“10 Moments That Changed My Life” by Kara O’Neal ~ New Release on July 10th: The Cowboy’s Embrace, Book 10, Pike’s Run Series

#AHAgrp

Please help me welcome author friend Kara O’Neal with the moments that changed her life, and her new release, The Cowboy’s Embrace, Book 10, Pike’s Run Series…

10 Moments That Changed My Life by Kara O’Neal

  1. When I was in second grade, I read “Little Women”. The story enthralled me. I loved the close relationship between the sisters. But this is when I learned that “happily ever after” doesn’t always mean that everyone stays together. It was a sobering moment for a second grader!
  2. Let’s jump a decade to my senior year in high school. One of the many books I read that year had an ending that was highly disappointing. This had happened before, of course, but I was especially irritated by the way this story wrapped up. My sister told me to make up a better ending. Seemed like a good idea. I followed her orders, and thus began my love affair with crafting my own “happily ever afters”! (I credit my sister with my writing career. Alice in The Sheriff’s Gift is based off of her.)
  3. August 22, 1994 – This is the day I met my husband. I knew as soon as I saw him that he was my “happily ever after” guy. (He didn’t think I was his “happily ever after” girl until the next day.)
  4. July 18, 1998 – We got married! We will be married 20 years in a little over a week. Even though I knew he was the one for me right off the bat, I still can’t believe it’s been 20 years. Marriage is hard, but I’ve discovered that as long as you work to grow together, it absolutely can feel like a “happily ever after”.
  5. The summer of 2000 – I sat down and wrote my first book. The writing was pretty horrible. But, I didn’t let go of it. I couldn’t. I had found the work of my heart, and even if I never saw words of mine published, I was going to keep writing.
  6. November 14, 2000 – Our first child, a daughter, was born on this day. She is going to be a senior in high school this year. My heart can’t take it. Even so, I’m extremely excited to see what she does with her adult life. She is talented, bright, and a sweetheart. She NEVER gives up on anything. She is one of the bravest people I know, which has made her one of my heroes.
  7. November 17, 2002 – Our second child, a son, was born on this day. He is a carbon copy of his father – quiet, kind, talented, and as calm as the day is long. He’s a sturdy rock who is a friend to all. He will be a sophomore this year, and the world is absolutely his oyster. He can draw and sing and act. He does all of this with a kind smile and never a boastful attitude.
  8. September 16, 2006 – Our last child, a son, was born on this day and now our house is filled with laughter because of it. He’ll be in sixth grade this year. He is also very talented – he is a wonderful artist, but he has this sense of humor that keeps us in stitches. I don’t know where he gets it. Here’s a joke he made up when he was in the second grade: “Do you know why there are no male teachers? Because it’s teacher not teachim.”
  9. May of 2013 – I received the communication all writers want to hear. Resplendence Publishing wanted to publish my book. It had taken 13 years, but I finally got it right. Welcome Home, book 1 in the Pike’s Run Series, had been through many revisions. But all that sweat, blood, tears, tears and more tears paid off. And now I can’t stop!!! The Cowboy’s Embrace, book 10, will be released tomorrow, Destiny’s Secrets, book 11, is going through the critique process, and Pierce’s Hero, book 12, is finished and waiting its turn with my critique partners.
  10. November 22, 1998 – My grandpa gave me the best advice on this day. He told me that marriage is 100/100. Not 50/50. He asked me why I would ever only give half of myself to the person who would be my partner in life. It made so much sense. So, ever since then, regardless of what my husband does for me, I give him as much as I possibly can. Is it working? I think so. Am I always successful? NO. It’s hard, of course, but I don’t believe I’m here just to see what others can do for me. My helping hands and loving heart shouldn’t be contingent on what others do for me. I’m so grateful I got to spend time with my grandpa on that day. It was the Sunday before Thanksgiving of 1998. He died on Thanksgiving Day that year. His entire family was there. He’d been diagnosed with cancer in January. He was given 6 months. He lived for 11. I think of him every day.

 

Blurb:

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:

“I thought you were dead.”

Deacon paused in restacking the woodpile outside his home. Lily.

His hand hovered over the cut tree, and it took every ounce of strength he had to remain upright. He swallowed. He should have realized she’d have enough courage to face him. She’d always been like her mother.

When her friend hadn’t shown this morning for her cowboy education, he’d thought the pair had gone home. He’d thought he’d been saved from confronting the worst moment of his life. But here she was. Lily.

He couldn’t tell her to go. And he wouldn’t pretend not to know who she was. Slowly, muscle by muscle, he straightened to full height.

“Or captured,” she continued.

He closed his eyes.

“I thought…no…I tortured myself with images of the ghost coming to get you.”

Ah, God. Pain tightened his chest. He couldn’t turn around.

Some beats passed, accompanied only by the noise of cicadas. “But…now…I fear you abandoned me of your own volition.” Tears thickened her tone. “Did you choose to leave me?”

He had. And the action had haunted him every day.

A groan of frustration came from her. “Are you going to stand there and say nothing? After all these years, after what we went through, you won’t talk to me? You can’t even look at me.” Her voice broke. “Was I that much of a problem? Did I cause you so much trouble I’d become a burden?”

Her questions lashed his skin, making past wounds crack open and run down his flesh. God, how he wished he’d been able to stop the villain on the white horse.

Another sob from her had him clenching his hands into fists. He could face her. He could. With slow movements, he turned.

And the beautiful creature before him proved that sixteen years had passed. His heart constricted that he had caused this beauty so much suffering. Guilt pressed on him, and he couldn’t move, couldn’t make his mouth work to speak.

She was Lily. He could see it. But she’d transformed into a picture of grace and strength he had no business being around. He’d added to her grief and owed her an explanation. If he could find his courage, he would apologize.

Her watery gaze glittered with gut-wrenching pain. Disbelief.

“God,” she choked out. “You’ve changed so much.”

He was a rough cowboy now. One who chose to avoid the sweeter side of life for reasons he refused to explore.

“I should know your face,” she accused, lifting her chin. “You should be as familiar to me as the backs of my hands. We were supposed to be together…to be each other’s family. You promised.”

 

Buy Links:

Barnes and Noble: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-cowboys-embrace-kara-oneal/1128974490?ean=2940161996683

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Cowboys-Embrace-Pikes-Run-Book-ebook/dp/B07F2NHCJB/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1530393747&sr=8-2&keywords=kara+o%27neal

Google Play: https://play.google.com/store/books/details/Kara_O_Neal_The_Cowboy_s_Embrace?id=MTJiDwAAQBAJ

 

Contact Links and Social Media:

My website: www.karaoneal.com

My facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/KaraONeal84/

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

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

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

Twitter: https://twitter.com/KaraONealAuthor

 

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Filed under 10 Moments that Changed My Life, Author Blog Post, New Release

The Fourth, Siblings, and The Searcher

Good morning!!

Hope everyone had a wonderful, safe Fourth of July. I didn’t celebrate the holiday, I seldom do. But, I did go see my sweet momma in the nursing home. She has been ill and had to have IV antibiotics. I hated seeing her like that, so weak and feeling unwell. She was still precious and happy to see me, though. I love her so much, and I’m so grateful she’s still living. I feel bad, though, because I know her quality of life is not great. She often says she just wishes she’d pass so she could be in Heaven with my dad. Then, she says, “But I worry, what if he’s up there with his first wife, Anne?” 🙂 I assure her that Anne is with the husband she was married to for 4o something years and Mom will be with Dad, who she was married to for 40 years. 

I then had dinner with my BFF, Paige. We’ve been friends for more than 40 years, and I’m so blessed to still have her in my life. Her daughters, who are 13 and 14, are spending a few weeks in California with their aunt, so Paige is a little lost, but I encouraged her to enjoy the peace and ‘me’ time. As a single mom, she doesn’t get much of that. What about you? When your kids were away, were you lost and bereft? Relieved and at peace? A little of all of those?

 

This weekend, my siblings and I are all going to Checotah, Oklahoma, near Lake Eufaula, and renting an AirBnB so we can visit my brother, who’s battling cancer. He lives in the area and can’t travel, so we’re going to him. There are seven of us (and two of my brothers-in-law will be there as well, so we’ll have eight in the house we’re renting…should be interesting! :)). My eldest brother, my half-brother, is coming from Arkansas. I’m sad, yet excited, about the weekend. It’s horrible to watch Brett struggle with this awful disease, but I’m glad that our family will be spending time together. The seven of us were together a few months ago at a music benefit for Brett. Before that, I believe our last time to be together was after Dad passed in 1994. 

(If anyone is interested, we are holding a few different fundraisers for Brett’s medical bills. You can purchase Tupperware, my books, a wrist band, or just donate. Brett Robertson Cancer Fundraiser)

Top Row: L to R: Eddie, Me, Sheri, Christi (the baby). Bottom Row: Ruth, Brett, Janis

What I’m reading/listening to:

I seldom actually read a book. I’m so busy that having down time to sit and relax and read is a rare luxury. So, I’m a member of Amazon Audible, and I do most of my pleasure ‘reading’ via audio books in the car. Even if I’m on a 15 minute drive, I listen to audio books. I’m very picky, though. Suspense/Thriller is my favorite genre, but it’s difficult to find a good, solid suspense. I give up early in quite a few of them. My very favorite are police procedurals. If you have any good recommendations, I’d love to know. (Not really ‘romantic’ suspense. I have plenty of good ones I haven’t read yet) The one I’m listening to now is ‘Their Lost Daughters.’ The plot and writing are pretty good, but the characters are not all that memorable or interesting. The protagonist is a good ‘copper’ whose team are good coppers, they just aren’t at all unique and didn’t really come alive for me. I do love that it’s British. I love listening to British narrators, and I enjoy the idioms. For example, ‘Duty Solicitor’ instead of Public Defender and ‘Dust Up’ instead of argument or disagreement. 🙂 Overall, it’s definitely worth reading. The fact that I’m almost finished with it is a testimony to its enjoy-ability. 🙂

 

What I’m writing:

I’m working on my Martini Club 4 story, Paralyzed. It’s been slow going, but it’s starting to pick up and I am determined to finish soon. We had our critique meeting on Monday night, and I actually had a scene submitted by the time we met. We all did, as a matter of fact. I was quite pleased. I told the group a few days before the meeting that, in order to provide some incentive, we should make it a rule that, unless all 4 of us have submitted, we will not meet. They balked at the idea (well, they shot it down altogether, LOL), BUT, even the threat of it apparently encouraged us all to submit. 🙂 My thought is, we’re in this for the writing. We need to get a little more serious. If we can’t even finish a scene in two weeks, we’re not taking it seriously enough, am I right? Of course, once we finish a project, we’ll be in revisions for a while, then we’ll need to brainstorm and plot our next project. So, at that time, we shouldn’t be expected to submit during that time. This is a ‘mock’ cover for my MC4 story. Hopefully, looking at it will inspire me to keep plugging along!

Elvis:

I’m excited about this new documentary about Elvis. When Krysta Scott and I were in Memphis in March, we stayed at The Guest House at Graceland and met some ladies who mentioned the show and that they were there at the hotel when the film crew was there filming part of the documentary. Can’t wait to see it!

https://www.hbo.com/content/hboweb/en/documentaries/elvis-presley-the-searcher/about.html

 

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Crime Time ~ Breaking Homicide ~ Little Girl Lost

#CrimeTime with Alicia Dean

I love true crime shows, and I watch them every night. (Since I write suspense, thriller, and mystery, it’s not a waste of time…it’s research, right? 🙂 ) I love Investigation Discovery and watch many of the various shows, although some are a little too cheesy. However, there are plenty of shows that are done well enough to feed my fascination with murder. Each week, I’ll blog about some of the recent episodes I’ve seen and I’d love to know your thoughts. Let me know if you’ve seen the episode and, if so, what you thought about it.

Have you seen the Investigation Discovery show, Breaking Homicide? I normally don’t care for shows where the case is not solved, but I enjoy Breaking Homicide. The hosts are Derrick Levasseur, a former detective, and forensic psychologist Kris Mohandie. They investigate unsolved murders right before your eyes.

In the first episode, Little Girl Lost, they look into a murder that happened in Central Falls, Rhode Island, where Derrick grew up and worked as a detective.

In 1988, seven-year-old Michelle Norris was taken from a local playground where she was playing with her brothers. Her brothers left her there alone. Her grandma called her in for dinner, but she didn’t come. (Michelle’s mother, Julie, was ill and the grandmother was taking care of the kids) When her grandmother went to look for her, she wasn’t there. Two days later, Memorial Day, her body is found. She’d been sexually assaulted. She was found naked in a secluded, bramble-covered, seldom visited area. Her clothes were laying nearby, neatly folded. In the autopsy, it was determined that dirt had been sucked up in her airways, which indicated her face was being shoved into the ground as she was assaulted. Her brothers were five and ten at the time. The oldest still carries guilt for leaving her alone at the playground.

 

The suspects:

William Norris: Michelle’s father, who was divorced from her mother. Her mother had custody because he’s an alcoholic. Michelle’s mother, Julie, said she didn’t think he had anything to do with it. But, the day she went missing, her brother saw her get in the car and leave with him. The father wrote a letter about what happened that day. He said he picked her up and took her to get candy, which wasn’t unusual. He picked her up weekly. He said he dropped her off at her grandmother’s and told her to go in and let her know she was there, but she wasn’t paying attention. She was looking across the street where her friend was standing on the porch with a man he didn’t know.

Joseph Pelland: A neighbor and the stepfather of Michelle’s best friend, Tammy.

Derrick and Kris visit Marie, the mother of Michelle’s friend. Marie tells them that the day Michelle went missing, her husband at the time, Joe Pelland, suddenly decided to move the family away from the neighborhood. They found out immediately after, that Michelle was missing. She tells them that Joe was abusive. He had perverted sexual proclivities. He had a lot of fantasies he forced Marie to participate in. He had to hurt her in order to enjoy it.  He wanted her to struggle so that he could fantasize about raping her. Marie found out, after she divorced him, that he had been molesting her daughter. He was prosecuted but took a plea bargain and never served time. Michelle played at the house a lot, while Joe was home watching the children, since he didn’t work. He was home alone the day Michelle went missing.

Derrick and Kris then visit Tammy, Michelle’s best friend and Marie’s daughter. She told them that Joe began molesting her when she was five and continued until her mother divorced him. He would hold the back of her neck and stuff her face into the carpet while he assaulted her. He told her that if she told anyone, he would kill her whole family. When Michelle would come over to play, Tammy noticed him rubbing her back and stroking her hair, which was the same thing he would do to Tammy before assaulting her. She would go sit by Michelle to protect her.

Tammy said that she was the one standing on the porch when Michelle’s dad dropped her off. She said the only man who would be standing with her would be Joe, and William knew Joe. So, it’s odd that William said it was a man she didn’t know. Derrick and Kris believe that, since Michelle’s father DID know Joe, yet he claimed in the letter the man standing with Tammy was someone he didn’t know, that he was trying to point the police toward Joe, but didn’t want to name him by name, because Joe Pelland was a dangerous man. So, he was more concerned about saving his own skin than bringing his daughter’s murderer to justice.

Tammy also said that Joe took her to the same place where Michelle’s body was found, and that he assaulted her there as well.

Kris and Derrick learn that Joe has a brother, John, who is in prison and the brother is willing to talk to them. They visit him in prison, and John tells them that Joe told him that he sexually assaulted a little girl named Michelle and murdered her. Joe told him he was assaulting her and he got so excited that he shoved her face into the ground and ended up killing her. John said if it goes to trial, he is willing to testify.

A bounty hunter friend of theirs tracks down Joe. Derrick approaches Joe and lets him know he’s investigating Michelle Norris’ murder. Joe claimed he was not in town when Michelle went missing. He said that he didn’t even know Michelle’s dad, William, which Derrick knows is untrue. He claimed that he didn’t molest Tammy, but he took a deal because he didn’t have the money to fight it. He also claimed he never watched the kids alone, again, a blatant lie. Derrick asked him point blank if he had anything to do with the murder. He said, “Wouldn’t I be in jail if I’d done it?” Derrick told him that he didn’t believe him. Joe said, “What do you have on me?” Derrick said, “I just want you to know, you might be seeing me again.” When Derrick returns to the vehicle where Kris is waiting, he tells him that, as soon as he told Joe that he was looking into the Michelle Norris case, all the color dropped out of his face.

Derrick and Kris talk to Michelle’s mother, to let her know what they’d learned. They assure her they will take all the information they gathered to the police department. Derrick cried when he told the mother details of how the abrasions on her body were from her struggling to breathe and to get away as he sexually assaulted her. Heartbreaking. Hopefully, with this new interest in the murder, an arrest will be made soon and the evil monster (whoever he is), will finally pay for his crimes.

Some viewers criticized them for sharing such horrific details with the victim’s mother. However, they promised her they would share everything they learned. And, for me, I feel that, as a parent, if my child had to actually suffer through something so tragic and horrific, the least I can do is hear about it. Not sure that makes sense, but when I’ve seen shows where the parents wouldn’t sit in the courtroom during testimony about what happened to their child, I’ve had that thought. I know it must be torturous and devastating, but as parents, we’re supposed to take on the pain and suffering of our children. If we can’t be there to protect them, then we should at least suffer learning about what they went through, what their last moments were like. Maybe I’m wrong. What do you think?

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Retreat, Zoodles and Serialized Novels

Good morning!!

Our weekend retreat was even better than I expected! You can read about it here if you’d like: Facebook Post 

The place we stayed was perfect, our host could not have been more gracious and accommodating. And, I was fairly productive, although now that I’m back in the ‘real world’, I’m afraid I’ve once again let my writing slide. I’m working on a daily habit, though. Wish me luck!

 

I’ve done a very poor job of staying on Weight Watchers, but like my writing, I’m determined to be more committed. I made cauliflower rice and was NOT a fan, but then, I don’t like cauliflower. I’m going to try zucchini rice, since I love zucchini. Here is a video showing different ways to make them and another with a few recipes:

Would you like to share any healthy tips/recipes you’ve run across?

 

I’m meeting a friend this evening to help her with a book she’d like to self-publish in a serialized format. She’ll release each section, which will be approximately 15 to 20,000 words, every two weeks for 99 cents each and let readers know it is ‘to be continued.’ I plan to do the same, one of these days, with a story idea I have. As a reader, I very much dislike when authors leave me on a cliffhanger. However, if I know going in that it’s ‘to be continued’, it wouldn’t bother me. How about you? Would you be okay with a continuation if you knew it going in?

 

And, just because…

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Crime Time ~ Diabolical ~ Family or Foe

#CrimeTime with Alicia Dean

I love true crime shows, and I watch them every night. (Since I write suspense, thriller, and mystery, it’s not a waste of time…it’s research, right? 🙂 ) I love Investigation Discovery and watch many of the various shows, although some are a little too cheesy. However, there are plenty of shows that are done well enough to feed my fascination with murder. Each week, I’ll blog about some of the recent episodes I’ve seen and I’d love to know your thoughts. Let me know if you’ve seen the episode and, if so, what you thought about it.

Today’s post is from Diabolical, Season 1, Episode 7: Family or Foe:

Diabolical, Season 1, Episode 7

In 1992, when a young couple take their six-month-old baby boy to Creek Park in La Mirada, California, tragedy strikes. The seventeen-year-old mother, Vicki Gonhim, is shot to death as she sits in the passenger seat of the car, her baby strapped in his car seat in the back, her husband heading around to climb into the driver’s seat.

The husband, Morrad Ghonim, who was nineteen at the time, claimed they encountered a group of gang members, who began saying inappropriate things to his wife. She mouthed back at them, then the couple headed back to the car. Just as she got inside, and he was going around to the driver’s side, shots rang out, and he realized his wife had been hit. The husband sped off with her bleeding in the front seat. He was stopped by police and stated he was rushing his wife to the hospital. By this time, she was dead. Authorities brought him in for questioning. Although, he claimed to be taking her to the hospital, there was a hospital seven miles from the park where she was shot, and the husband had driven farther away from that location.

Police were suspicious, but there was no evidence to charge him. The case eventually went cold.

Fourteen years, later, after receiving a grant for DNA testing, the case is re-opened. Clothing found at the crime scene has been in evidence all these years. The clothing contains DNA, which is tested. The DNA is a match to a man named Leon Martinez, who is currently incarcerated. An additional DNA sample is taken from Martinez for confirmation, and it’s a hit.

As part of the investigation, police take the husband, Morrad, back out to the crime scene and ask him again what happened. The interaction is videotaped and it is obvious the guy is nervous, confused, and lying. He stutters and stumbles over his words and can’t form a complete sentence. When he was first interviewed, he stated they’d left the windows up when they exited the car. When they returned and were rushing to get back in, he claims he was going around the car to the driver’s side and was not yet in and hadn’t yet started the car when the shots were fired. However, the windows were down when she was shot, and they were automatic windows, so since he hadn’t yet had the key in the ignition, he could not have yet rolled down the windows.  Very suspicious. (I love how police keep having suspects tell their version of what happened. If they are lying, they will almost always trip themselves up)

Martinez, the shooter, finally decides to tell the policed what happened. He says Morrad had bought coke from him, then a few days later, contacted him about killing his wife and offered him five-hundred dollars. (he ends up making other statements about different amounts he was paid and when questioned about the inconsistencies says he doesn’t remember all the details. Since he was doing so many drugs, that’s not surprising). Leon said Ghonim wanted him to make it look like a botched robbery.  He shot her through the window, and she pleaded with him not to hurt her baby. Martinez shot her again and again, eventually shooting her in the eyes. As her body slumped over, Ghonim handed him an envelope of cash, reaching over his wife’s body.

A few years after the murder, Morrad married again. His second wife later told police that she learned he had cheated on her, so she told him she planned to return to Texas. He said, “It’s fine if you move, but if you ever think of getting a divorce, I’ll hurt you … It cost me $500 then, it won’t cost me much now,” and, “If you divorce me, I will throw some acid on you that makes sure you never get married in your life again.”

By the time of his eventual arrest, he had relocated to Antigua and married his third wife, a beauty queen.

Police decide there is enough evidence to arrest him, and he is charged with his wife’s murder. In December, 2016, twenty-four years after his wife’s murder (which is more years than she was even alive), he is convicted and sentenced to life in prison with the possibility of parole. The shooter, Martinez, is given 28 years to life in exchange for his testimony against Ghonim.

Vicky’s family is close to Vicky and Morrad’s son, who is now twenty-six, and does not believe his father killed his mother. Can you imagine what it must be like, for all of them? They love their nephew but he loves and believes in the man who murdered their precious sister. And the nephew loves the family who raised him, yet they believe the father that he loves and believes in, is guilty of murder. What a difficult situation, I feel for the entire family.

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June Featured Books – Bargains / Awesome Reads!!

#AHAgrp

Looking for something new and fabulous to read? Try these…

 Island in the Forest (Shrouded Thrones Book 1) by Jeanne Hardt
 

Olivia has lived her entire life behind the walls of Padrida, a kingdom unknown to the rest of the world. As the king and queen’s only heir, she is destined to rule. Though given all that she needs, she wants only one thing.

Freedom.

Boredom plagues Prince Sebastian of Basilia. The realms have been at peace for more than a century, and he has little to occupy his time. He journeys to Black Wood, seeking adventure. The dense forest has a dark reputation, and Sebastian intends to uncover the truth of the many horrific tales that have troubled him since childhood.

He finds something else entirely.

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Haunting of Hotel Labelle by Sharon Buchbinder

 When hotel inspector, Tallulah Thompson, is called in along with her pug, Franny, to investigate renovation delays, she meets an extremely annoyed and dapper turn-of-the-century innkeeper. The only problem is he’s in limbo, neither dead nor alive, and Tallulah and the pug are the first to see him in a hundred years.

Cursed by a medicine woman, “Love ‘em and Leave ‘em Lucius” Stewart is stuck between worlds until he finds his true love and gives her his heart. When he first sees Tallulah, he doesn’t know what he’s feeling. Yet, her stunning beauty, and feisty attitude pull him in.

With the fate of Hotel LaBelle on the line, Tallulah with the help of a powerful medicine woman turns Lucius back into a flesh and blood man. She and Lucius team up to save the hotel, but Tallulah can’t help but wonder if he will ever let go of his past love and learn to love again.

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Blessed Mayhem by Sue Coletta ~ The story will stick with you long after The End   #APPBM

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A Courtship for Clover by Marion Ueckermann ~  Fairy Tale Wedding, Picnic, Pie, and Crime

https://www.amazon.com/Courtship-Clover-Seven-Suitors-Sisters/dp/1548889288/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1528253400&sr=8-1&keywords=A+Courtship+for+Clover+by+Marion+Ueckermann

#APPACFC

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A Kiss in the Shadows by Eve Kincaid  ~ Exposing the truth will require Erin and Will to reveal their hearts…no matter the risk. #APPAKITS

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A Prince for Yuletide by Anthea Lawson A little dab of masquerade, deception, bravery, a wee bit of passion and sparks fly ~ #APPAPFY

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Ace’s Bride by Sylvia McDaniel  Hiding from the past, can Mick and Emily start fresh or will the demons from the River Bottom Saloon follow them to Montana?    #APPAB

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An Heiress In Disguise: by Jennifer Wenn  He sets out to expose her, only to find himself mesmerized by her feistiness and her warm heart.     #APPAHID

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Baby, Write On  by Sandra McGregor    Can their budding relationship survive his deception?  #APPBWO

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Bella Luna: by Sharon Struth Will a beautiful woman and a lovable dog be the keys to showing a loner that love is the only inspiration he needs?   #APPBL

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Multi-Award Nominated/Winning Paranormal Romance, Legacy of Evil by Sharon Buchbinder ~ A horse whisperer and a psychic biker must team up to defeat a hate group. Will their romance go down in flames? #APPLOE

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Bishop by Marie Johnston She’s as good as dead…unless Bishop finds her first.    #APPB

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Black Bullet by L.D. Rose  ~ The only way either of them will survive is if they overcome their greatest fear–Love.     #APPBB

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Chasing Freedom by H L Wegley ~ A modern-day story of honor and courage, faith and love, and the importance of family.  #APPCF

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Claimed by the Sheikh by Marie Tuhart  When does a layover turn into a weekend of pleasure…and maybe forever? When you’re claimed by the sheikh. #APPCBTS

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Count Me In by Mikal Dawn ~ A case of safety zone versus danger zone, and in their minds, never the two shall meet.   #APPCMI

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Deception Island by Judith A. Boss  ~ Everyone knows a secret Rachel does not, one which will change her life forever. #APPDI

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Desert Heat by Patti Sherry-Crews ~ Twice burned by love, can she trust him enough to let love into her life again?   #APPDH

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Elfhame by Anthea Sharp ~ A masterful presentation of the famous warning to be careful what you wish for.    #APPE

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Everything Bundt the Truth by Karen C. Whalen ~ Having passed off a store-bought Bundt cake as her own creation, she may have committed a culinary crime, but never murder!  ~    #APPEBTT

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Forever Starts Today: by Anne Lange ~ Love doesn’t last, not even in Forever.     #APPFST

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From Scratch by C.E. Hilbert  Will God answer her prayer and give her the happily-ever-after she’s started from scratch?    #APPFS

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Good Behavior: by Delaney Diamond  As an employee at his family’s company, she should be off limits, but everybody knows, whatever a Johnson wants, a Johnson gets…    #APPGB

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Grant Me the Moon by Caroline Clemmons  ~ A murder on an archaeological dig…her student is a suspect…she’s just met the man of her dreams – And the day’s not over yet    #APPGMTM

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Haunted Hair Nights by Nancy J. Cohen ~ A body at a haunted house school fundraiser has hairstylist Marla Vail worried about her stepdaughter’s safety. 

#APPHHN

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Hidden Secrets by P.L. Harris ~ A whirlwind of attraction and promises pulls them together, while untold secrets threaten to tear them apart. ~#APPHS

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Just Friends by Stacy Gold ~ Will their friendship survive the weight of their passion or will they surface as more than friends?  #APPJF

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Keri’s Christmas Wish by Pamela S Thibodeaux ~ Will she get her wish and be free of the angst to truly enjoy Christmas this year?  #APPKCW

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Kilty Pleasures by Nancy Fraser ~ He’s back in town…she’s all grown up ~#APPKP

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Love, Lies and Gray Skies: by Debby Conrad ~ He was only supposed to be a one night stand. ~  #APPLLGS

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Mack the Wife by Debby Conrad ~ Can a cop and the spoiled little rich girl who broke his heart find their way back to love?    #APPMTW #RomanticSuspense #MustRead

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Aurora by B.M. Griffin ~ Aurora thinks she can push her feelings aside, but Gregor is not going to be pushed away. Gregor will fight for his heart, for Aurora. #PNR #UrbanFantasy Amazon: https://amzn.to/2Hq5MVv   B&N: http://bit.ly/2HrAqxD   Kobo: http://bit.ly/2kR9grc   #APPA

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Loving the Enemy by Ellynore Seybold   ~   Will she and Ivan be able to overcome the cold war and get back together?   #APPLTE

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Make Me Beg: by Rebecca Brooks ~ Turning business into pleasure is likely to get him burned.     #APPMMB

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Marigolds in October by Clare Revell ~ Are they on a collision course that will have drastic consequences for everyone?    #APPMIO

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Legacy of Evil by Sharon Buchbinder ~ 5s “…an exciting, scary, and thoroughly enjoyable story that feels “true” enough to captivate and “fantasy” enough to let the reader sleep at night.”   #APPLOE

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Marked by Love by Rosalie Redd ~ It will take all her will-power not to give in to the burning desire he ignites in her soul.   #APPMBL

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Matt Jackson, Catcher by Jean C. Joachim ~  The bases are loaded, will he accept the perfect pitch or strike out? #APPMJC

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Millionaire’s Shot by Bev Pettersen ~ When her return sparks a vengeful ex-wife’s wrath, will their second chance at love turn lethal?   #APPMS

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Misfortune Annie and the Locomotive Reaper by Dave Jackson and Janet Fogg ~ The Locomotive Reaper’s gadgetry proves far more advanced — and deadly — than even top scientists could have imagined.    #APPMAATLR

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Moostletoe by Jan Elder ~ When Samantha’s career is on the line, Eric must save her job and rescue his own shattered heart in the process.  #APPM

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Mr. January by Jordan Dane ~ Is she the only witness or did she have something to do with the horrific deaths?   #APPMJ

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Nothing Stays the Same by Catherine Chant ~ How far would you go to save someone’s life?#APPNSTS

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Oh What a (Wedding) Night by Cheryl Bolen ~ Can she buy enough time to save herself? Will he forgive her deception?  #APPOWAWN

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One Knight in the Forest by Catherine Kean ~ Will danger destroy far more than the love Cyn and Magdalen seem destined to share? #APPOKITF

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Passion’s Last Promise by Christie Adams ~ A determined man. A stubborn woman. When passion flirts with danger, the last promise is the toughest one of all    #APPPLP

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Perfectly Mismatched by Linda Carroll-Bradd ~ A delightful book about a pampered woman who becomes a mail order bride #APPPM

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Ransom in Rio by Theresa Lynn Hall ~ A murder investigation in Cozumel, quickly crosses borders and escalates into a race against time to save them from Brazilian kidnappers     #APPRIR

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Redemption for Avery: by Jordan Dane ~ When he sleeps, the hunt begins.     https://www.amazon.com/Special-Forces-Operation-Redemption-Townsend-ebook/dp/B01IS5QPOI/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&qid=1528336025&sr=8-3&keywords=Redemption+for+Avery+by+Jordan+Dane&dpID=51pacASpxKL&preST=_SY445_QL70_&dpSrc=srch  #APPRFA

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Risk-Reward by Caitlyn Willows ~ The demons of the past linger, reminding them both of a risk neither has ever been able to face. #APPRR

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Sawyer’s Rose by Kim Turner ~ 5 *s “Well written and absorbing, Sawyers Rose is historical romance at its finest!!” ‏  #APPSR

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Scrooge & The Secret Santa by Marcia James ~ She loved the taste of him, the roughness of the stubble on his face, the warmth of his neck under her fingers.  #Kindlebook #APPSTSS

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Shadow Dancer by Krysta Scott ~ To save a child, she’ll have to plunge into a nightmare  #APPSD

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Silenced Song by Gloria Marlow ~ They set out to unearth long-buried secrets and heal hurts that are decades old. #APPSS

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Star Cruise: Stowaway by Veronica Scott ~ Life aboard the Nebula Zephyr has just become more interesting – and deadly    #APPSCS

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Summer’s End by Jennifer McMurrain ~ She’s torn between choosing a real life for herself or staying in her dream world where summer never ends.   #APPSE

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The Carpenter’s Daughter by Jennifer Rodewald ~ Filling the void in her heart becomes an obsession she cannot escape    #APPTCD

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Mack the Wife by Debby Conrad ~ The first book in an exciting new series!!  (Overbearing Billionaires Book 1)

#APPMTW #RomanticSuspense #MustRead

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The Father-Daughter Picnic by Carla Rossi ~  Can they make peace in time for Cardinal Point’s annual Father-Daughter Picnic?    #APPTFDP

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The Marshal’s Bride by Maxine Douglas  ~ They’re forced to start a new life away from civilization…will they find love?     #APPTMB

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The Matchmaking Game by Donna Hatch  ~ Her matchmaking game could help their parents find happiness and draw out her childhood friend buried beneath Evan’s new reserve … or it could break more than one heart.      #APPTMG

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The Mysterious Merriana by Carolynn Carey ~ An urgent mission…two opposites destined for love  #APPTMM

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The Sea King’s Daughter by Anthea Sharp ~ A wonderful retelling of The Little Mermaid with an unexpected twist at the end  #APPTSKD

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The Secret to Letting Go by Katherine Fleet ~ She must make a choice: go to jail or confess her secrets—even if they might destroy her chance at a happily-ever-after.  #APPTSTLG

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The Trail to Love by Tina Susedik ~ He swore he’d never love again…until he met her. #APPTTTL

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The Untamable Antonia by Carolynn Carey ~ He planned to leave her behind…now he never wants to her go  #APPTUA

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Touch of Decadence by Sylvia McDaniel ~

She needs a mate.
He needs a miracle.
The Fates think they need each other.

#APPTOD

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Trouble in a Small Town by M.J. Wilson ~ Will Wade decide Mallory is worth the upheaval she brings into his life?    #APPTIAST

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Unconditional Surrender by Desiree Holt ~ Had he found her again only to lose her to a stalker? #APPUS

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Unmistaken Identity by Marie Johnston ~ Too bad secret identities only last forever in comic books.  #APPUI

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Unpredictable Love by Jean C. Joachim ~ Maybe unpredictable love was destined to break her heart.  #APPUL

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Unrelenting Love by KaLyn Cooper ~ Women in SpecOps? Never…until he sleeps with the most lethal woman in the world.  #APPUL

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http://www.cupid by Annette Miller ~ She’ll prove she cares for him, even if it means breaking her own rules.  #APPWWWC

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Filed under Author Blog Post, Ebook Deal

Maestro, Eggs, and Nina No More

Good morning!!

I’m so excited about this weekend. My critique partners and I are getting away for a mini writing retreat. We will be staying at an Air BnB called “The Maestro” which is owned by the son of band leader Al Good. It looks like a cool place to hang out. And, I definitely need the push and focus for my writing. I’ve been neglecting it terribly lately, feeling very inadequate, but yesterday, I received a really nice compliment from an author I respect a great deal plus, I’ve been listening to Donald Maass’ The Emotional Craft of Fiction via my Kindle. Wow, such great insight about how to tap into reader emotions. It also helped tap into my emotion for my story, which has made me like it a little more, and that’s important. If you don’t like your story, how can you expect readers to? Suddenly, I’m re-inspired and I feel I might actually have the ability to write…and finish something!

 

I’ve been attempting weight watchers and some days I do well, others, not so much. I have found that if I meal prep, I’m much more likely to stick to it. Also, if I use my Tupperware Breakfast Maker, I eat healthier breakfasts. Without this, I often stop for fast food breakfasts…yuck! I keep eggs, spinach, cheese, milk and Canadian bacon at work. (Did you know Canadian bacon is only 2 smart points for 5 slices!!! – I only use 2 in my breakfast, so that’s very low in points.) Admittedly, the cheese jacks up the points, but without cheese, what’s the point of anything, right? What tips do you have for eating healthy? (Please don’t suggest cauliflower rice, been there done that, didn’t like it. I also tried that two-ingredient pizza crust with flour and greek yogurt….blech!!!)

 

Ugh, I’ve been working on my 1940s Martini Club story for a while now, (way too long), and I haven’t gotten nearly far enough. But, I have realized some things about the story that has made it more interesting to me, so now, I am more enthused and I am determined to finish it, this month, maybe during our retreat weekend. One thing I unhappily realized is, my heroine’s name, Nina, was used by me for a heroine in a short story. So, I had to come up with a new name for her. I researched girl names for babies born in 1925 and the list was not all that appealing. I did find a few gems and ran them by my critique partners, who I met for dinner last night, and they came up with some suggestions as well. However, after thinking about it further, I decided not to use the ones we discussed, and now, my heroine is Sylvia. It will feel weird for a while to call her that, but I’m sure I’ll get used to it soon. Hope she does too! 😀 Have you ever done that, repeated hero/heroine names for your stories? Once you have a name for a character, does it bother you to change it? Side note, this is Jessica De Gouw, the actress who is the model for Nina Sylvia— 

And, just because…

 

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Filed under Alicia Stuff