ0NXS/ref=ntt_dp_epwbk_0

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Introducing Lobster Cove…a fabulous new series from The Wild Rose Press…

I am thrilled to share the first four stories in the new Lobster Cove series from The Wild Rose Press:

Juelle’s Legacy 

Catch Me If You Can

Another Man’s Son

Heavy Netting

I LOVE this series idea. I only wish I had time to write and submit a Lobster Cove story for the series myself. Maybe soon…

In the meantime, I invited the authors to come visit and answer these questions on my blog today:

Was there anything in particular that inspired your idea? 

What was it like working on a series where you had to coordinate with other writers? 

Was there any part of your story that was taken from real life…that you can tell us about, that is?  

Besides the main characters, who is your favorite character in the story and why? 

What do you love that most people would find odd? 

What do you dislike that most people would find odd? 

Check out their answers and their lovely covers, and learn a bit about their characters and what’s going on in Lobster Cove:  

 

Carol Henry with Juelle’s Legacy 

Other than I love lobster, and visiting Maine as often as I can to get my fill of lobster along the coast, I found the whole premise of Lobster Cove intriguing. Helping to build a town with interesting characters going about their business was inspiration in itself. 

This was the first time I worked on this type of project, and I found working with the other writers fun and inspirational. Having characters I needed to use in my novel fully developed by those writing for the Town of Lobster Cove made the town and people more real to me. 

I think there is always a part of someone you know in many of the characters we create. The biggest event in Juelle’s Legacy that was taken from real life, was having to make a decision to remove life support. A sad event, and similar to the decision my mother and I had to make in regards to my father’s death several years ago. 

I really enjoyed writing about Eugenia McClintock. Although she causes most of the conflict in Juelle’s life, she is motivated by her childhood and the loss of her loved ones. She has a strong community presence and looks out for the downtrodden. At times I felt as if she was the main character. I had to step back and remember who the story was really about :) 

I love to listen to a gentle breeze blowing through the trees on a warm autumn day and watch the colored leaves spiral to the ground. My favorite time of year. 

I dislike trips that include driving along narrow roads that have mile-long drop offs, especially on the passenger side of the car, and even more especially when there are no guardrails. Riding in a bus on such roads is even more disturbing. And yet, I find myself signing up for excursions that somehow take me over hairpin turns up mountainsides with these types of drop offs.

 

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Blurb: 

After an accident puts Juelle McClintock’s husband, Sebastian, in a coma, she’s left to care for her small daughter on her own—and to deal with the guilt over her plan to divorce him. When Juelle is faced with the decision of whether to remove his life support, her grief-stricken mother-in-law calls her a murderer. Matters become more complicated when Hunter McClintock arrives in town, claiming to be Sebastian’s half-brother.

Hunter McClintock is summoned from Hawaii for the reading of his father’s will—a father he never knew. Despite his qualms of dredging up bitter emotions, he goes to Lobster Cove, Maine, and walks head-first into a hornet’s nest, and a beautiful, sexy, grieving widow who is married to his half-brother.

An unexpected stipulation is revealed at the reading of the Will, and Hunter and Juelle are faced with decisions that will alter their destinies. Will Juelle’s legacy complicate her life further, or lead to the contentment and love she deserves?

 

Excerpt: 

Juelle had all she could do to hold back her own tears. Could she do it? Could she tell the doctors to let her husband go? And if she did, would it be murder, as Eugenia accused? She lowered her head and shut her eyes before her tears could fall. She fisted her hands, and took several deep breaths, swallowed. God, she was tired of holding it all in. She swung away from the scene in front of her, and headed for the door, only to be brought up short by a man standing there as if he’d been gob-struck. The man she’d seen at Mariner’s the night before blocked her exit. Before she could ask why he was here, Eugenia’s gasp drew her attention back to her mother-in-law. 

Clasping the back of a chair, the woman looked ready to pass out. Eugenia recovered so fast, Juelle wondered if she had imagined her mother-in-law’s reaction. 

“What the hell are you doing here? Get him out of here. He! Is! Not! Family!” Eugenia screeched. 

Juelle did a double-take. If she considered Eugenia sounded like a banshee before, with her ear splitting shrieking, her tone now was so venomous it had everyone stopping in their tracks and staring in disbelief. The strange man was the first to recover. He walked into the enclosed room. Juelle recognized the astonishment in his pinched lips, raised eyebrows. 

“I am family.” His voice was calm, well modulated, and confident. “Allow me to introduce myself—Hunter McClintock. I assume you know my father?” 

Juelle’s mouth dropped open. She couldn’t form a single sane word. Eugenia, however, had no trouble. 

“Liar! Hunt McClintock’s only son is lying in that bed.”

 

BUY LINKS: 

The Wild Rose Press: http://bit.ly/12aso6N

Barnes & Noble Nook:

http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/juelles-legacy-carol-henry/1120059999?ean=2940149652839

Kindle: http://amzn.to/1ok7J4g

All Romance Ebooks: http://www.allromanceebooks.com/storeSearch.html?searchBy=author&qString=Carol+Henry

Contact/Social Media 

Website:  http://www.carolhenry.org 

Twitter: https://mobile.twitter.com/carolannhenry

Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6582676.Carol_Henry

Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/carol.a.henry.14?ref=tn_tnmn                                               

Linkedin:  www.linkedin.com/pub/carol-henry/17/736/811 /

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Mitzi Pool Bridges with Catch Me if You Can

I don’t really know what inspired this story, but I love a mystery, and I love a strong female character. Catch Me has both.   

Coordinating with other writers didn’t sit well with me as I’m a fast writer and having to look up and check to see if everything I wrote was in harmony could get dicey. But it wasn’t as bad as I thought and ended up well. 

There was no part of this story taken from real life. 

My second fav character after the H/H was Jackie, their daughter. I liked her spunk. 

I think what I love that most everyone else hates is to bake cookies. I baked around 170 dozen last Christmas and everyone groaned, then at them like pigs. 

 

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Blurb:   

Can an FBI agent from the big city find love with a small-town sheriff once he discovers a fifteen-year-old secret? 

Excerpt:  

He couldn’t be here. Not now. Not ever. He was part of her past. He’d made sure of that. 

It took him a minute to get to her. She spent every second willing her heart to still, her anger to subside. 

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Glenys O’Connell with Another Man’s Son

My musician husband sings an old folk song about a man who marries a wealthy lady instead of the woman he loves. There’s a line: “At night when I go to my bed of slumber, when I turn around to embrace my darling, instead of gold sure tis brass I find.” My mind shifted to the 21st century and I wondered why a modern woman would choose to marry for money – and pregnant, lonely, desperate Kathryn Morgan appeared on my computer screen….. 

I’ve never worked on a series before for a publisher, and the Lobster Cove is a special case. Why, you might ask? Well, it’s multi-genre and each book would be capable of standing alone – but they go great together! You could read any of these books out of the published order and still have a full story experience. All the authors taking part in the Lobster Cove authors list worked well together and were generous with their information, so it was comfortable to use Lobster Cove details and characters from other books. Lori Graham was wonderful at keeping us all on track and coordinating the project. 

Some of the characters were inspired by people I met while working as a journalist and as a counsellor. 

I think it’s hard for any writer to choose a favorite character – we even loved our villains! But I think my favourite in Another Man’s Son would be seven year old Alex Morgan, the character in the title, who struggles to understand why he has been kidnapped and locked away in a dirty old cellar. Why doesn’t his mommy come for him? Why did the Man lie to him? Will the Man hurt him? Will his Daddy come and rescue him, or will he ignore him as he’s done all his life? Poor Alex tugs at my heartstrings. 

What do I love that most people would find odd? I’m embarrassed to say that probably a lot of things. Solitude. Painting walls. White wine with orange juice. Perhaps oddest of all, going to the local landfill site (garbage dump)  to watch the bears rummage for fast food…..although that’s entertainment out here where I live :) 

 

COVER

 

BLURB

Kathryn Morgan broke Ben Asher’s heart when he returned from military service in Afghanistan to find she’d married her boss, wealthy banker Ket Morgan Jr.

Ben vowed he’d never return to Lobster Cove but now, seven years later, he is back as an undercover FBI agent sworn to expose the Morgan family’s criminal activities. Will his vow to bring down the notorious Morgans extend to the woman he still loves?

When Kathryn’s son is kidnapped, she is forced to swallow her pride and reveal the secret of another man’s son. Can Ben protect Kathryn and her son from Ket and his sinister friends, or will old hurts and secrets destroy them all?

 

EXCERPT

Kathryn drew in a sharp breath. How could she possibly explain all this to Ben? What words could she use to convey the nightmare her life had become, the sense of burning shame within her that she’d made this choice? There was no way she could bear to see the contempt in his eyes when he saw how trapped she was, like a fox in a leg trap. But, like that fox, she’d be capable of gnawing off her own leg for the sake of her son. If she had to, she’d bear the humiliation.

“What the hell is wrong with this family?” Ben exploded. “There’s a missing child whose parents are too busy fighting between themselves to co-operate with law enforcement in finding him. Dammit all, Kathryn, it seems neither of you can say for sure the boy is really missing!”

His anger sparked her own. “Don’t you dare talk to me like that, Ben Asher! Especially not now, not when…”

“Not when what, Kathryn?” His voice was gentler and he moved to stand beside her, close enough so she could smell the clean masculine scent of him that shone through the light citrus aftershave she remembered so well. She swallowed, then stood to face him. He didn’t step back, even though there were just inches between them.

She ran her tongue over her lips to moisten them, but even so her voice sounded cracked and dry to her own ears. “Not when I need you. Need your help.”

She needed more than that. She needed Ben to take her in his arms, to kiss her; to let her taste his mouth and find out if it was as magical as her heart remembered. But she was another man’s wife and the hard planes of his face told her without words that he would never forgive her betrayal. Kathryn sighed and began to turn away, but his next question stopped her.

 BUY LINKS 

TWRP: https://groups.yahoo.com/neo/groups/LobsterCove/conversations/messages/2311

Amazon.com http://www.amazon.com/Another-Mans-Son-Lobster-Cove-ebook/dp/B00MW5SD2S/ref=sr_1_1?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1409600967&sr=1-1&keywords=Another+Man%27s+Son

Amazon.ca http://www.amazon.ca/Another-Mans-Son-Lobster-Cove-ebook/dp/B00MW5SD2S/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1409601026&sr=8-1&keywords=Another+Man%27s+Son

B & N http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/another-mans-son-glenys-oconnell/1120192528?ean=2940150621367

Contact info:

Website: www.glenysoconnell.com

Blog: www.romancecanbemurder.blogspot.ca

Email: glenysoconnell@msn.com

Twitter: @GlenysOConnell

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Nicki Greenwood with Heavy Netting

The Wild Rose Press’s Editor-in-Chief, Rhonda Penders, came to our local RWA chapter to speak, and she introduced us to the brand-new series, Lobster Cove.  I’d never written for a publisher’s series before, but she also mentioned that her most successful authors wrote books of varying lengths in varying genres.  That was enough of a challenge to me!  After that, the hero of HEAVY NETTING took my words and ran away with them.  It was a fast and fun book to write and an exciting change for me.

It was one of the most amazing experiences of my writing career!  There’s such an energy among the Lobster Cove writers, and an enthusiasm for the overall project that feeds into every story.  We collaborated on so many things, and observant readers are going to find lots of interconnected little “Easter eggs” in each book.  I now feel like I could be dropped in Lobster Cove and find my way around as if it’s one of my favorite vacation spots.

The hero of HEAVY NETTING, Branson Cudahy, hails from one of my favorite places on earth: Lexington, Kentucky.  I took a trip to Lexington one weekend to visit the Kentucky Horse Park.  I’ll never forget it, and as we toured around looking at some of the sprawling horse farms, I remember thinking how I would have loved to be born into a big, horse-breeding family.  That’s Bran, although his career did take him down an alternate path. *grin*

I’d have to say either Bran’s best friend, Rudy, or another author’s character, Carlos Young.  Both are very vivid in my mind.  Rudy gives Bran a lot of guff, but he gets away with it because they’ve had such a history.  Carlos may be one of Bran’s favorite people in town because he runs the local gourmet coffee shop.  Bran does love his coffee!
 
Probably editing or web design!  I started out as an editor for The Wild Rose Press for two awesome years before getting published myself.  I now freelance edit and design websites, in addition to writing fiction.  It’s a lot of nuts-and-bolts work that could make a person tear her hair out, but I adore it.

I don’t think any of my dislikes are terribly unusual…although sunlight and I don’t get along very well without some high-test sunblock on!

 

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BLURB:

Branson Cudahy is as southern as it gets, a cyber crime investigator from happily-landlocked Lexington, Kentucky.  He has been chasing a hacker for three years, and now the trail has led him to Lobster Cove, Maine … which is a real problem for a guy with a shellfish allergy.

Jenna Sanborn waits tables to pay the bills, but she dreams of opening a quilt shop in the heart of town.  She’d never even think of leaving Lobster Cove, but the handsome newcomer is tempting beyond her wildest imaginings.

Bran and Jenna never expect the whirlwind romance that comes out of their meeting.  As hard as they fight to control their feelings, their hearts are fighting to push them over that dizzying lover’s leap.  Will love win out, or will the hacker—and their dreams—slip the net? 

EXCERPT: 

“All right, Jenna,” he said. “Tell you what. I’m gonna be there about four o’clock. If you want to meet me there and talk Lobster Cove, I’ll be all ears. If not, no pressure.”

She giggled. Giggled. Like a teenager going to her first concert with a cute boy. Mortified, and now convinced that her cheeks were as red as a stop sign, she backed away. “I’ll keep it in mind. See you later, Mister Cudahy.”

His grin sent a flutter through her midsection. “Bran.”

“Okay. Bran.” She waved goodbye, then hurried off down the street with her groceries and would-be-truant oranges.

As she walked, she sensed his gaze on her, and she beamed, flattered and flustered, and for once, feeling beautiful.

BUY LINKS:

Amazon
Barnes & Noble
The Wild Rose Press

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Elvis Presley – Ramblings of a Lifelong Fan – Part 12 – Fans Share Their Thoughts

Today, I have asked a handful of other Elvis fans to join me in sharing what he means to them. A few of them are my sisters and a few I met through an awesome Elvis Facebook page:  Elvis Presley on Facebook

I asked them to answer the following questions and share some of their favorite photos:

How long have you been an Elvis fan? 
 
How did you become an Elvis fan?
 
Although I know it’s almost impossible to put into words, what do you love about Elvis?
 
What is your favorite memory of Elvis?
 
I realize it’s difficult, if not impossible, for an Elvis fan to name their favorites, please give us one of your favorite songs and movies and why. 
 
 

Gabriela Curt from Buenos Aires, Argentina…

I‘ve been an Elvis fan for more than 30 years. I became an Elvis fan watching his movies on TV in the seventies.

I love almost everything about Elvis. I love the way he looked, his amazing voice. But most of all I love the person he was. That he was a caring person, his spirituality, his search for a greater knowledge, his sensitivity, and the fact that he was a giving person. His life philosophy, the way he smiled, the tender look in his eyes. I also think he was a forgiving person, and I feel he put others’ needs ahead of his own. I know I didn’t have the chance to meet him in person, but this is how I feel after hearing his many interviews, and also because of the things some of his closest friends have said. I love that he was human, and he had the ability to show himself as a real person. He was sincere with people around him and his fans. I‘ve listened to many live concerts in which he talked to the audience as if he was talking among friends. Although I know he wasn’t perfect, he was the closest to perfection. He wasn’t afraid of being himself, and if he was nervous he would let the audience know it. The one thing I admire the most about him, is that he was a man of his word; he was generous in so many ways, I learned he gave a woman he didn’t even know a car; not for the material fact, but because I find it as a symbol of his generosity.

Unfortunately he died when I was only 9 years old, but by that time I’d watched most of his movies. I was devastated when he died. I couldn’t see or listen to him, until last year. I started taking singing lessons and I had to choose the songs I wanted to learn, as I was making amends with some persons and situations in my life, I chose “Always on my Mind”. That’s when I began listening to Elvis again. One song led to another, until I found on August 2013, the 2005 movie: “Elvis The Mini Series”. It starts with Elvis minutes before the 1968 Comeback Special, and then it jumps back directly to 1952, and starts telling his story. It shows some of the fights he had with the Colonel about the movies and his desire of becoming a serious actor, and singing opera. It also caught my attention the relationship he had with his hairdresser, Larry Geller, and all the talks they had about religion and spiritual matters. The Colonel, forbidding Elvis and Larry being together alone, and also, putting a time limit of 2 hours to their meetings!!! It also shows Elvis feeling sick when he has going to shoot a new movie.  Let me tell you, it touched my heart and soul.  I cried all through the movie and for a few more days. And then I watched it again. It was a wakeup call!! I was trying to do some changes in my life but I haven’t had the courage to do them till then. The one thing that gave me the courage was seeing what he went through doing things, such as the movies and never becoming the serious actor he wanted to be. It also shows his temper, but what the heck, he’s human!!! In so many levels he is an example to me. In my own way, I try to do what he had done helping people. I think he gave us so much more than his music.

My favourite song is: “Bridge over Troubled Water”, it has become my inspiration every time I ‘m feeling down, especially when he sings: Sail on Silver Girl… I feel somehow Elvis ‘s talking to me.

My favorite movie is: “Change of Habit” because of the message it gives about following your own bliss.

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Angel from Minnesota…

I have been an Elvis fan consciously since I was 5 years old – exsposed to him always as my aunts, parents and Grandma all listened to his music at different times in my life.

I became a true Elvis fan when I saw him on television for the first time.. I remember being star struck, standing motionless in awe. He was the most fantastic thing I had ever seen in my five years! From that point on, I had posters, garage sale cassette tapes and Elvis in my heart! My grandmother visited Graceland when I was very young, returning with photos and souvenirs just for me!! It was quite special…

What I love about Elvis – impossible to describe – as best I can, I will say he’s beautiful inside.. his heart was like a flowing fountain, his generosity and charitable good deeds made him like an Angel to a lot of struggling people. He was funny, laughing and being silly is the key to a personalities loving existence  and he sure had it! He was smart and looked for deeper meaning, he was spiritual and wanted to know his purpose – because of his influence, I began to seek the same answers about life for myself… I will always be thankful to Elvis for pointing me down that path. … he was gorgeous – seeeexaaa!! Adonis! More so because of the inside, but definitely on the outside too!!! He had raw sex appeal – the best part is, he knew it and worked it like a magician works magic… there is yet to be another star who can do that. And then – the music… always there for me – to cry – to laugh – to sing – to dance- to mourn – to celebrate – to pass a rainy day – to brush my cares away – to wake – to eat – to sleep – its always a good time to have Elvis…. even if there is no sound, I can sing his every word, endless, timeless. He will always be there.

So hard to pick one favorite song – but if it must be one, it would be the one I sing most often – ”lead me, guide me”. – when I need strength and I am feeling flustered for one reason or another, I always catch myself going there for comfort. My favorite movie is ”king Creole” – I am a huge fan of Carolyn Jones and her and Elvis are my favorite on screen couple…

My Facebook Page:  https://www.facebook.com/ElvisPresleymylove

 

 

 

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Photoshop of Elvis and I

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Ruth Zimmerman from Miami, Oklahoma (My sister)

How long have you been an Elvis fan? How did you become an Elvis fan?

I have been an Elvis fan since I was 5….45 years!

My sister, Alicia, came in our bedroom saying “Hurry Ruth! That guy is on t.v. that momma thinks is so cute!” I followed her & ended up laying on the floor staring at this GORGEOUS creature in Harum Scarum! I never knew a turban could be so sexy!

There are many, many things about Elvis I love! #1 is his drop-dread, out of this world looks! I made a comment at work one time that he literally DRIPPED with sex! It grossed a few out & I was like….gross??? That’s not the 1st thought that came to my mind!!

I love his music! No better singer….ever!!!!!!! The fact that he loved & respected his momma so much! He never forgot his roots OR who gave him this Heavenly voice….our Lord & Savior…Jesus Christ!

Through the years…I figured out what I TRULY loved about Elvis, which is the most important thing! He became a constant in my relationships with my sisters!! We have all 5 loved him, shared him, & appreciated each others love for him! I am not saying we NEEDED Elvis to have a close, loving sister-hood. But we will never know…will we?

I have so many favorite memories of Elvis:

Seeing him in concert for the very 1st time…at the ripe old age of 11…with my sisters! We were finally seeing ELVIS in person!!

Also…Me & my husband taking my sister, Alicia to Memphis for her 40th birthday! We finally got to experience “Elvis Land” together!!!

If I had to pick JUST 1??? I guess it would be seeing him in concert in May of 1977. Little did I know that was the last time I would get to experience the magic of a live Elvis concert. I wish I would have appreciated it more….but I don’t know how I could have??? Again….just as all Elvis memories…my sisters were there sharing that spell bounding night with me & my EP! 

SONG….”Bridge Over Troubled Water” It kind of became my anthem to my sister Alicia! As my older sister….she had been there for me many times in my life. My other sisters had too but Alicia & I shared a closeness that’s hard to explain. When she had went thru some rough times in her life & I got the chance to return the favor (s)….albeit minimal to what she had done….This song was playing as I was thinking of how I could help her like she had helped me. And that’s when I decided…I would always be her “Bridge Over Troubled Water”!

MOVIE….I am assuming you don’t want us to include documentaries??? My all time favorite on screen Elvis was his ’68 Comeback Special! But if you want a Hollywood scripted movie??? “Live A Little….Love A Little” WHY??? He never, ever looked sexier & showed his “manness” like he did in that movie! Well….can I also add “Change Of Habit?” Same reasons!

ruth

 

 

Christi from Moore, Oklahoma (another sister) 

I have been an Elvis fan my entire life. I was born into it-some kids were rocked to sleep with lullabies…for me it was Elvis songs. 

I love his smile, his eyes when he smiles….his gorgeous face…I love how Elvis interacted with people and I love how he has fans being born today 37 years after his death. I love how Elvis bonds friends, sisters, mothers & daughter and families. He is just like no other. 

I did not get to go to an Elvis concert. I do not even have memories of a world that had Elvis living….My favorite memory of Elvis is growing up an Elvis fan, growing up being part of something very special. Being an Elvis fan is special and wonderful-being a Robertson girl is too. Being both is rare and a gift there are only 5 of us in the world.

Favorite movie: Jailhouse Rock, Clambake

Favorite Song:  Love Me, If I Can Dream, One Night, Suspicious Minds, Devil in Disguise

This is too hard and these are not my only favorites at all-there are way  too many!

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Graceland pics me and my girls

:) And a few of my favorites of Elvis!

christi 2christi

 

 

Tommy French, Louisville, Ky. USA.

I have been an Elvis fan since age 14. When Elvis passed away no one in my family listened to Elvis, so I wondered what was so special about Elvis that the entire world was mourning his passing. So, between his death and the winter tv season, there were numerous special about his life that I watched, then in January 1978, I sent off for a Elvis album advertised on tv, and when I got it, the first time I played it, I was hooked, and I knew it would be something that would last the rest of my life. There are many things I love about Elvis. His talent of course. And I can appreciate his 50’s style because he was different, and radical, and his created a new and entirely different style of music. Then, there is his ability to communicate a song in such a way, that everyone listening feels as if he is talking directly to them. I appreciate his willingness to serve his country when called upon to do so. Then, there is the fact that Elvis was a God fearing Christian man, and sought to bring the gospel message of Jesus Christ to his fans. And that he was sincere in that presentation. In his 70’s style, there were several elements I appreciate. One is his sound being created by some of the best musicians ever assembled in one band. His use of the best Southern Gospel quartet in the business at that time satisfies my love of quartet singing. The Sweet Inspirations were great, and his use of an orchestra and the vocals of Kathy Westmoreland satisfies my love of Classical music. Then, Elvis stage outfits, being a combination of Victorian, and Colonial or Georgian style, satisfies my love of that period of history. As far as how Elvis has impacted my life, there have been many lonely periods of my life, my divorce 23 years ago for example. Besides the Lord’s presence in life, Elvis’ music helped take my mind off of the sting of that period. As far as my favorite song is concerned, I have two, I’ve Lost You, and American Trilogy. As far as movies go, I have two favorites, Charro, and Change of Habit, because I feel he showed some great acting ability in each of these two.

 

Auburn “Rusty” Jaquess

I have been an Elvis fan all my life. My sister Evelyn was an Elvis groupie on the 50s.

Everything. The respect he showed others, his charisma, his voice, his impact on my life, etc….

My dad, and JD Sumners were friends for years, and we went to watch the Stamps a lot in the 60s. As you know he became backup for Elvis. Which sets up my favorites memory. Elvis was performing in Ft Worth, Texas. My dad called JD, and told him how big a groupie I had become in the 70s going from concert to concert. JD set it up so I could go backstage with my brother to get his autograph. I was at that moment transported to heaven. Even though the four girls behind me pretty much had his attention.

I lived, and breathed Elvis. I would listen to his records in the morning when I was getting ready for school. If any of his movies came to town, or on TV I couldn’t resist no matter how,many times I’ve seen them. He was always there, and knowing that made life easier. When he passed when I was in college it devastated me for years, and I know I’m not the same person now that I was then.

Favorites song? That is a hard one if I had to choose one I would choose his favorites ” If I Can Dream”. Movie? Again I would choose his favorites ” King Creole”

Rusty Rusty'sfavpic

 

 

 

 

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Kathryn Knight with her YA Paranormal, Divine Fall

I am so pleased to introduce my guest today, Kathryn Knight. I first became acquainted with Kathryn when she submitted a wonderful story to me at The Wild Rose Press titled Silver Lake. Unfortunately, at the time I was only editing suspense, so another lucky editor ended up with her book. Now, she has a Young Adult story that I can’t wait to check out. 

Now, for a little more about Kathryn and her latest release…

Thank you for having me, Alicia!
 

My pleasure, Kathryn. 

Where did you get the idea for DIVINE FALL? 

I wanted to try a YA paranormal romance this time, and I had in my mind a male character who had both a light and a dark side. The hero had the potential to love, but was also dangerous…a Fallen Angel began to emerge, an outcast in both worlds on a quest for vengeance. His forbidden lineage makes him secretive, but he realizes he must get close to 16-year-old Jamie once he discovers she’s the key to what he wants. 

Sounds fascinating. I love a character with conflicting characteristics.

What book have you read that you wish you would have written? 

OUTLANDER, by Diana Gabaldon. Anyone who has read it will know why! 

I have not read it, nor seen the show, but with all the hoopla, I might have to check it out. :)

Do you have another occupation, other than writer? If so, what is it and how do you like it? 

I work as a fitness instructor; I teach classes ranging from step aerobics to weightlifting to Zumba, 5 days a week. I’ve been doing it for 23 years now, with only short breaks after having my sons. So it’s safe to say I love it! It’s a great part-time job that keeps me active, which is especially important when I spend so much time sitting at a computer and writing during the rest of the day. 

Nice! Yes, that’s a perfect way to stay active for a writer.

What do you love that most people don’t like and wouldn’t understand why you do? 

Spiders. I think they’re amazing. They create beautiful, intricate webs and catch and eat all the truly bad bugs. I never, ever kill them. In fact, I don’t care if one’s crawling across the ceiling while I’m in bed reading. We both go about our business. 

Uh, yeah, I don’t think most people would ‘get’ that.

What’s the main thing that you could get rid of in your life that would give you more writing time? 

Cooking and cleaning. I hate both, but unfortunately, they’re both fairly necessary tasks. 

One of these days, maybe we’ll be wealthy enough to hire a cook and a maid, right? :)

What’s your favorite childhood book? 

JANE-EMILY, by Patricia Clapp. This was my first “Paranormal Romance”, a very sweet historical romance between two young adults, complete with a vindictive child ghost determined to get her way even from beyond the grave. This combination of love story and ghost story resonated with me so much, even 30 years later, that I wrote two of my own for adult readers: SILVER LAKE and GULL HARBOR.

I’ve never heard of it, but it sounds like it’s right up my alley. 

I’d love to throw that question back to visitors – What was your favorite childhood book?

One of mine was The Little Match Girl (twisted, I know)

Thank you for visiting with us, Kathryn. Readers, check out her latest release:

DivineFall250

Excerpt: 

He gazed out into the night again, his hands still curled around the steering wheel. “My situation is…complicated,” he said. His jaw tightened beneath the pieces of hair falling around his profile.   

“Okay.” I wasn’t sure if he was trying to let me down gently or actually explain something. I dug my ragged fingernails into my palms, trying not to think of how perfectly our hands had fit together all night. 

Ridges of muscle rose along his arms as he gripped the steering wheel. “I don’t want to hurt you. You’ve been through a terrible loss.”

“So have you,” I whispered. I was beginning to appreciate my complete lack of a social life. This was torture. He was right—I barely knew him, and yet his words were creating a tiny network of cracks in my heart.

“Enough loss for a lifetime,” he agreed dismally. “We should…be careful.”

“Okay,” I repeated. My throat was starting to swell. I wanted to make it to the safety of my own car before I started crying.

He nodded again, as if we’d come to some understanding. But I was clueless. And torn. Part of me wanted to jump out of the car, and the other part couldn’t bear to leave him.

Shifting in his seat, he turned to face me. His hands left the steering wheel and linked with mine, sending a shiver up my wrists. He pulled me in and leaned his forehead against mine.

Our breath mingled for a heartbreaking moment; then he released me with a sigh. He cursed softly. “You’d better go before I do something I shouldn’t.” 

Blurb: 

After tragedy tears Jamie Brandt’s life apart, her only goal is to finish high school so she can leave her small hometown behind. In the meantime, riding her horse is her main source of solace, until a mysterious stable hand shows up at the barn. There’s something not quite right about the handsome new employee, and the more Jamie sees of him, the more determined she becomes to figure out what he’s hiding. 

Dothan Reed came to historic Huntsville, Maryland, for one reason—revenge. But his plan can’t move forward until he finds the missing piece he needs to enhance his powers. As the only surviving Nephilim, Dothan is not only weaker than full-blooded angels; his forbidden lineage makes him an outcast in both worlds. When he discovers Jamie is the key to locating an ancient weapon, he’s forced to interact with a vulnerable human girl—a task that becomes more appealing with each encounter. 

Jamie soon learns Dothan isn’t the only one with a dark secret. Each new revelation further threatens her safety, and Dothan’s betrayal shatters her heart. Forgiving him seems impossible, but the thought of turning her back on him is equally painful. 

As their connection deepens, Dothan will have to make his own difficult choice: continue on his path of vengeance, or protect the girl he loves. And when Dothan’s actions thrust Jamie into an unforeseen danger, he must seek the help of his enemy…or risk losing her forever.   

You can find Divine Fall here: 

Amazon – http://www.amazon.com/Divine-Fall-Kathryn-Knight-ebook/dp/B00M36YW0I/ref=pd_rhf_dp_p_d_1

B&N-http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/divine-fall-kathryn-knight/1120000136?ean=2940149744268&isbn=2940149744268

iTunes-https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/divine-fall/id903144718?mt=11

 Kathryn

About Kathryn: 

As a child, Kathryn Knight kept her parents on a constant quest to find enough reading material to last her through each week. An early fondness for books about horses later gave way to a lasting preference for both love stories and ghost stories; as a writer, the paranormal romance genre is a perfect fit. Silver Lake, Kathryn’s debut novel, was a Reader’s Crown Finalist in Paranormal Romance at RomCon 2013. Her second novel, Gull Harbor, enjoyed 19 consecutive weeks as an Amazon Kindle bestseller. The recently published Divine Fall is Kathryn’s first YA novel. When not writing or reading, Kathryn teaches fitness classes and attempts to garden. She lives in New England with her husband, her sons, and a number of rescued animals. Please visit her at http://www.kathrynknightbooks.com or on Facebook at Kathryn Knight books.

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