Author Interview with Zeppy Cheng & New Release: The Lesser One, #AHAgrp #Blog

Please help me welcome today’s guest, Zeppy Cheng…

Tell us a little about yourself. Where do you live now? Family? Pets?

I live alone in Wisconsin. I have no pets but desperately want a guinea pig. I grew up in So Cal.

Where did you get the idea for the title for The Lesser One?  

The title of my book is a direct reference to how my main character starts in the story. I enjoy mixing fantasy and modern themes. The story was inspired by WuXia novels and comics from China—at least, the magic system was.

What was the most difficult thing about writing this book?

The most difficult thing about writing a book is keeping at it and not giving up. This book had a lot of characters that I had to keep track of.

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

Ender’s Game, or maybe The Lord of the Rings. Both are seminal works that I really enjoy.

Do you collect anything?

I collect Magic: The Gathering cards.

What’s your favorite book of all time and why?  

I love the Eragon series, unironically, because it is a story of someone young being successful despite their situation.

What do you want readers to come away with after they read your book?

The moral that you don’t have to start powerful to do great things.

Would you rather have a bad review or no review?

No review.

What is your favorite quote?

Deep Thought answering “42” to the question of “what is the answer to life, the universe, and everything.”

Have you written any other books that are not published?

At least ten.

What is the toughest criticism given to you as an author? What has been the best compliment?

I was scathingly reviewed for my bad editing practices in my first review. The best was when my story was called “A beautiful display of possibilities.”

How did your interest in writing originate?

My mom wanted me to do something besides play video games. So I chose to write.

Blurb:

Forty years ago portals opened all around the world, leading to dungeons with dangerous monsters inside, monsters that can escape into the real world and do incredible damage. At the same time, people began manifesting spirits that allowed them to fight back.

Markus Red just manifested his spirit and it’s a weak one, the weakest one there is. But he squeezes into the position of Adventurer and is sent to Ixtham Academy, where he’ll learn to fight those monsters and destroy the dungeons invading New York City. He is on the lowest rung, but he soon finds an ally in Dr. Barrimore, an eccentric scientist with views that no one else seems to take seriously.

Together the two of them work on a project that will change everything Markus is. But will surviving at the bottom give him the power and courage he’ll need to make it to the top?

Dungeons and Dragons meets Harry Potter in this new, imaginative urban fantasy that will keep you turning pages long into the night!

Excerpt:

I stand before a judge. His sweeping, long hair is tied back in a ponytail that sticks up above his skull like a rocket engine. His eyes burn into my soul, and the souls of the ten initiates beside me.

Today is my discovery ceremony. The skyline of New York towers outside the window of the penthouse temple.

To the judge, today is another day like any other. But to me, this is all that fifteen years of life has been leading to. I hope that I will be special.

The judge takes off his cloak, holding his arms together.

“I am about to activate my companion spirit,” he says, his eyes level. “Do not be afraid of what you are about to see.”

A low rumble grows from the floor and circles the judge’s podium. The lights in the room darken, as if a curtain has been cast over them. The sunlight coming through the window suddenly appears sickly and dangerous.

A powerful light emerges from the judge’s body. The image of a wolverine, eyes blazing red, leaps out of the judge’s back. Wind circulates through the room. The chandelier tinkles as it rotates back and forth. My clothes ripple in the moving air.

Several of the initiates take a step back, afraid. I am not. I stand where I am, facing the monster before me.

The judge opens his arms and a ball of crystal light floats out from the podium.

“You,” he says, pointing to the girl who stands at the left-most of the lineup. “Place your palm against the sphere.”

The girl steps up. She is hesitant. With a cautious motion, she touches the sphere with her hand.

A small flicker of light dances through her hair. The ball lights up, slightly.

“A computer mouse. Household object.” The judge appears satisfied. He flicks his fingers and a piece of paper appears where there was none before. “Here is your job assignment.”

The judge moves to the next initiate, a boy with curly red hair, wearing a windbreaker. The boy approaches the ball. He does not need to be told.

When he touches the ball, a burst of sparks pops out of its surface. His hair sticks up on end. The image of an electrical socket floats above his head.

“Electrical socket. Household object.” The judge hands the boy the same piece of paper.

The judge continues.

Yellow beams of light. “Banana. Lesser food object.”

A red circle that spins quickly. “Gear assembly type two. Minor mechanical system.”

A spout of water, steaming hot. “Teapot. Household object.”

The judge turns to me. “Step up,” he says.

I step up. Touching the ball, I wait for something to happen.

Nothing happens. The judge appears confused. He checks his tablet. “Markus Red. It says here you awakened your spirit potential a week ago.”

I nod.

“Touch the ball again,” he says.

I touch it. The ball changes color almost imperceptibly.

The judge sighs. “Anima.”

I tilt my head. “Anima?” I say.

The judge nods. He seems to think for a moment, and then flicks his fingers. A piece of paper is handed to me.

The words read: Adventurer. The judge sighs. “I know I’m  going to get flak for this decision, but we just don’t have enough manpower.” It appears he is explaining things to himself rather than me.

“Manpower?” I say.

The judge nods, his eyes already turning to the next initiate. “Touch the ball …”

Later, on the subway heading back home, I take another look at the paper that was handed to me.

It’s actually an envelope. The job assignment is written on its face. I tear the envelope open and a plastic card drops out. It has my picture on it and all my physical information. At the bottom, it says, in small red letters:

Companion spirit: Blue Anima.

I don’t know what that means.

Along with the card is a couple of pieces of paper with instructions.

I must report to the New York Adventurer’s Association within two days of receiving my companion spirit.

A small voice echoes in my mind. I have not heard it before.

Hello … Hello …

I do my best to ignore it. Something about the voice makes me feel uncomfortable. Does it have to do with my companion spirit? I don’t know. All I know is that I now am among the few in this world who have awakened their spirit potential.

I decide to report to the Association now. I don’t have anything to do, after all. Today is a Sunday. I don’t have any homework, and I have no friends to hang out with.

I ride the subway to the stop closest to the Adventurer’s Association. Passing by my favorite dollar-slice pizza store, I approach the Association’s building. It is a gigantic tower, at least seventy stories tall, the entire thing dedicated to the New York Adventurer’s Association.

I approach the entrance. A security guard stops me.

“Your reason for visiting?”

I hand him the piece of paper that came with the envelope I just opened. The guard looks it over. “Right this way,” he says. I follow him into the building’s grand entrance.

Marble pillars march towards a far-away row of elevators. A waterfall coats the atmosphere in a thin covering of mist. Exotic plants line the walls. Several sitting rooms, tucked quietly away in the corners, host chatting adventurers.

I can tell because of their armor. Bright metal, dark cloaks, studded leather. The gear of an adventurer.

It finally hits me—I’m going to be an adventurer! Protecting the world from dungeon portals! I’m going to be famous!

That thought is put out of my mind by my meeting with the receptionist. She looks at my ID card and frowns.

“Who did your awakening?” she says, sliding the card underneath a reader.

“Er, um, judge Erin.”

The receptionist sighs. “I trust his judgement, but I don’t understand his thinking.”

“Why?” I say.

The receptionist shakes her head. “Don’t worry about it. The decision has been made.” She hands me the card back, pointing to a bank of elevators. “You’ll have your meeting with the coordinator in room 1204.” She turns away to answer a phone. I stand there, stupidly, for another fifteen seconds, before turning towards the elevators.

Room 1204 … That means it would be on floor twelve. Probably. I wait for the elevator to arrive.

When it does, two armed adventurers walk out. I recognize one of them.

“Fast T!” I say, without thinking.

The adventurer, a thin, lanky man with small armor plates all over his body, looks at me with disinterest.

The lady beside him elbows him. “You have a fan.”

Fast T sighs, visibly irritated. He looks at me. “What, you want an autograph?”

I shake my head. “No. I, uh, I just became an adventurer.”

“What’s your familiar spirit?” says Fast T.

“Er, Blue Anima,” I say.

Fast T sighs again. “Yeah, don’t get your hopes up, kid,” he says. He turns away.

The woman touches his shoulder. “Come on, tell him something supportive,” she says.

Fast T pauses. He turns to me. “Be careful out there.” It appears he is forcing it. Then he turns away.

As they leave, I hear the woman say: “You could have been nicer …”

Even though the encounter didn’t go like I had imagined it many times before, I had still met Fast T, one of my favorite adventurers.

**************************

Buy link: https://www.amazon.com/Lesser-One-Zeppy-Cheng-ebook/dp/B08ZMBNP74/ref=sr_1_1?dchild=1&keywords=The+Lesser+One&qid=1618060064&s=digital-text&sr=1-1

About the Author:

 Zeppy Cheng lives in Wisconsin, where it is very cold in the winters. He enjoys anime, writing books, and Magic: The Gathering.

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Filed under Author Blog Post, New Release

Author Kara O’Neal ~ New Release: Destiny’s Secrets – #AHAgrp #Blog

Please help me welcome today’s guest, author friend, Kara O’Neal….

I’m so excited to introduce you to Andrew and Ben, mischief-making twins, who are private investigators and catch the case of their life. They must reunite sisters who were kidnapped and torn apart at ages 3 and 2.

I have to tell you that my fingers flew over the buttons of my laptop on this one. There was so much to write, so many characters to flesh out. And I absolutely adore that steadier, calmer, and quieter Andrew gets trail-blazing, pants-wearing, veterinarian, Jo Tatum as his lady love, while fun-loving, never serious, mischievous Ben ends up with Charlotte Ryan, a math wizard who has more courage in her pinky than you can shake a stick at.

These sisters don’t know each other, and Andrew and Ben must bring them together. It’s a story filled with joy, sorrow and bravery. I loved writing every word of it.

 

A long-ago murder, sisters separated as children, and two brothers, private investigators, who have caught the job of their lives…

Pike’s Run, Texas, 1882

Andrew and Ben Lonnigan, brothers and private investigators, have accepted an important case—to reunite the long-lost DuBois daughters with their rightful inheritance. Abducted from their childhood home in New Orleans when they were three and two-years-old, Jo and Charlotte were adopted by separate families.

Andrew heads north to find Josephine Tatum—a pants-wearing, spitfire veterinarian who challenges his mind and captures his heart. Ben travels south to find Charlotte Ryan—the financial mind behind her father’s ranch, with a sweet disposition and, unfortunately, a fiancé.

As the sisters journey toward destiny, Charlotte must guard her heart against Ben, a man too daring to ever return her love. And Andrew must hide his feelings from Jo, a woman determined to carve her own path. While the foursome battle feelings, they must also war with a villain from the sisters’ past, one with the will and the means to destroy everything the DuBois daughters hold dear.

Excerpt

“You aren’t gonna talk just because I won’t sleep in the tent with you?” Andrew asked.

Jo took a deep breath and glared at him, trying to rein in her temper.

“That’s more of a punishment for you than me,” he went on. “I’m not much for conversation. My brother is better at it. I prefer silence, but you sure seem ready to explode with things to say.”

He looked at her with such ease that her good sense left her. “I think it’s rude of you to tell me outright that you find me ugly.”

“When did I say that?” he replied.

“When you told me you weren’t going to sleep in the tent with me.”

He made a face. “No, I don’t think I said that.”

She rolled her eyes. “Fine. You implied it.”

“No, you inferred it. I implied something altogether different.”

She sat ramrod straight. “What do you mean? What else could you have meant?”

He shrugged. “Maybe I can’t share that cramped space with you because I find you too damned attractive.”

She reared back.

“Maybe I’m trying to protect you from my inability to leave you be and not touch you.” He watched her carefully, his gaze direct and intent.

Her breath came more quickly. “Do you mean to tell me…that you…you find me desirable?”

“I do.”

She almost declared the ridiculousness of the statement. But it wasn’t. Not at all. It shouldn’t be. What was absurd was his honesty. And even more unbelievable…she tried the control of someone as disciplined as he.

Pleasure burst through her. She couldn’t help but grin at him.

He cursed.

The heat in his gaze made her pulse race, and she stood.

He shot to his feet.

And now she picked up on his nervousness. It was subtle, but she could tell he considered running away. He’d given her a powerful piece of information, and he didn’t even know if she found him attractive.

She walked the ten paces necessary to get to him.

He didn’t back away, but she could sense he steeled himself against whatever she planned.

“You can sleep in the tent with me. I’d like that very much.” She heard the husky note in her voice.

His brown eyes went warm, and her body melted. She refrained from leaning into him.

“We probably ought not to,” he ground out.

“Why?” she murmured, stepping even closer. Her breasts almost pressed against his chest. “I won’t tell anyone.”

He narrowed his eyes at her. “Have you done this before?”

“What?”

“Seduced a man.”

“Is that what I’m doing?”

“Yes,” he clipped.

 

  Buy link: https://books2read.com/u/bzeoKE

Bio  

Born and raised in Texas, I had to make the state the setting for my first series. From the food to the fun, like floating the rivers, it is the fire in my blood that inspires me. My family and friends take center stage in my books. My sisters and best friends are my heroines, and my husband created my favorite hero. Love and family are the point of my stories, and I seek to entertain, relieve stress, and inspire people. Books can take one on a journey that one can relive over and over. I am extremely grateful to those authors who did that very thing for me. I learned and I fell in love with their words and characters. From the bottom of my heart, thank you.

 

Website –  http://www.karaoneal.com

Bookbub –  https://www.bookbub.com/profile/kara-o-neal

Amazon –  http://www.amazon.com/Kara-ONeal/e/B00FL19TH8/ref=sr_ntt_srch_lnk_1?qid=1465007993&sr=8-1

Barnes and Noble –  http://www.barnesandnoble.com/s/kara+o’neal?_requestid=845025

Facebook –  https://www.facebook.com/KaraONeal84/

Twitter –  https://twitter.com/KaraONealAuthor

Pinterest –  https://www.pinterest.com/karaoneal7/

Goodreads –  https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7278350.Kara_O_Neal

Blog — http://www.karaoneal.com/blog

Blog – The Story Continues — http://www.karaoneal.com/the-story-continues

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Filed under Author Blog Post, New Release

Author Interview with Susan Antony & New Release: It Happened On Thunder Road 

Please help me  welcome today’s guest, Susan Antony…

Please tell us a little about yourself.

I am an aspiring Renaissance woman who never shies from a challenge. Not only do I have a degree in the Liberal Arts, I have a degree in Automotive Technology. Currently, I work in the IT department at a local Charleston hospital. I live with my teenaged son and two behaviorally-challenged Cairn Terriers. Pre-covid, to maintain my sanity, I cherished Friday evenings dancing the night away!  Now, I dance in my backyard.

Are there any tricks, habits or superstitions you have when creating a story?

I create my entire novel in my head while I’m driving or taking long walks. I play with characters for a year or more before putting them on paper so they are very real to me. Sometimes they surprise me. They’ll hijack my story and lead it in another direction.

Do you collect anything?

Anything Mid Century. My house is filled with furniture, lamps, knickknacks and art from the ‘50s, ‘60’s, and ‘70s.

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

My goal is to one day not need my day job and support myself entirely by writing.

What do you want readers to come away with after they read your book?

That the world is not only black and white. Things that happen to us are not always visible on the surface.  And finally, the decisions we make can change the course of our lives.

Would you rather have a bad review or no review?

I don’t mind bad reviews. First, I consider the source and do research if necessary. Then, I peruse all critiques carefully, weed out things I decide are insignificant, and revel or learn from the rest.  In my mind, any publicity is good publicity. What’s that saying? One person’s trash is another person’s treasure. When I was starting out, my harshest critic taught me the most. Had I not listened to him, I might not be doing this interview now.

What genre have you never written that you’d like to write?

 I am currently working on a YA Historical.  I never thought I’d go in that direction, but once my characters started speaking to me, I couldn’t help but to write down their words.

What do you want your tombstone to say?

Forever young. She never gave up.

How much of the book is realistic? 

I’d say 80 percent of the book is realistic. 20 percent is fantasy, or maybe magical realism. There are no creatures or mythical beings in It Happened on Thunder Road.  Everything that occurs, happens involves characters in human form.

Thank you, Susan. I enjoyed getting to know you! (love your bio pic! :))

 

Rockabilly lives in new release, It Happened On Thunder Road 

Hang on, baby, for the ride of your life 

Excerpt:

We faced each other for a beat or two. Then he placed his arm around my shoulder and took my hand in his, positioning his body a respectable distance away. We danced, slow and reserved at first, but as the singer’s wails intensified, so did Charlie’s moves. His hips swayed from side to side, and he inched closer to me, smidgen by smidgen, until his pelvis ground against my hipbones.

Our bodies melded, moving together in perfect synchronicity. Side to side. Back and forth. He moved his hand to my lower back and pulled me closer. I took in a quick, sharp breath. He

“You know, baby,” he murmured, “You and me have more than chemistry. We have fire. Not the easy kind of fire you can make from a box of matches, but the kind of fire you get when you rub two sticks together. I’m all yours if you want me.”

The world around me blurred as if I were watching it through thick lenses. I imagined Charlie’s lips against mine. I imagined him shirtless, propped above me, his triceps bulging as he slowly lowered his chest—mine rising toward his, beckoning him closer. He groaned a low animal-like sound. It drew me to him.

And I wanted him bad.

I wanted our bodies to burn in Hell together for all eternity.

What was happening? Had I lost my mind? I wasn’t ready. Was I?

No.

Spasms of panic surged from my loins to the deepest recesses in my brain. In a sharp snap, the imaginary lenses cracked, and through the broken glass was a clear image of a boy with kind eyes and a halo of yellow hair.

Keir was my angel, and I was dancing with the devil. A devil who would betray his brother. A devil who would convince me to betray him as well.

I shuddered and pressed my free hand, fiercely against his shoulder. He clutched me tighter.

“Charlie, please. We can’t do this.”

“Why not?” he demanded.

I took in a long, ragged breath. “Because I don’t want to hurt Keir. He likes me.”

He forced a laugh and loosened his grip. My hand  slipped from his, and he leaned toward me. His chin brushed against my cheek, and flesh bumps shimmied down my spine.

“That was the right answer, New Jersey,” he whispered in a throaty voice. “Welcome to the gang.”

Buy links for IT HAPPENED ON THUNDER ROAD.

Amazon:  https://www.amazon.com/dp/B08YY7BTJB/

Barnes and Nobel:  https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/it-happened-on-thunder-road-susan-antony/1139026607

( Also will be available at other retailer in digital formats.)

Bio:

Susan Antony, author of the award-winning novel, Cherokee Summer, is an IT by day, hip-shaker and writer by night, artist whenever possible, and an internet addict. She lives in the sunny south with her teenage son and two Cairn Terriers. Her second soon-to-be-released novel, It Happened on Thunder Road, took first place in the South Eastern Writers Association 2020 Contest.  

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/SusanAntonyCS/?modal=admin_todo_tour

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/susanantonyauthor/

Twitter: SusanAntonyCS

Blog: https://susanantonyauthor.blogspot.com

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Filed under Author Blog Post, New Release

Author Interview with Beth Henderson & New Release: UNTIL . . . / Historical Romantic Mystery #AHAgrp #Blog #WRPbks

Please help me welcome today’s guest, Beth Henderson…

Good morning, Beth. Please tell us a little about yourself, where are you from? Where do you live now? Family? Pets?

My hometown is Dayton, Ohio, but I currently live in the Bourbon Capital of the World, the small town of Bardstown, Kentucky, where we do indeed have a lot of bourbon distillers and acres upon acres of tall barrel houses where things are aging. Never had any children of my own, though I reared two stepsons for ten years, so family these days is my three brothers and their extended broods, plus the eldest of my stepsons out in Washington State. Not a pet person, though I prefer dogs to cats.

Where did you get the idea for the title of your book? 

UNTIL . . . is my latest American West historical and it’s also a mystery. This is my 8th historical but my first with The Wild Rose Press. The title comes from a song in a movie, KATE AND LEOPOLD, which Sting sings. It gave me something the couple in the book had in the past said to each other even though they thought they’d never see each other again.

What was the most difficult thing about writing UNTIL…?

The most difficult part to write was the love scenes, which I actually hate writing to begin with, but this time my heroine was in jail for nearly the entire book and the hero is popping in an out of the sheriff’s office to ask her questions as he investigates who killed the man she is accused of killing. Still managed to sort out how to supply two bedroom scenes though!

What was your first job?

As I disappointed my mother by deciding halfway through senior year that I didn’t want to go to college (though I went back at 38 and picked up a BA in History then a MA in English Composition and Rhetoric), my first job was extremely boring. The only “skill” I left high school with (because I was on the college prep track) was typing. However, the first job was at the local newspaper in the classified ad department where I answered phones and had to count how many ads there were under each category each day. Most boring job in the world!

What do you want readers to come away with after they read your book? 

Hopefully, readers who pick up UNTIL . . . will be happily fixated on Tal Hammond, my hero, and yet sad that, while he saves Letty Kittridge, the heroine, from the noose, he can’t save the true killer even though the man dying was an accident. Oh, and that they can’t wait for the next story to hit the stands…or go back and pick up one or more of my previous historicals, naturally. I read for entertainment, so I also write to entertain, and hope I’m successful in supplying that to readers.

Would you rather have a bad review or no review?

Personally, if I can’t give a book at least a 3, through preferably a 4 or 5 star review, I don’t leave a review. Reviews have a reader’s personal taste involved and if the story wasn’t to that taste, then I’d prefer no review to a bad one because they don’t usually read in that niche.

What genre have you never written that you’d like to write?

Truthfully, once upon a time I would have said “urban fantasy” but as I now have an urban fantasy series being published under a different pseudonym, I’ve already made that wish come true. Which means, I no longer have a genre I like that I don’t already write in.

If you could be a character in any of your books, who would you be?

This is a tough one because, frankly, I do terrible things to a lot of my characters. But I wouldn’t mind being the heroine in one of the romantic comedies I wrote back in the 1990s. Maybe Bren or Roni or Roxie as I’d love to run off with Fletch, Tim or Nate in their stories, which are out and out comedies.

Have you written any other books that are not published?

Yup, the first in a trilogy of Weird West Steampunk stories is still waiting to be discovered by a publisher.

If you could spend time with a character from your book, whom would it be? And what would you do during that day? (PG-13 please 🙂

I’d always run off with the hero. He’s the reason I write any story in the first place. And we’d do whatever he wants to do! Men in real life just haven’t worked out well for me, but the heroes in my stories, always do.

What do your friends and family think of your writing?  

They’re proud of me since I followed my dream. Particularly my 1st ex-husband (still a close friend) and my eldest niece who has a “shrine” of every book I’ve written, even those I renamed when I got the rights back and reissued them as Indies. But she doesn’t read the paper versions because she doesn’t want to crack the spine, so she buys a Kindle version as well to actually read.

Who is the most famous person you have ever met?

This is sort of a toss-up question as I’ve met both Dolly Parton and Ann-Margret. I used to work in radio (Dolly in her dressing room at a concert) and lived in Las Vegas where I met the late Ann-Margret at an after show cocktail party.

Life. Death. Fate has its own agenda.

Blurb:

When Talmadge Hammond drifts into the Idaho mining camp he has no intention of using his law degree. He’s there for whiskey and the gold he can win at cards. Instead, he must save the life of the woman who’d once vowed to love him until…

Noletta Kittridge begins that day covered in a man’s blood and accused of murder. She has sinned to stay alive. Redemption can come only by giving her life to save the person who accidentally killed the man. Even Tal’s reappearance in her life can’t revive Letty’s will to live.

Determined to keep her from the hangman’s noose, Tal must either convince her to tell who did kill the victim or solve the mystery himself. If he fails, he and Letty will finally reach that unvoiced destination beyond until…

Excerpt:

Although the men dragged the half-clad woman along, their grips tight and threatening, she wasn’t fighting or resisting them physically or verbally. She looked beaten, not in body but in spirit. And yet, when she stumbled, the toe of her wear-marred but neatly laced-up boot catching in the cloying mud, pitching her forward out of the men’s custody, the crowd gasped. Some stepped farther back to avoid physical contact. The carrion seekers in the mob pressed nearer, set to rend her vulnerability.

They hurled insults at her. She suffered the name calling, if it could be called such. The style of her clothing—or lack of it—and the building itself proclaimed the truth of her profession. She was the whore they called her.

Then he heard the new word, the word that was at first only whispered before it gained a more daring voice: murderess. One of the men yanked her upright, uncaring whether he hurt her or not. It was only then, when she raised her head, her chin, in a manner any grand dame reared in the top tier of Eastern society would recognize, that he knew her.

It couldn’t be. And yet, when she swept the gathered crowd, the gaze she turned on them was the one she had learned at her mother’s knee. At her grandmother’s table and at enumerable dinners, balls, and afternoon teas in Boston.

Tal watched in stunned amazement as the once Honorable Miss Noletta Kittridge shrugged free of the man’s hand and with a back straightened by years of deportment, stepped from the meager shelter of the porch, moved beyond the hungry, insult-hurling crowd, and strode on her own toward the camp jail.

Buy links

#Kindle https://www.amazon.com/Until-Beth-Henderson-ebook/dp/B08XV12YWY/ref=sr_1_1?dchild=1&keywords=Until+.+.+.+beth+henderson&qid=1614943779&sr=8-1

Amz trade https://www.amazon.com/Until-Beth-Henderson/dp/150923554X/ref=sr_1_3?dchild=1&keywords=Until+.+.+.+beth+henderson&qid=1614943854&sr=8-3

#Nook https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/until-beth-henderson/1138919963?ean=2940162596769

BnN trade https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/until-beth-henderson/1138919963?ean=9781509235544

Bio:

BETH HENDERSON spent a dozen years writing and rewriting the same three books during the 1980s, but all those rewrites paid off via a romance spinning career now 30+ years long. Romantic-comedy and historical romantic adventure are her forte. She also writes urban fantasy PI mystery comedy and Weird West Steampunk, 1920s Dieselpunk and Victorian Gaslamp mystery comedy under different pennames. Between all the genres she’s danced through there have been a total of 32 novels (Until… the 32rd), 9 novellas, and 15 short stories (the 15th in an anthology releasing July 1st). She is also a regular fiction writing workshop presenter at Savvy Authors and various online RWA chapters and the author of How To Write a Funny Mystery by Beth Daniels, her real name!

Social media links: http://bit.ly/2GvFyog on Facebook 

Twitter @Beth__Henderson, website: www.4TaleTellers.com

 

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Filed under Author Blog Post, New Release

Author Brooke Taylor: Valentine’s Challenge with hero- Nikolas Steele & New Release: Twist My Heart #AHAgrp #Blog

I am extremely pleased to welcome today’s guest. Brooke Taylor and I have been friends for years and I adore her. She stopped writing for a while but myself and others continued to encourage her and she was once more bitten by the writing bug. Her manuscript released this week and it’s fantastic!! She’s visiting today with an interview with her hero. Enjoy…

Valentine’s Challenge with hero- Nikolas Steele

Here’s our story: Nikolas Steele & Thea Gale 

How’d you guys meet? We met at a gas station, but she’d say we met when she was under a gas station. There was a tornado. It was kind of a thing. 

First Date? Was it a date? Still not sure it was a “date” but we had pizza up in the mountains above Estes Park, Colorado. 

How long have you been together? 4 days, but feels like much longer 

Married? Not yet 

Age difference? 7 years 

Who was interested first? Me, she was kind of busy running for her life 

Who is taller? Me, by at least a foot  

Who said I love you first? Me 

Most impatient? Her dog Titan 

Most sensitive? Titan 

Loudest? Titan 

Most stubborn? Titan  

Falls asleep first? Thea. I rarely fall asleep. 

Cooks better? Look, my dad’s survival soup was all I had to work with. 

Better morning person? Me- being in the Military will do that to you. 

Better driver? Me, but I haven’t seen Thea drive yet. I wouldn’t be surprised if she were a better tactical driver when she remembers how. 

Most competitive? Thea 

Funniest? Titan 

Where do you eat out most as a couple? So far, we’ve hit an all-night diner, hard, and “Bone Me” night for bone-in ribeyes. 

Who is more social? Me, she’s a fugitive, so she can’t really socialize. 

Who is the neat freak? Me 

Where was your first kiss? On my couch, but I had to get out of there- fast. 

Who initiated your first kiss? Thea- but I had already gone much further in my head 

How long did it take to get serious? Two seconds 

Who picks where you go to dinner? So far me 

Who is the first one to admit when they’re wrong? The bad guys 

Who wears the pants in the relationship? We both do, but we both are pretty good at getting the other one out of their pants, too. 

Who has more tattoos? Me  

Who sings better? Too soon to tell, probably her 

Hogs the remote? Haven’t had a chance to find out 

Spends the most? Thea. Unless it is a store with weapons, then me. 

Did you go to the same school? Nope 

Who drives when you are going somewhere together? Me  

Where is the farthest you two have traveled together? Kansas to Estes Park, Colorado. But we’re embarking on more adventures. 

#ValentinesDayChallenge

Blurb :

FROM EXCITING ROMANCE AUTHOR BROOKE TAYLOR 

Book one in the Wicked Games series 

After a tornado drops a feisty fugitive into the arms of a steel-hearted warrior, she must convince him to help her and her not-so-little dog evade a wicked enemy. 

When a tornado drops Thea Gale and her not-so-little dog Titan into the arms of a steel-hearted warrior, she has no idea the trouble she is in. Lucky for her, the battle-scarred Navy SEAL who comes to her rescue knows a few things about evading wicked enemies. 

Nickolas Steele is certain the right thing to do is to turn the filterless fugitive and her overprotective canine in to the authorities. But is the captivating amnesiac really a threat or is she the one whose life is in grave danger? 

Nik can’t shake the feeling Thea’s past has come back to claim her, and discovering who she really is might be more deadly than either of them is prepared for. In order to enlist Nik’s help, Thea must not only confront the trauma of her former life but also penetrate the carefully forged armor protecting what’s left of Nik’s heart. 

Wicked Games Series Info:

Seeking to heal wounds from their past, three couples must risk everything, including true love, as they journey to an oasis where adrenaline and adventure abound but danger and deception rule in this modern, realistic spin to the Wizard of Oz! 

Buy link(s):

https://books2read.com/u/4DRRyO

Bio:

Brooke Taylor lives and writes from her country home in Oklahoma where her pets are a constant, but happy, distraction. When she’s not reading or writing, she enjoys horseback riding, going to the lake, and traveling.

Brooke has worked extensively in the travel industry, from dude ranches to ski resorts to cruise lines. Her many overseas adventures include sky diving in New Zealand, scuba diving with sharks, sailing through hurricanes, and having her tent attacked by wild animals in the Mara game reserve in Kenya. Due to current health insurance rates, Brooke is letting her characters do most of the risk-taking from now on. 

Website:  TheBrookeTaylor.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/brooketaylorbooks

Twitter: https://twitter.com/brooketaylorboo

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/brooketaylorbooks/

Goodreads:https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/20448962.Brooke_Taylor

Amazon:https://www.amazon.com/Brooke-Taylor/e/B08WPK3C6Q/ref=dp_byline_cont_pop_ebooks_1

 

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Filed under Author Blog Post, New Release

#HobbyCareerPassion: “A Passion for Honor” ~ Author Alina K. Field ~ The Comtesse of Midnight, in Storm & Shelter, a Blue Stocking Belles Collection with Friends #Blog #AHAgrp

Welcome to my weekly feature where authors share about the hobbies, careers, or passions of their characters.

I’m pleased to introduce today’s guest, Alina K. Field…

A Passion for Honor

Susenier, Abraham; A Storm at Sea; The Fitzwilliam Museum; http://www.artuk.org/artworks/a-storm-at-sea-5530

Malcolm Comyn, the hero of The Comtesse of Midnight, my contribution to Storm & Shelter, A Bluestocking Belles and Friends Collection, has had little time to pursue hobbies or distractions. His duties as the Earl of Menteith running his Scottish estate have occupied most of his time since the death of his father a year earlier. He’s barely had time to pursue the ladies—until now, when he’s in pursuit of a very particular lady, The Comtesse de Fontenay.

Weeks earlier, an anonymous threatening letter led him to London, and a search for both the author of the letter and the truth of his birth. For if he isn’t the true Earl of Menteith, by all honor, the title should go to his cousin, Finnley Macbeth.

Though he can’t uncover the source of the threats, he does find evidence that the woman who gave birth to him was not the last Countess of Menteith, but a French émigré, wife of the Comte de Fontenay, his late father’s mistress.

Honor demands he uncover the truth, whatever it might be. His quest leads him through Sussex and Kent and finally into Suffolk where in the midst of a terrible storm, he goes to the aid of a lady smuggler, helping her save the last of her cargo. With the roads impassable, they find their way to the isolated town of Fenwick on Sea. When the lady refuses to share her name, he senses that she is also running from scandal. With the inn completely filled with refugees from the storm, he and his anonymous new companion agree to wait out the storm together in the parlor of the dilapidated Elizabethan wing of the Queen’s Barque Inn.

Malcolm has no quarrel with the lady’s free trading of spirits, nor any need to uncover the secret she’s running from. But, when he wakes to find her going through his belongings, he presses her for her name. What he learns brings him to the end of his quest, an old enemy, and a promise of a future he never expected.

Blurb:

A Scottish Earl on a quest for the elusive Comtesse de Fontenay, rescues a French lady smuggler during a devastating storm, taking shelter with her. As the stormy night drags on, he suspects she knows the lady he’s seeking, the lady who holds the secret to his identity. When she admits she herself is the Comtesse Fontenay, she dashes all his hopes—and promises him new ones.

Blurb for the Collection:

When a storm blows off the North Sea and slams into the village of Fenwick on Sea, the villagers prepare for the inevitable: shipwreck, flood, land slips, and stranded travelers. The Queen’s Barque Inn quickly fills with the injured, the devious, and the lonely—lords, ladies, and simple folk; spies, pirates, and smugglers all trapped together. Intrigue crackles through the village, and passion lights up the hotel.

One storm, eight authors, eight heartwarming novellas.

Pre-order now for 99 cents:

Excerpt

The Scotsman, however, was dead on his feet. She could almost feel sorry for him. He was far from home, and had been traveling for several days. His neckcloth was limp, his cuffs soiled, his coat wrinkled. His boots, well and carefully crafted, if not by Hoby then by some equally fashionable bootmaker in Edinburgh, had not been properly polished in the last few days.

He’d shaved though, probably very early that morning, because a delicious dark stubble had sprouted along his strong jaws.

Did he have a razor in his interesting valise? She wouldn’t molest him, unless he thought to do the same to her. If it came to that, and she prayed that it wouldn’t, she would use her own blade and not some unfamiliar shaving instrument.

“Is this one of your imports?” he asked, swirling the amber liquid. “It’s very good.”

His words stirred her out of her imaginings about handsome young men, and she realized she must manage the conversation else she’d slip into sleep, or perhaps something more inconvenient, without thinking.

The Comte had always succumbed to sleep when they’d conversed, no matter the topic. She must soothe this fine-looking and very fatigued man the same way.

Outside, the thunderstorm had moved on, and the rain pounded in a comforting downpour. With the warm fire, and the heavy blankets, and the sleeping dog, it was quite cozy.

But what to talk about? Most certainly not the free trade. It would be far too diverting to put him to sleep, and besides she had no idea what he would do with the knowledge.

The countryside? She might slip and drop a hint about her home at Bloodmoor Hill.

She thought back to her time on the fringes of a London society that she’d found unbearably dull.

The weather.

“I am glad you are enjoying the brandy,” she said. “But I daresay you are not liking this weather. It is quite the worst storm in many seasons, people are saying. Normally at this time of year the sea has quietened.” A lie, of course, but how would he know?

He sipped his drink, eyeing her over the glass.

Oh. Given that it might remind him of her activities that evening and spark questions, the sea was an inappropriate topic, whether or not one was fudging a weather report. “Winters, however are generally mild.”

He yawned, and she went on, discussing the number of rainstorms in March and going back to February, and then January, and making up the story as she went along, until his eyes drooped and the empty glass fell into his lap and lodged itself next to his fall.

Warmth uncurled in her. His trousers were tight in the usual fashion for gentlemen, outlining masculine endowments that sparked her interest far too much. Retrieving the fallen tumbler was out of the question.

She set down her own glass and fought the urge to join him in slumber.

Buy links:

Amazon US: https://amzn.to/3kgRmLG

Apple Books: https://apple.co/3lZYHja

Barnes & Noble: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/storm-shelter-bluestocking-belles/1137958115

Kobo: https://bit.ly/3o0z977

About Alina:

Award-winning and USA Today bestselling author Alina K. Field earned a Bachelor of Arts Degree in English and German literature, but she prefers the much happier world of romance fiction. Though her roots are in the Midwestern U.S., after six very, very, very cold years in Chicago, she moved to Southern California where she shares a midcentury home with her husband and a golden-eyed terrier, and is hard at work on her next historical romance.

website  https://alinakfield.com

Blog https://alinakfield.com/blog

Twitter https://twitter.com/AlinaKField

Facebook https://www.facebook.com/alinakfield

MeWe: https://mewe.com/i/alinakfield

Pinterest https://www.pinterest.com/alinakf/

Instagram https://www.instagram.com/alinak.field/

Goodreads https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7173518.Alina_K_Field

BookBub https://www.bookbub.com/authors/alina-k-field

Amazon Author Page https://www.amazon.com/Alina-K.-Field/e/B00DZHWOKY

Get to know Alina K. Field better by signing up for an email newsletter https://landing.mailerlite.com/webforms/landing/z6q6e3

 

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Filed under Author Blog Post, For Writers, Hobbies...Careers...Passions, New Release

#CrimeTime ~ See No Evil ~ “A Date with Dalene” – #AHAgrp #Blog

#CrimeTime with Alicia Dean ~ 

I love watching true crime shows…as long as they are about murder…, and I watch them every night. (Since I write suspense, thriller, and mystery, it’s not a waste of time…it’s research, right? 🙂 Each week, I blog about some of the recent episodes I’ve seen and I’d love to know your thoughts.

One of my short stories, Blood and Breakfast, is about a crime junkie who gets a little closer to murder than she anticipated. You can buy the Kindle version here for only $2.00 Blood and Breakfast – It’s also part of a print book with 6 other scary stories: A Collection of Friday the 13th Stories

 

See No Evil, Season 4, Episode 8,  “A Date with Dalene”

Stockton, California,  August, 2011

In July of 2011, twenty-three year old Dalene Carlson moved from Idaho to Stockton, California to live with her aunt and to attend school. On August 7, 2011, she and her cousin, Cecily, were supposed to go out to Finnegan’s, a bar they frequented. Cecily wasn’t feeling well, so Dalene went out alone. When she wasn’t home by 3:30 a.m., at the time her aunt was expecting her, the aunt called the police, but Dalene hadn’t been missing long enough for a report to be filed. Her cousin put out social media posts asking if anyone had seen her, and a volunteer search party was formed to look for her.

Something about the situation struck a chord with Detective Brad Burrell  and he opened a missing persons case. Dalene’s cousin gave the detectives a photo she’d taken the evening that Dalene went out. In it, she was wearing ripped jeans and a brown and white striped top. The detectives headed to Finnegan’s. The bartender stated he saw her go outside at around midnight. They reviewed video surveillance and, recognizing her by her clothing, spotted her outside. They checked the feed in a hallway by the bathrooms and saw a man with a goatee put his arm around her. The took a photo of the guy and showed it to Dalene’s friends, who identified the man as Jason Gilley. Detectives went to the house where Jason lived with his grandmother and spoke to him. Gilley said he was supposed to give Dalene a ride, but he had to go because his son was sick.  Jason said they should talk to Jacob, who she’d been dating. Dalene and Jacob had gotten into an explosive fight outside Jason’s house a few days earlier.

The police watch more of the video and see Dalene talking to man who they learn is Jacob. She seems angry and is gesturing, then she walks away. They bring Jacob in and he says that Dalene broke up with him that night. He didn’t want it to end, but she ended it. They learn that she sent a text to Jacob saying she wanted to keep partying. Since she would need booze to do that, they check video at nearby stores. They find her at a Food4Less with a man. They recognize him as Jason Gilley.

Detectives bring Gilley back in. On the show, the actual interview video was shown.  The detective asks him again what time he got home.

Jason: “1:15 to 1:30.”

Detective: “We don’t expect you to know what you were doing at exactly every minute, that’s not reasonable.”

Jason: “Yeah. It’s not reasonable.”

Detective: “But we were able to view video cameras.” He placed his hand on Jason’s arm in a sympathetic gesture. “You didn’t make any stops at all?”

Jason: “Wait, wait… I went to Food4 less with Dalene and bought a bottle of Jager. I asked her if she wanted to come crash on the couch.” He said they had sex and partied some more. He pauses and gets choked up. Then he says that she wanted to go home and he was taking her home but they argued and she jumped out of the car. He said, “I don’t know. She just got out of the car. I think I even got some gas out there.”

The detectives are sure he’s hiding something. They press him. “What else has slipped your mind?”

Jason says no, no… The detectives ask, “Where are we going to find the body? Help us bring her home. She has a family. They deserve is, she deserves it. Come on, Jason, don’t do this.” Jason is quiet for moment then asks for a lawyer, so they have to end the interview. What they have so far isn’t enough to arrest him for murder. While the detectives don’t believe it to be true, Dalene could still be alive.

Since Jason said he’d gotten gas out where he left Dalene, detectives decide to search for video at gas stations in the area, though they feel it’s a long shot. At a gas station on the south edge of Stockton, they scan six hours’ worth of footage, covering the possible time Jason could have stopped for gas. At a little after 11 a.m. a silver car pulls up. They check inside footage and spot Jason at the register. His clothing is dirty, and he is seen brushing something off his shoulder. Jason gets back into the car but it doesn’t move. After 20 seconds, he opens the passenger door and slams it shut. Detectives believe that in Dalene’s haste to get out, she hadn’t closed the door properly, so he was closing it.

In mid-October, there is a break in case. In a field 20 miles south of Stockton, a farmer discovers a body. Police secure the scene and quickly establish that the body is that of a young woman. They process the scene with the greatest attention to detail. The victim has gunshots to the torso and head. They find scattered 22 caliber casings. They confirm the body is Dalene.

An informant comes forward and says Jason owns a 22 caliber gun. They confiscate it and a ballistics report shows it’s a match. They arrest him. Jason refuses to confess, but was convicted by a jury on October 3, 2013 of First Degree Murder with the special circumstance of kidnapping, and the use of a firearm. He was later sentenced to life. No motive was ever given but it was assumed that Dalene was upset that she and Gilley had had sex. There is a question as to whether it was consensual, but authorities couldn’t prove it wasn’t, so Gilley wasn’t charged with rape. Apparently, her reaction incited him to rage and he murdered her. It’s mind boggling to me that people can so easily be pushed to murder.

While in jail, Gilley was attacked. His mother, Debbie Cooke said her son was removed from protective custody and was beaten up that evening amid the general inmate population.

“I’ve heard it’s one of Dalene Carlson’s cousins in jail that assaulted my son last night,” Cooke said. “I’m very upset my son was assaulted when he should be somewhere where he is protected at this point.”

I’m afraid I can’t feel any sympathy for her son. There was no one around to protect poor Dalene from him, why should he be protected?

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The Cowboy’s Embrace – Kara O’Neal

#AHAgrp  –  #Blog

Please help me welcome author Kara O’Neal and her new release, The Cowboy’s Embrace…

The Cowboy’s Embrace came about because, when I introduced Deacon in book three of the series, I fell in love with him. He was strong, steady and smart. Really smart. Because he was the only one in book three who knew that trickery was afoot!

I had to give him a book. He deserved a true love. But what would his story be?

I have to say I took some time developing his match. She had to be someone righteous, honest and unafraid. She had to be able to stand next to Deacon and be her own person. Enter Lily Spero…the girl he abandoned in a park in Houston.

Now, before you get confused, he had his reasons for leaving her. So don’t hate him. Read his story and learn how these two triumph over a great evil. If you read it, know that my favorite part is how Lily steals the walking cane from the villain on the white horse and what happens after it.

About The Cowboy’s Embrace…
Fate brings his greatest regret back into his life…

Lily Spero is searching for her stolen heritage, for a place in the world that is all her own. Sixteen years ago, she lost her parents and siblings to a villain on a white horse. Since, she’s hungered for family, for that love she’d once known. When she visits the Swinging A Ranch, her past collides with her present, opening wounds long buried and shockingly creating hope where none had been before.

Deacon Tolbert is the foreman and a contributing partner to the Swinging A Ranch. He’s carved a niche in the world all his own, finally feeling worthy of the goodness he’s found for himself. But when Lily Spero arrives, the girl he abandoned years ago, he’s forced to face the most gut-wrenching moment of his life.

Despite the pain, love surprises them and blossoms, bringing hope for the future. But the villain from the past comes to haunt them, to steal what they’re trying to build. Deacon and Lily must brave vile evil in order to stay together, and fight with all they have to keep the promises they made to each other.

Excerpt:
He would come back soon. He would. He wouldn’t leave her here.
Lily assessed the park with its strong oaks and maples and winding packed dirt paths. She bit her lip and worked hard not to cry. She was a big girl. She was eleven, and he’d asked her to be brave while he was gone.
As she hid in the shade, she sank down to the grass, huddled against a trunk and hoped no one noticed a frightened, stranded, black girl. Where was he? What was taking so long? He only went to find food for them.
Morning turned into noon. People came. Some to eat their lunches on blankets they spread on the ground. Others to walk the picturesque paths. She pulled her knees into her chest and buried her nose in her dirt-caked pinafore. It had been yellow once. A pretty color as bright as the sun.
As she rocked back and forth, she prayed. She repeated over and over the words her mother had taught her. With her eyes clamped shut and her lips moving without ceasing, she implored to Heaven for Deacon to return.
But hours passed. Faces swam before her, asking her questions, giving her food. She couldn’t answer the nice strangers. Just gazed down the path, hoping, waiting, her heart dying.
Where are you? Please come. Please come back.
She silently begged to see his familiar form, dressed in overalls and a threadbare work shirt, coming around the bend to carry her away. But he didn’t come. And the kind people didn’t leave. They took her home with them, and Lily didn’t argue, even though their pale skin struck uncertainty in her heart. She couldn’t think. Deacon, she grieved.
And his name was the pained whisper on her lips every night, the perpetual cold ache in her heart…that could never be filled.

Buy Links: https://books2read.com/u/38RBRd

About Kara:

Born and raised in Texas, I had to make the state the setting for my first series. From the food to the fun, like floating the rivers, it is the fire in my blood that inspires me. My family and friends take center stage in my books. My sisters and best friends are my heroines, and my husband created my favorite hero. Love and family are the point of my stories, and I seek to entertain, relieve stress, and inspire people. Books can take one on a journey that one can relive over and over. I am extremely grateful to those authors who did that very thing for me. I learned and I fell in love with their words and characters. From the bottom of my heart, thank you.

Website – http://www.karaoneal.com
Bookbub – https://www.bookbub.com/profile/kara-o-neal
Amazon – http://www.amazon.com/Kara-ONeal/e/B00FL19TH8/ref=sr_ntt_srch_lnk_1?qid=1465007993&sr=8-1
Barnes and Noble – http://www.barnesandnoble.com/s/kara+o’neal?_requestid=845025
Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/KaraONeal84/
Twitter – https://twitter.com/KaraONealAuthor
Pinterest – https://www.pinterest.com/karaoneal7/
Goodreads – https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7278350.Kara_O_Neal
Blog — http://www.karaoneal.com/blog
Blog – The Story Continues — http://www.karaoneal.com/the-story-continues

 

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Filed under Author Blog Post, New Release

Author Interview with Margot Johnson & New Release: Love Leads the Way

Please help me welcome Margot Johnson with an author interview and her latest novel, Love Leads the Way

 

Please tell us a little about yourself.

Writing is in my blood. My late dad was a journalist, editor, and author, and my sister, Donna Gartshore, writes for Harlequin Love Inspired.

I live in Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada where we enjoy hot summers and frigid winters. It’s known for being the home of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP).

My husband and I share a big blended and extended family which makes for lots of fun gatherings at our place or more recently, lively Zoom calls.

My characters love dogs, and my loyal, old golden retriever, Sophie, is the inspiration for the adorable dogs in my books.

Was there anything unusual, any anecdote about this book, the characters, title, process, etc, you’d like to share?

The story is fiction but draws on some of my experiences at work and at home. I’d love to have lunch with Tessa and compare notes on strong leaders, single parenting, family quirks, and cute golden retrievers. One key difference is I didn’t meet my handsome husband at work!

Tessa and Mark both support a mother with dementia which brings some tough but also light moments. My dad died of complications from Alzheimer’s, so that part of the book is close to my heart.

Are there any tricks, habits or superstitions you have when creating a story?

I like to write to a daily word goal and not look back until I finish a draft. I sip on herbal tea in a nice mug and take a break for a long walk.

Do you collect anything?

I love experiences more than stuff! One of my more unusual adventures was appearing on the TV game show Let’s Make a Deal where I almost won a car.

I was very excited to receive an invitation to the Queen’s Garden Party at Buckingham Palace last year, but it was postponed. I’m still hoping I’ll get another chance.

What was your first job?

As a student, I taught figure skating lessons to beginners. It was a way to stay involved in a sport I loved. Growing up, I spent countless hours practicing jumps and spins.

My first job after university was writing advertising copy at a radio station. It was lots of fun and great training ground for writing to a deadline.

What do you want readers to come away with after they read Love Leads the Way?

I hope readers feel satisfied they’ve had a fun experience that entertained and moved them in some way. Ideally, they got really invested in the characters and rooted for their happy ending. Maybe they even stayed up late to finish it! 

Would you rather have a bad review or no review?

All reviews are good in that they tell you somebody read your book and cared enough to pass on feedback. Not that I’m inviting bad reviews! Good reviews are the best.

What genre have you never written that you’d like to write?

I see myself expanding into fiction that definitely has a romantic element but is not strictly romance. I also like reading mysteries and memoirs, so maybe someday I’ll test my creativity with one of those genres. Apparently, I’m going to be busy.

Have you written any other books that are not published?

I have a dusty paper copy of the first novel I wrote jointly with my sister. It didn’t go anywhere but showed us we could actually finish writing an entire book. Now I have a holiday story written for release next Christmas and two other books waiting for my final edits. Stay tuned.

If you could spend time with a character from your book, whom would it be? And what would you do during that day?

In my first book Love Takes Flight, Erin runs a dog kennel business. I love dogs so I think Erin and I could have a fun day feeding, grooming, and playing with all kinds of dogs. Since I’m married, I won’t mention the handsome leader in Love Leads the Way.

What is the toughest criticism given to you as an author? What has been the best compliment?

An editor said I was a strong writer, but she didn’t connect with my story as deeply as she had hoped. It was a good news, bad news message but made me think of ways to improve it.

A reader recently posted: “Loved it.” That means a lot because happy readers are the people who matter most.

How did you come up with the title? 

I brainstormed titles with another author. I wanted a play on leadership because the hero and heroine are leaders at work and at home. I also wanted it to be somewhat similar to the title of my first book Love Takes Flight. After it was too late to change, I thought of a better title, but I’ll have to save it for another book.

Author Margot Johnson—Loves What She Does!

About Love Leads the Way

She coaches him in team leadership, but do they both need lessons in love?

Single mom Tessa Shore runs a successful leadership program at work and supports a mother with dementia. She can handle any challenge in her jam-packed schedule as long as nothing spins out of control…especially her feelings.


Engineer Mark Delaney is an expert on pipelines at the same company, but his interpersonal skills need a makeover. Advancing to an executive job requires enrollment in a leadership course he doesn’t think he needs.


When their professional and personal issues entangle, life at the office gets a lot more complicated. Romance is impossible…or is it?

Book title: Love Leads the Way

Genre: Sweet contemporary romance

About Love Leads the Way:

She coaches him in team leadership, but do they both need lessons in love?

Single mom Tessa Shore runs a successful leadership program at work and supports a mother with dementia. She can handle any challenge in her jam-packed schedule as long as nothing spins out of control…especially her feelings.


Engineer Mark Delaney is an expert on pipelines at the same company, but his interpersonal skills need a makeover. Advancing to an executive job requires enrollment in a leadership course he doesn’t think he needs.


When their professional and personal issues entangle, life at the office gets a lot more complicated. Romance is impossible…or is it?

Excerpt:

Pacing around Crescent Park in moonlight trimmed with stars, Mark breathed fresh air and slowed his erratic heartbeats from the shock of Tessa’s invitation. Apparently, the woman who directed the class with the precision of an air-traffic controller could flex…at least, a little. She wanted to spend extra time with him, and he couldn’t refuse.

“I didn’t think we’d bump into other participants at this late hour.” She hugged tighter her windbreaker against the cool breeze. “We won’t mix business and pleasure. I’m strictly off duty, and so are you.”

“Okay, Tessa, whatever you say.” Zipping higher his jacket, he strode and sniffed moisture riding the wind. Guilt tiptoed around his collar, and he couldn’t escape the feeling this outing was a bad idea. He should avoid her, except in class, yet he accepted her invitation. But why did she break her own rule and contact him?

“If I can’t discuss work, can I ask you a personal question?” He admired her profile with pert nose tipped to the sky, breathing the fresh night air.

“I guess so since I’m the woman who persuades everyone else to dish.” She laughed and brushed a curl from her cheek.

Streetlights alternated with a full moon to light the pathway. Their footsteps crunched on gravel, and their murmured voices broke the peaceful silence.

            “Ready.” She tucked her hands in her jacket pockets.

“Is Mr. Shore waiting at home?” He winced at his forward question. No sense beating around the bush. He shouldn’t pine for someone else’s wife.

Buy it here:

LOVE LEADS THE WAY

LOVE TAKES FLIGHT

About Margot Johnson:

I grew up in a family of writers and have always loved books and writing.

I’m the author of LOVE TAKES FLIGHT and my new release LOVE LEADS THE WAY. Before turning my focus to the fun writing life, I held leadership roles in human resources and communications. My motto is “Dream big and work hard.”

When not writing, I love to connect with family and friends, volunteer with SK Writers Guild, and walk at least 10,000 steps a day (except when it’s minus 40!) I live in the Canadian prairies with my amazing husband and adorable golden retriever.

Social media links: 

Margot Johnson Author

https://twitter.com/AuthorMargot

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Giveaway!!! Amazon.com Gift Cards!

#Giveaway
#AHAgrp

Good morning…how was your St. Patrick’s Day? Mine was noneventful. Long gone are the days of drinking green beer and worrying about being pinched. 😀 I do love a good Irish blessing though, so…

May you escape the gallows, avoid distress,
And be as healthy as a trout. 

I had no idea trouts were healthy but apparently so. LOL.

I am running a giveaway through April 14th. The prizes are Amazon.com Gift Cards – First place is  $25.00 and second place is $10.00. Best of luck!!

Enter HERE

 

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Filed under Alicia Stuff, giveaway