Category Archives: Author Blog Post

#HobbyCareerPassion: Author Barbara Bettis  – Frontier Newspapers & New Release: Last Stop, Wylder / Historical Western #WRPbks #Blog

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, Barbara Bettis…

 

 Emily and I Share a Fascination with Newspapers

cheyenne frotn pag 1875 (2)

When I decided to write a story for The Wild Rose Press series Wylder West, the choice of a major plot element was almost a given.

There was no question of what my heroine would do. Work at a newspaper of course. The fictional town of Wylder is set in 1870s Wyoming, some fifteen miles from Cheyenne.

Nearly every frontier town had a newspaper of one kind or another. Daily, weekly, twice-monthly—didn’t matter. Having news and information available to residents was considered almost a necessity. News reports from around the world that could be accessed by newspapers were sent via telegraph, although news organizations like The Associated Press charged a fee and contracted with only one paper per town (at that time).  Formed May 22, 1846 by five New York newspapers, the AP is still in operation.

Back to frontier news—not every paper that came into existence lasted long. In fact, papers had a tendency to pop into existence and then out again fairly regularly. On the other hand, some produced both daily and weekly editions. Editors of course were influential.

In the1870s, real Cheyenne newspapers flourished. It seemed easy to have a weekly paper nearby. And of course, Emily should have a contact there—actually, her brother had just purchased the Wylder Sun a year or so before Emily decided to visit him and give him a hand with the operation.

She was a natural for the job. In Kansas City, where she lived with her parents, she periodically wrote an opinion column for the fledgling Kansas City Star. Of course, she published under her initials and last name so none would know the author was a female.

Respectable females didn’t write political comment that doubled as opinion columns. Respectable females would never allow their names to be used in such a manner. If they wrote at all, it might be a society piece that reflected a women’s place in the home. They all had pen names of some sort.

(You’ve undoubtedly heard the old saying that a lady’s name should appear in newspapers only three times during her life: birth, wedding, and death.)

Emily’s career as a columnist came a few years before the famous Nelly Bly went to work for the Pittsburgh Dispatch and ultimately did a tremendous job of enlarging the role of women in newspaper reporting and writing.

Emily, as my first Western heroine, was rather doomed to become a newspaper lady because that’s what I was every day of my life for twelve years before I went into teaching. And after that, every other summer during my teaching career. (Alternate summers I worked on my doctorate). Throughout the year, as a stringer, I occasionally did stories for the local daily news. I taught newspaper reporting and editing at an area four year college, and I firmly believed—and still do—the  discipline demanded practice in order to keep up with the changes in the industry.

Yes, I am saddened at the demise of many newspapers now that technology makes television and internet news so available. But both have a place in the news business.

The ability of newspapers to do thorough, often lengthy, investigation into topics is one that most electronic organizations don’t duplicate.

Although retired, I still share with Emily a passion for getting accurate, objective, complete reports out to readers.

In Last Stop, Wylder, her passion for newspaper writing is central to her personal story. I hope you enjoy reading, as well, how it plays a part in her romance with Morgan.

 

Last Stop, Wylder, bestA gunman’s word is his bond, and a lady’s heart can shatter.

Blurb:

Gunman Morgan Dodd is headed to a new life in California, where no one knows his name. Or his reputation. Just one last job to raise money for his fresh start—gunhand for a railroad agent in Wyoming. Easy enough. Until he meets the woman who could change everything.

After ending her engagement, Emily Martin longs for independence. She sets out for Wylder, Wyoming, to help her brother with his newspaper. But when she arrives, she finds he’s off investigating a story. Well, then! She’ll simply publish the paper herself until he returns. Emily’s prepared to face challenges, but not the dangerous stranger who ambushes her heart. The same man hired to destroy her livelihood.

When a common enemy threatens, Morgan and Emily must find a way to defeat danger and save their budding love. But a gunman’s word is his bond, and a lady’s trust can shatter.

Excerpt:  

The stranger had winked, cool as you please. Should she be insulted? Angry? Oh! She’d neglected to thank him. Now she was embarrassed.

Her brother had much to explain. And I have a lot to learn. More than she’d imagined.

Tommy unwrapped the reins, unlocked the brake, and the horse clopped forward. “Where to, ma’am?”

She straightened her back, firmed her shoulders, and waved her hand in front of her nose to dispel engine fumes. “The newspaper office, please.”

The reins jerked and the horse stopped. The youth’s face beamed red again.

“That wouldn’t be such a good idea, ma’am.”

Buy Links:

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Last-Stop-Wylder-West-ebook/dp/B0B7KH6D86/

B & N: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/last-stop-wylder-barbara-bettis/1141875393

Me-snapshot

Bio:

Multi-award-winning author Barbara Bettis can’t recall a time she didn’t love adventures of daring heroes and plucky heroines. A retired journalist and college English and journalism teacher, she lives in Missouri where she tries to keep her grandchildren supplied with cookies. When she’s not editing for others, she’s working on her own stories with heroines to die for– and heroes to live for.

Author Links:

Website/Blog – http://www.barbarabettis.com

BookBub – www.bookbub.com/authors/barbara-bettis

Facebook – www.facebook.com/barbarabettisauthor

Twitter – www.twitter.com/barbarabettis

 

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

Trip the Light Phantasmic (The Gothic Gwyn Mysteries, Book One) by Judith Sterling ~ #Blog #WRPbks

Please help me welcome today’s featured author, Judith Sterling…

Book Blurb

Gwyneth Camm has just inherited her great-aunt’s house in Salem, Massachusetts, along with an extensive collection of gothic romance novels. As a PhD student who prefers “serious” books, Gwyn has always avoided pulp fiction. Now, in honor of her beloved Aunt Ethel, she gives one of the gothics a try…and promptly falls asleep.

When she wakes, she finds herself inside the story, thrust by forces unknown into the heroine’s role. There’s magic afoot, and the only way back to her own life is to play her part and solve the mystery.

When fiction becomes fact, anything can happen…

Excerpt  

I stepped out into the crisp, fresh air of an autumn evening and inhaled deeply. To my eyes—and lungs—the terrace was Heaven, illuminated by electric lights whose glow reached partway down a wide stone staircase. Darkness hid the rest of the grounds and whatever else lay beyond.

I turned to my savior as he closed the doors to the dining room. “How can I thank you enough?”

“By telling me the real reason why you wanted to leave.” He closed the distance between us. His broad shoulders looked sturdy, dependable.

“I’m not sure you’ll like it.”

“I still want to know.”

“I’m sensitive to cigarette smoke. I was okay with it for a while, but then I had to get out of there.”

He performed a little smile. “You sound just like…”

I held my tongue, expecting him to elaborate, but the wait was wasted. “You were saying…”

He shook his head as though shaking off a memory. “Never mind. Why didn’t you tell the truth?”

“I didn’t want to seem rude. But I suppose I did anyway.”

“You’ll have to forgive Mother. She’s had her share of tragedy.” He took a deep breath, then sighed. “She was once a prima ballerina…world-famous. Until she married my father. They were happy for a time. Then she had an accident and was paralyzed from the waist down.”

“How horrible.”

He nodded. “Being confined to a wheelchair is…difficult for her, perhaps harder than for most.”

Out of nowhere, an icy gust swiped me. I shivered and rubbed my bare arms.

“You’re cold.” He removed his jacket and placed it around my shoulders. Though haunted by the smell of smoke, it infused me with his warmth and an odd sense of intimacy. He lingered behind me.

“Thank you.” Twisting around, I looked up into his finely chiseled face and detected a hint of interest.

His pupils expanded. “It’s the least I can do.”

Oh yeah? What more could you do if I let you? Best not to think about that.

A slight movement at one of the windows caught my eye. Penny, the maid, watched us from inside the house. Before I could acknowledge her presence, she dropped the curtain, hiding herself from view.

Okay. That was interesting.

Edgar followed my gaze. “What is it?”

“We had an audience.”

“Oh?”

“Penny was watching from that window.” I pointed to the one in question.

“Ah, Penny. I’ve known her a long time, and she’s a curious girl. Of course, it wouldn’t surprise me if she had company.”

I turned to face him. “Meaning?”

“This house has many eyes, and they’re always watching. You’d do well to remember that.”

Dude, you just upped the creep factor by half. “I’ll try.” I doffed his jacket and handed it back to him. “Thanks for this. I’m going now.”

“Where to?”

“My room. I know it’s early, but—”

“You’ve had a long day.”

You have no idea. “Yes. Should I go back through the dining room?”

“Better not. Roland will still be smoking. Go through the drawing room, over there.” He indicated the other set of French doors. His eyes held understanding, and if I wasn’t mistaken, regret. “Good night, Gwyn.”

“Good night.”

Buy Links

Amazon https://www.amazon.com/dp/B0BKRG9KG9

Amazon UK https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B0BKRG9KG9

Amazon CA https://www.amazon.ca/dp/B0BKRG9KG9

Amazon AU https://www.amazon.com.au/dp/B0BKRG9KG9

Barnes and Noble https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/trip-the-light-phantasmic-judith-sterling/1142591372?ean=2940166660152

Apple https://books.apple.com/us/book/id6444068184

Kobo https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/trip-the-light-phantasmic

Goodreads https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/63119659-trip-the-light-phantasmic

BookBub https://www.bookbub.com/books/trip-the-light-phantasmic-the-gothic-gwyn-mysteries-book-1-by-judith-sterling

Author Bio

Judith Sterling is an award-winning author whose love of history and passion for the paranormal infuse everything she writes. Through gothic paranormal mystery (The Gothic Gwyn Mysteries), medieval/time travel romance (The Novels of Ravenwood) and young adult paranormal fantasy (the Guardians of Erin series), she loves to whisk readers away from their troubles and remind them of the hidden magic all around us.

Her nonfiction books, written under Judith Marshall, have been translated into multiple languages. She has an MA in linguistics and a BA in history, with a minor in British Studies. Born in that sauna called Florida, she craved cooler climes, and once the travel bug bit, she lived in England, Scotland, Sweden, Wisconsin, Virginia, and on the island of Nantucket. She currently lives in Salem, Massachusetts with her husband and their identical twin sons.

Social Media Links

Website – https://judithmarshallauthor.com/

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

Goodreads – https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/16291161.Judith_Sterling

BookBub –  https://www.bookbub.com/authors/judith-sterling

Amazon – https://www.amazon.com/-/e/B01MT3KB7L

The Wild Rose Press – https://www.thewildrosepress.com/bookauthor/judith-sterling

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November 2022 Featured Books – Find New & Wonderful Authors!!! #BookWorm #AmReading

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

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Gunman Morgan Dodd is headed to a new life in California, where no one knows his name. Or his reputation. Just one last job to raise money for his fresh start—gunhand for a railroad agent in Wyoming. Easy enough. Until he meets the woman who could change everything.

After ending her engagement, Emily Martin longs for independence. She sets out for Wylder, Wyoming, to help her brother with his newspaper. But when she arrives, she finds he’s off investigating a story. Well, then. She’ll simply publish the paper herself until he returns. Emily’s prepared to face challenges, but not the dangerous stranger who ambushes her heart. The same man hired to destroy her livelihood.

When a common enemy threatens, Morgan and Emily must find a way to defeat danger and save their budding love. But a gunman’s word is his bond, and a lady’s trust can shatter.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Unearthing artifacts in Colorado sounded like easy money to Ryker Landry. Then he met the woman who owned the land.
Una MacLaren vows no fortune hunter will desecrate the ancient relics of Break Heart Canyon—even if the man is a handsome scoundrel. Fighting to keep her goat farm afloat as local cattlemen hatch deadly schemes to make sure she fails, Una has enough to worry about.
Captivated by the courageous redhead, Ryker joins forces with Una and her deerhound, MacTavish. But what does he desire most—the woman or the artifacts?
When the mythical white cougar again prowls the rocky cliffs, the legend of Break Heart Canyon draws them into a web of danger. Only daring and blind trust can save them.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

They each hit the trail solo in search of themselves…

Overworked entrepreneur Jules Martinez is sick and tired of men leaving her for their exes. Determined to wipe the giant, scarlet R for rebound off her forehead, she kicks off a yearlong vow of celibacy with five, blissful weeks backpacking her favorite trails through Washington State. Solo.

Out-of-work financial analyst Evan Davenport hasn’t been happy since camping in Scouts as a kid—before his wealthy parents and now ex-fiancé made all his major life decisions. Hoping to find joy and purpose, he buys all the latest ultralight backpacking gear, flies to Washington, and sets off alone on a weeklong speed hike through the wilderness.

Mother Nature has other plans, though, and keeps shoving Evan and Jules in each other’s paths. Usually naked. When sparks fly, can they find what they’re looking for in life together instead of apart?

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Riddled with guilt and tormented by desire, Lucy Short keeps notes about newcomers to the village, but why? The misfit with the rescue dog has a mysterious past. She’s been biding her time, plotting and scheming, and now she’s determined to get what she deserves. It won’t be straight forward. Someone is sure to be watching her every move, and there seems to be something more sinister going on.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

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October 2022 Featured Books – Find New & Wonderful Authors!!! #BookWorm #AmReading

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

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Otherworld evil is loose in the real world. Bram Farrell, Private Investigator, must track it down and destroy it before it destroys him.

Bram Farrell has starred in twenty bestselling novels by writer—and witch—Calista Amberson. Her fans love the tall, dark, and handsome PI who vanquishes supernatural bad guys using his magical powers. So, when Calista uses her magic to pull Bram from his fictional world into real-world, modern-day Detroit, she rocks both worlds.

Every supernatural being on Earth felt his arrival in this dimension. They don’t trust Calie’s intentions and Bram doesn’t either. When the supernatural community hands him the job of discovering who killed the beings in the real world that match those he killed in each volume of The Raven Tales, he takes on the task. It’s a job he’s done in twenty books—he’s up to the familiar challenge.

Bram’s investigation turns up a lot of suspicious characters grouchy bar-owning trolls, a thirsty vampire godfather, a couple of murderous x-cage fighters, a suspicious minister¬¬—and the Devil himself. Things are getting dicey: Bram could use some help with this job—but whom can he trust?
Fans of Jim Butcher will fall hard for Bram and Raven’s Moon.
J.B. Dane is a recovering romance writer with over two dozen titles under her belt. So when “Bram Farrell” walked into her office, she hired him on the spot. Together they kick Otherworlders’, er, nether regions, and write the second book in the Raven Tales series.

Find the two of them with their feet up on the desk at: http://www.RomanceandMystery2.com/jb-dane.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Unearthing artifacts in Colorado sounded like easy money to Ryker Landry. Then he met the woman who owned the land.
Una MacLaren vows no fortune hunter will desecrate the ancient relics of Break Heart Canyon—even if the man is a handsome scoundrel. Fighting to keep her goat farm afloat as local cattlemen hatch deadly schemes to make sure she fails, Una has enough to worry about.
Captivated by the courageous redhead, Ryker joins forces with Una and her deerhound, MacTavish. But what does he desire most—the woman or the artifacts?
When the mythical white cougar again prowls the rocky cliffs, the legend of Break Heart Canyon draws them into a web of danger. Only daring and blind trust can save them.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

They each hit the trail solo in search of themselves…

Overworked entrepreneur Jules Martinez is sick and tired of men leaving her for their exes. Determined to wipe the giant, scarlet R for rebound off her forehead, she kicks off a yearlong vow of celibacy with five, blissful weeks backpacking her favorite trails through Washington State. Solo.

Out-of-work financial analyst Evan Davenport hasn’t been happy since camping in Scouts as a kid—before his wealthy parents and now ex-fiancé made all his major life decisions. Hoping to find joy and purpose, he buys all the latest ultralight backpacking gear, flies to Washington, and sets off alone on a weeklong speed hike through the wilderness.

Mother Nature has other plans, though, and keeps shoving Evan and Jules in each other’s paths. Usually naked. When sparks fly, can they find what they’re looking for in life together instead of apart?

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Riddled with guilt and tormented by desire, Lucy Short keeps notes about newcomers to the village, but why? The misfit with the rescue dog has a mysterious past. She’s been biding her time, plotting and scheming, and now she’s determined to get what she deserves. It won’t be straight forward. Someone is sure to be watching her every move, and there seems to be something more sinister going on.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

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#HobbyCareerPassion: Author Gini Rifkin  – Raising Goats & New Release: Break Heart Canyon

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, Gini Rifkin…

 

    In my new historical romance, Break Heart Canyon, my heroine is a Scottish immigrant who raises goats in Colorado. While in the process of researching weaving, spinning, and farming during 1878, I began to consider following in my heroine’s footsteps.

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    I have been rescuing farm animals for over 20 years and my first rescue was a three footed angora goat named Precious. When I got her, she was in bad shape, with a heavily matted and tangled coat, blood sucking lice, and the three feet she did have were overgrown.

  Every year I would trim off and keep her mohair. This procedure had to be done by hand as she was terrified of the electric clippers, but those hours were a special time for us as we bonded and listened to the oldies on the radio in the barn.

    I have previously experimented with felting, but that was as far as I got—until recently. This year I decided to take lessons at the yarn shop to learn to spin and weave those bags of mohair. Although sweet Precious is gone, I think of her with heartwarming memories as I card her hair and try to achieve “greatness” at this ancient art.

    The process of weaving being many thousands of years old, think of all the hands that plied the yarn and threw the shuttle to make cloth so vital to everyone from the common man to royalty.

    Working on my rigid heddle loom is going better than spinning on the drop spindle, but both offer hours of relaxation, reflection, and the rewriting of chapters in my head. Now I’m spinning tales along with weaving tea towels. Had it not been for one brave little goat, I would never have thought of making this wonderful hobby a part of my life. 

    In Break Heart Canyon, there are also two lovable donkeys inspired by my two rescues, Jack and Rosie. Burros are incredible animals, thoughtful rather than stubborn, and intelligent with the gift for frequently outsmarting me. Along with the goats, ducks, and cats they have brightened my days and brought wonderful people into my world.

    Wish I could show my heroine, Una MacLaren, the scarf I’m working on now. I’m sure she would agree we are fortunate to be surrounded by animals who keep us grounded, give us joy, and teach us what is most important in our lives. You can meet Una, and the handsome rascal who steals her heart, in Break Heart Canyon.

Excerpt:

With her fiery red hair and apparent love for the land and animals, she seemed the perfect person to live in this secluded vale surrounded by a canyon brimming with tall-tales and legends.

Standing now in her cabin, inhaling the tantalizing aroma of food, and dowsed in the fragrance of the hanging herbs and spices, Ryker believed this woman was capable of casting a spell on him. She needn’t bother, he was already smitten. Yes smitten. Never in his life had that term seemed relevant. The rampage of feelings she stirred in him ran the gambit from wanting to bed her, to wanting to protect her, to wanting to walk away from her as fast as possible.

She was a danger to his way of life. Or maybe his way of life was a danger to his happiness. Una confused him. Made him unsettled. And what a fetching picture she created, one easy to commit to memory and long for at a later date. But he wasn’t fond of wasting time on lonely reflections—he needed to vacate the cabin.

“Anything I can do for you other than get out of your way?”

“More firewood is always appreciated.”

He hurried outside, relieved to have a legitimate reason for performing any activity other than standing and staring at her like a randy schoolboy. Returning with all the split wood he could carry, he deposited the armload by the stove and turned to leave.

“Thank you, Ryker.”

For the first time, she’d called him by his Christian name, and dang he liked the sound of it wrapped in her unpredictable Scottish burr.

“You’re welcome, Una.” His reply came over his shoulder as he left. The jaunty tune she hummed hesitated for a moment. He smiled. Did she like the sound of her name on his lips as well?

https://books2read.com/u/mqExL6  

http://ginirifkin.blogspot.com   

https://amzn.to/2R53KA9

 https://www.facebook.com/people/Gini-Rifkin-Author/100001680213365

Gini Rifkin writes stories of romance and adventure. Her settings include the American West, Medieval & Victorian England, and Contemporary thriller & fantasy. When not reading or writing, she keeps busy spinning goat hair and weaving. She also has the privilege of caring for a menagerie of abandoned animals including ducks, goats, donkeys, and cats. Born in Illinois, when struck by wanderlust, she moved to Colorado and met her husband, Gary. They shared the journey for 30 years, spending vacations canoeing, doing Mountain Man reenacting, and traveling around this great country. Although Gary has passed on, a little bit of him lives on in every hero she creates. Gini considers family and friends her most treasured of gifts.

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

September 2022 Featured Books – Find New & Wonderful Authors!!! #AHAgrp #BookWorm #AmReading #Ebooks

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

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

They each hit the trail solo in search of themselves…

Overworked entrepreneur Jules Martinez is sick and tired of men leaving her for their exes. Determined to wipe the giant, scarlet R for rebound off her forehead, she kicks off a yearlong vow of celibacy with five, blissful weeks backpacking her favorite trails through Washington State. Solo.

Out-of-work financial analyst Evan Davenport hasn’t been happy since camping in Scouts as a kid—before his wealthy parents and now ex-fiancé made all his major life decisions. Hoping to find joy and purpose, he buys all the latest ultralight backpacking gear, flies to Washington, and sets off alone on a weeklong speed hike through the wilderness.

Mother Nature has other plans, though, and keeps shoving Evan and Jules in each other’s paths. Usually naked. When sparks fly, can they find what they’re looking for in life together instead of apart?

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Secrets can protect what the truth will destroy.
Elidor MacKenzie has a gift she can’t return—the ability to absorb the joy, pain, and suffering of others. She’s spent her life running from what she considers her curse. Now, her best friend is dead, and she alone holds the key to an archaeological discovery that could destroy a culture. With newfound inner peace, Elidor has returned home to make amends and guard the secret revelation. But greed-driven scavengers have followed her. Once again, the energies of Joshua will stir the hurricane, with her at the deadly center.

Jules never got over Elidor. Twenty years and a famous journalism career later, he’s back in Joshua—and so is his first love. If his heart can stand the torture, he’ll risk reviving their relationship. But saving Elidor from herself and the secret she won’t give up may be the death of them both.

With Jules by her side, Elidor is determined to outrun the scavengers, guard the secret, and renew their love. But fate is coming after her, and there’s nowhere the couple can hide.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

No matter how you came to it, there was something about the idea of mixing a mystery story and a comedy tale together that intrigued you. Titillated your muse. Made you want to spin a story in this mystery subgenre yourself.
Welcome to the club!
Beth Daniels walks you through the twists and turns of putting some funny in your mystery to help you create a heart-stopping mystery that will also have your readers chuckling.

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Jordan Vasilakis is on the run, living under an assumed name. After a disastrous marriage to a notorious Greek business tycoon, she flees to the States and starts rebuilding her life. But her ruthless husband is determined to destroy her…once he finds her.

Michael Machau is drawn to the new singer at Jazz House restaurant, but the guarded woman is harboring dangerous secrets. The dedicated police officer may have to risk more than just his heart to forge a connection with the woman he knows as Madeline Cielo, especially when he discovers she’s living a lie.

Worlds collide. Lies entangle. Survival, much less love, is in question. They must quickly distinguish friends from enemies or risk losing everything—including a future together.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Violetta Pelicani, massage therapist in Grado, Italy shortly after WWI, meets a young man at almost the same instant she learns her favorite uncle is dead. Suspicion of murder arises, and the two work together to prevent Vi from being accused. Though she has helped her uncle run his gelateria, she expects to gain nothing from his death, but she has already gained an admirer in John.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Riddled with guilt and tormented by desire, Lucy Short keeps notes about newcomers to the village, but why? The misfit with the rescue dog has a mysterious past. She’s been biding her time, plotting and scheming, and now she’s determined to get what she deserves. It won’t be straight forward. Someone is sure to be watching her every move, and there seems to be something more sinister going on.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

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#HobbyCareerPassion: Author Amber Daulton – Belle’s Love of Music & New Release: Arresting Benjamin

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, Amber Dalton and her heroine, Belle Hamlin…

Female singer with crowd

Hi, readers. I’m Belle Hamlin, the heroine from Amber Daulton’s new romantic suspense novel, Arresting Benjamin. I’m excited to talk about my greatest passion—playing music. It’s also my career, but the money I make from it dumps it into the hobby category. Yep, that’s right. I’m a struggling musician with a dreaded day job at an insurance company that is sucking the life out of me.

I live in Denver, Colorado, but I travel all across the state for a paying gig. I mostly play at bars and clubs, but sometimes I perform covers of classic songs for weddings, birthdays, and funerals. I can’t afford to be picky when it comes to a reputable gig. You’ll often find my best friends—Mia, Chanel, and Shea—running the merchandise table for me at a bar. They’re my biggest supporters. (By the way, have you checked out their oh-so-sexy books yet? You can find them here.)

Anyway, I need my music like I need the air to breathe. My heroes are music legends like Melissa Etheridge, Bruce Springsteen, and Stevie Nicks, so I write both folky and rock ballads. Since I draw inspiration from my own personal experience, most of my songs delve into relationships gone bad. I’ve met a lot of fans at my shows, and I’m honored and humbled every time someone tells me how much they relate to the pain, frustration, and rage I’ve vented into my songs. I write from the heart, but sometimes it’s hard to share my pain and humiliation so openly. It’s worth it, though, if I can make anyone feel better about themselves and let them know they aren’t alone. Music should heal and offer hope, and that’s my goal in writing and playing music.

Since several of my songs lean toward man-bashing and revenge tales, I thought for sure that Benji, my new guy, would run far away once he heard them. Thankfully, he proved me wrong. I gotta say, Benji has made me happy and healed some of my wounds, but that’s put a dent in my angsty creative process. Now, I’m not knocking our relationship or anything, but I’ve written a few sappy love songs lately and they clash with my damn-all-men-to-hell songs. I’m worried I’ll lose fans if I don’t keep up my angry, bad girl rocker persona with lyrics that match, but I write what I feel, and I’m in love. Sue me.

All in all, though, songwriting and performing is who I am. It’s my hobby, career, and passion all wrapped into one. I can’t be anyone other than who I am, and I don’t want to be.

Are you interested in reading about one of my performances? Check out the excerpt below. It’s in Benji’s POV, but I think he did a good job of describing the situation.

Thanks so much for visiting.

PS – Do you want a $25 Amazon gift card? Check out my Rafflecopter giveaway for your chance to win: http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/0a0982c528/

Arresting Benjamin

With enemies at every turn, how will they survive with their lives and love intact?

Blurb

A one-night stand, a surprise baby, and a mysterious stalker.

Mechanic Benjamin Starwell can’t stop thinking about Belle Hamlin, the ballsy musician he slept with and skipped out on months earlier. He never meant to get her pregnant, but he’ll do whatever it takes to win back her trust and be a part of his child’s life. His desire for Belle drives him to be a better man, but he’s worn thin with a garage to run and his estranged sister dumping her troubles on him.

Belle’s juggling impending motherhood, her indie rock career, and a stalker who’s determined to see her fail. Even though she’s desperate to get her priorities straight, she pushes aside her past hurt and welcomes Benji back into her bed. She never expects him to slip into her heart.

When the danger escalates, they face the greatest challenge of all—protecting their unborn child.

Excerpt:

Benji’s heart pounded harder as Belle strutted onto the stage from a rear door. Her hips swayed with a ba-dum beat as her hair flapped behind her shoulders. Was there an air vent above her? Dark eye shadow, mascara, and a dark slash of blush on her cheeks deepened her sultry eyes. Her lips swelled like a juicy plum. God, was her lipstick purple? Burgundy, maybe? She bent over, showing off her fine ass, and plugged her acoustic-electric guitar into the amp.

A baby-faced gopher carried a stool and a water bottle to the middle of the platform.

She patted him on the back and stared out at the crowd.

Several men ogled her, despite the baby bump. Their lady friends laughed, but some frowned and slapped the guys’ arms.

Wow. Benji swallowed hard. What he wouldn’t do to unzip her knee-high leather boots, pull down her stockings, and flip up her short pleated skirt? Her red sleeveless blouse emphasized the breasts he couldn’t wait to suckle.

“Hiya, Tempes lovers! How ya doin’? Thanks for coming out in this cold weather.” Her voice echoed through the speakers. The lights lit Belle and the stage in a soft white glow. She strummed the guitar, testing it, as the audience shouted. “I’m Belle Hamlin, and this badass girl is Matilda.” She held up the sunburst-finished instrument. “We’ll rock you for the next hour, so let’s get started.” She ignored the stool, jumping into a song as her fans applauded. Deep, rumbling chords reverberated from the guitar and speakers.

“She’s starting with ‘Stay True’.” Chanel clapped. “It’s my favorite.”

“This is rock-and-roll. She sang folk and singer/songwriter-type stuff the night we met.” He bit his lip as her friends stood and danced in place.

“What did you expect? She’s a solo female artist sandwiched between testosterone-filled rock bands. She has to up her game.” Shea tapped his CD case and flashed a grin. “Give it a whirl later. Belle is a cross between Melissa Etheridge, Stevie Nicks, and Eric Clapton. Her guy issues and social opinions bleed into her songs.”

Wonderful. Guy issues. He had his work cut out for him.

Buy links:

Only .99 cents until October 18, 2022

Universal link – https://books2read.com/arrestingbenjamin/

Amazon – https://amzn.to/3usC6SN

Barnes and Noble – https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w?ean=2940186751144

iTunes – https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/id6443054336

Kobo – https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/arresting-benjamin

Google Play – https://play.google.com/store/books/details?id=JHJ5EAAAQBAJ

About Amber:

Amber Daulton

Amber Daulton is the author of the romantic-suspense series Arresting Onyx and several standalone novellas. Her books are published through Daulton Publishing, The Wild Rose Press, and Books to Go Now, and are available in ebook, print on demand, audio, and foreign language formats.

She lives in North Carolina with her husband and demanding cats.

Find out more here: https://linktr.ee/AmberDaulton

Sign up for her exclusive newsletter (free ebook to new subscribers): https://bit.ly/amberdaultonnewsletter

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

Author Interview with Pamela S Thibodeaux ~ New Release: Kyleigh’s Cowboy #InspirationalRomance

I am delighted to feature my sweet friend and talented author, Pamela S Thibodeaux on today’s blog. By the way…her book is available for pre-order AND it’s on sale for only 99 cents!!

Please tell us a little about yourself, where are you from? Where do you live now? Family? Pets?  I am a mother of four (two by blood and two by marriage) and grandmother of three hailing from SW Louisiana. No pets at the time but my daughter and son have enough to make up for me not having any LOL!

Where did you get the idea for KYLEIGH’S COWBOY? In a first-chapter scene Kyleigh’s daughter has encouraged her to get out and socialize more then remarks about her maybe one day future husband …. “Who knows, he might be a tall, dark, handsome cowboy like dad always fantasized of being.” Hence the title.

Why did you choose this genre (is it something you’ve written in before)? Back in 1989 I committed my writing to God and said I didn’t want to write “just another romance” but something to glorify Him. I then revised my stories to include the characters’ faith, even though I had no idea there were major differences in Christian romances from traditional at the time. It’s been a tough lesson as I still don’t write traditional Christian but “Inspirational with an Edge!” ™ and it’s all I write.

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

Kyleigh’s Cowboy started out as a short story for a popular women’s magazine but was rejected because the editor and readership did not like cowboys. Talk about a shock! Who doesn’t like cowboys, right? LOL!

What is the most difficult thing about writing a book? Getting into a set routine and applying the butt in chair principle.

What was the most difficult thing about this one in particular?

For some reason I felt this story (which began at less than 800 words) should be a minimum of 25K. Why this particular number still baffles me but for a while I struggled to get the word count up. I was going through a challenging period in my life at the time but once things settled down for me, adding scenes was easy. Even in the editing stages I’ve added or rounded out a few scenes in hopes of delivering a satisfying read.

What book have you read that you wish you had written? Redeeming Love by Francine Rivers.

What’s your favorite book of all time and why? My favorite book of all time is actually the Born In trilogy by Nora Roberts. I really can’t explain why except those characters stay with me and I reread their stories often.

What’s your favorite childhood book? Again, this is a series not just one book: Walter Farley’s Black Stallion series

What actors would you like in the main roles if your book were made into a movie? Amber Marshall and Graham Wardle from the TV series Heartland. I believe these two would make excellent Kyleigh and Lance in a few years!

What genre have you never written that you’d like to write? Sometimes I think I’d like to write a traditional romance with steamy, passionate love scenes. I started one years ago but haven’t sat down to finish it. (See answer above about butt in chair principle 😊)

What is your favorite quote? “Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness, that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? ~Marianne Williamson from A Return to Love

Who is your favorite author and what is it that really strikes you about their work? Nora Roberts is hands-down my favorite author of all time. I just LOVE the way her characters grow throughout the books and her powers of description are beyond anything else I’ve read.

What is the toughest criticism given to you as an author? I had one reader/reviewer trash me and even question my faith because of my characters’ flaws and the way those were portrayed in the story. She didn’t bother to mention the growth or lessons learned from the instances she bemoaned. What has been the best compliment? ANY time I’m told one of my stories touched someone’s heart or changed their life or mind about a certain perception they’ve held it makes all the other stuff about writing/publishing worthwhile.

Your favorite…

Movie: I’m not good at having only one answer to your questions LOL! My favorite movies of all time are Pretty Woman and A Few Good Men

Music: Anything I can dance to which leaves out heavy metal and rap.

Place you’ve visited: Bandera, TX will always be my home away from home but my favorite places I’ve visited to date are Churchill Downs Home of the Kentucky Derby and Boonsboro MD – Nora Roberts’s hometown and her businesses Inn Boonsboro & Turn the Page Bookstore.

Place you’d like to visit: Ireland

TV show from adulthood: Heartland

Food: Bread in its every form: white, wheat, whole grain, pastries, cookies, cakes, pies (you get my drift LOL!)

Sports team: New Orleans Saints

Which do you prefer: Board games/card games or television? I prefer card and board games over television.

Thank you for the fun interview. I enjoyed getting to know more about you. Now…tell us about your book!

She’s attempting to start a new life. He’s roamed for more than a decade. Can they let go of the past and grab hold of the future?

Seven years after the death of her husband, Kyleigh Winters turned their old vacation home into a brand new guest ranch. Not willing to join the ranks of lonely women trolling the bars or online in search of a man, Kyleigh is sure if God wishes her to have another husband, He’ll send the perfect someone in His own time. But will she be open to the possibility of new love when He does?

Searching for a place that calls to his soul, Lance Stevens has been a roaming cowboy for ten years since retiring from the Marines. He finds that sanctuary the moment he drives through the Silver Star’s gate and meeting the lovely owner speaks to more than his soul. Will he open to the healing power of love?

Get Pamela Thibodeaux’s second chance romance novella today and see how love and faith conquers all.

Excerpt:

Lance sat on his horse atop the highest hill the ranch boasted. Christmas was less than a week away and they were free of scheduled guests until then, but they never knew when someone would pop in and want to stay. Seth and Elaina had painted her bedroom and he’d refinished the dresser, hiding the ugly scars left by flames with fresh color. He’d trimmed it out with an intricate geometric pattern stenciled in various shades that picked up the muted hues of her new bedspread and curtains. The work his son was capable of surprised and pleased Lance.

If only he could relate that to the boy.

Kyleigh had lavished praise on Seth, saying she wished he’d been involved in the renovations they’d endured before opening the ranch to the public. She then promised to find more woodwork for him to do for as long as he chose to remain in her employ. The three of them had been thick as thieves ever since.

And that was a problem.

He hadn’t had a moment alone with Kyleigh in days.
Time to remedy that.
Lance whirled his horse around, picked his way down the trail and into the corral. He unsaddled and groomed the animal. After giving Champ an extra helping of oats, he turned the big chestnut loose to roam with the herd, and then ambled to the bunkhouse to shower and dress. Convincing Kyleigh to have dinner with him in town might be easier if he smelled less like a cowboy and more like a gentleman. He cornered her in the office as she tallied up the day’s books and prepared a deposit. “Just the lady I wanted to see.”

She glanced up, smiled, and his heart stuttered in his chest. “You clean up nice.”

Lance chuckled. “Got a hot date.”

Her eyebrow arched in question. “Is that a fact?”

He stepped closer, cupped her cheek in his hand. “That’s a fact, ma’am. What’re you hungry for?”

“What makes you think I don’t already have plans for this evening?”

The flush on her cheeks, light in her eyes, and softly curved lips assured Lance she didn’t, but he played along for the simple joy the teasing brought. “Cancel them. Nothing is as important as dinner tonight. With me. Just the two of us…wine, food, dancing. No ranch, no kids, no responsibilities.”

“A bit demanding, aren’t you?”

He took her hands, pulled her to her feet. “That, my lady, was a request. This is a demand,” he murmured, then captured her mouth in a hot, hungry gesture. By the time he let her catch her breath again, she was plastered against him, her fingers fisted in his shirtfront.

Buy links:

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B0BF627TZF

BB: https://www.bookbub.com/books/kyleigh-s-cowboy-by-pamela-s-thibodeaux

GR: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/62590658-kyleigh-s-cowboy

Other: https://books2read.com/KyleighsCowboy

About Pamela:

Award-winning author, Pamela S. Thibodeaux is the Co-Founder and a lifetime member of Bayou Writers Group in Lake Charles, Louisiana. Multi-published in romantic fiction as well as creative non-fiction, her writing has been tagged as, “Inspirational with an Edge!” ™ and reviewed as “steamier and grittier than the typical Christian novel without decreasing the message.” Sign up to receive Pam’s newsletter and get a FREE short story! http://bit.ly/psthibnewsletter

Social Media Links:

FB Author Page: https://www.facebook.com/pamelasthibodeauxauthor

Twitter: http://twitter.com/psthib @psthib

Pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/pamelasthibodea/

Amazon Author Page:  https://www.amazon.com/Pamela-S-Thibodeaux/e/B002BM045Q/

BookBub: https://www.bookbub.com/authors/pamela-s-thibodeaux

Instagram: https://instagram.com/pamelasthibodeauxauthor

Good Reads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/1268453.Pamela_S_Thibodeaux

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/pamelasthibodeaux/

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Author Interview with Rachel Brimble & New Release: Victoria & Violet #HistoricalRomance

Please help me welcome today’s guest, Rachel Brimble…

Rachel, thank you for joining me today! Please tell us a little about yourself, where are you from? Where do you live now? Family? Pets?

Hi, I am so happy to be here! Although originally from Bristol in the UK, I am now lucky enough to live just a short drive from the famous city of Bath, England. I have been married to my wonderful Mr. B for 24 years and we have two grown up daughters and a chocolate Labrador called Tyler.

When I’m not working, I love to travel, read, knit and watch far too many period and crime dramas…

Where did you get the idea for Victoria & Violet?

This book is the realization of a long-held ambition – I have wanted to include real characters and events in one of my novels for so long and I have finally managed it with Victoria & Violet.

I love writing historical romance so had the idea to write a series where the books are linked by each successive monarch or their consort, but the actual romance revolves around two fictional characters at court. Victoria & Violet is set in the court of Queen Victoria and follows the journey and escapades of her housemaid, Violet.

I absolutely loved writing it and now enjoying book 2 set in the court of Queen Alexandra.

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

Social media! It has so many benefits for artists of any kind promoting their work, but it does take up a large chunk of my writing time. Having said that, it’s absolutely necessary and I secretly enjoy it! I have made some of best online friends through social media, not to mention building some fantastic relationships with my readers. So, it’s fair to say I have accepted social media is part of my working life!

What do you want readers to come away with after they read Victoria & Violet?

I’d say this book will appeal to all fans of British period drama, so I’d love for readers to come away with the feeling that they have been transported to a different world where courtiers, royalty and common people interact and learn to love and respect one another.

I hope I provide laughter, a few tears and memorable scenes that readers will recall time and time again.

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

I am currently studying for a history degree in the hope of writing Royal biographies sometime in the future. I am a bit of Royal nut and especially enjoy reading about past British monarchs so would love to spend my days immersed in research and writing about one of them.

For fiction, I also occasionally think whether or not I could write a cozy crime novel…watch this space!

What is your favorite quote?

“Set it up the way you want it to be.” Iyanla Vanzant

What do your friends and family think of your writing?

They love that I write and are quick to tell anyone and everyone who will listen what I do! Not all of them read my work, but the ones who do are always asking when the next book is coming and the ones who don’t still ask me a hundred questions whenever we’re together.

It really warms me to have their unending support.

Who is the most famous person you have ever met?

Nora Roberts! As a ridiculously starry-eyed fan of hers for over two decades, it was the biggest thrill of my life when my husband surprised me by booking afternoon tea with Nora Roberts at the beautiful Ashford Castle in Ireland (we also stayed the night!).

I spoke to her at the book signing and said hello again in the hotel later that evening. It was a weekend I will never forget 😊

Your favorite…

Movie   Notting Hill

Music  1980s

Place you’ve visited  Croatia

Place you’d like to visit   Sardinia

TV show from childhood    Grange Hill

TV show from adulthood  Too many!

Food  Chicken Satay

Sports team  None – not a sports person at all!

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

Great interview….I agree about Social Media! 🙂 Now, please tell us about your book…

It should be a dream come true to serve the Queen of England…

When Violet Parker is told she will be Queen Victoria’s personal housemaid, she cannot believe her good fortune. She finally has the chance to escape her overbearing mother, a servant to the Duchess of Kent.

Violet hopes to explore who she is and what the world has to offer without her mother’s schemes overshadowing her every thought and action.

Then she meets James Greene, assistant to the queen’s chief political adviser, Lord Melbourne. From entirely different backgrounds and social class, Violet and James should have neither need nor desire to speak to one another, yet through their service, their paths cross and their lives merge—as do their feelings.

Only Victoria’s court is not always the place for romance, but rather secrets, scandals, and conspiracies…

Excerpt:

What awaits me is marriage,” he said. “But I am not a man any woman should want for a husband so it’s something I will avoid for as long as possible.”

The curiosity in her eyes made his confidence falter, and James lifted his fingers from her arm. No doubt she thought him pathetic for fearing something that so many longed for. But Violet did not know him or what he might be capable of. Of the nasty, volatile temperament passed down through the men in his family for generations.

“Better marriage than imprisonment with a mother who has controlled and belittled you your entire life.” She smiled wryly, her gaze sad. “Better a son who will one day marry than a daughter shackled to a mother who wishes her to scheme and spy upon the only person who has made her feel human, liked, and worthy of a modicum of respect for the first time in months.”

He stilled. “Do you speak of the queen?”

Mistress Parker swallowed before looking at Victoria where she stood a few feet away. “What would you like to do if not marry?” she asked quietly.

James stared at her profile, unsure of her thoughts or disposition. “Stay at court where I am happy. Work hard. Rise within the hierarchy as a single man.”

“I want to paint.”

Had he heard her correctly? “Paint?”

She softly smiled as she faced him. “Yes. I dream of my landscapes hanging in every gallery and every grand house in the country. If you think yourself an oddity in this mercenary world, whatever must you think of me? Good evening, Mr. Greene.”

James stared after her as Violet disappeared amongst the mass of finery, his heart heavy for the sadness that emanated from her, yet his inquisitiveness about her had only deepened. He looked at Victoria as she laughed with Melbourne and others in her circle. Could it be that the queen saw the same spark of something special in Violet Parker that he did?

Find the book here: Buy Links

About Rachel:

Rachel lives in a small town near Bath, England. She is the author of 29 novels including the Ladies of Carson Street trilogy, the Shop Girl series (Aria Fiction) and the Templeton Cove Stories (Harlequin). Her latest novel, Victoria & Violet is the first book in her new Royal Maids series with the Wild Rose Press and releases 17th October 2022.

Rachel is a member of the Romantic Novelists Association as well as the Historical Novel Society and has thousands of social media followers all over the world.

To sign up for her newsletter (a guaranteed giveaway every month!), click here: https://bit.ly/3zyH7dt

Website: https://bit.ly/3wH7HQs

Twitter: https://bit.ly/3AQvK0A

Facebook: https://bit.ly/3i49GZ3

Instagram: https://bit.ly/3lTQZbF

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Spotlight: Michelle Godard-Richer ~ Fatal Hunt #Thriller

Today’s spotlight is on Michelle Godard Richer and her Thriller, Fatal Hunt (which I edited and enjoyed very much!)

Be the hunter.                                                  

After being widowed and surviving the wrath of a serial killer, Jessica believes her misfortunes are over. She’s reunited with her first love, Jon, and together, with her son Bryce, and a baby on the way, they’re living their happily ever after on their ranch in Montana. That is until secrets, lies, and a formidable foe from Jon’s past emerge to shake the foundation of their relationship, forcing them to flee for their lives.   

A decade earlier, Jon worked undercover for the FBI. He infiltrated Hugh Jones’ Kansas City mob, and almost destroyed his empire. Unaware of the breach in his own defenses, Hugh, obsessed with revenge, unleashes every weapon in his arsenal, targeting those Jon loves the most.                                                                                 

Excerpt:

Jessica’s limbs weighed a ton. She forced her heavy eyelids open. After a split second they shut on her again. She lay on something soft, and an engine droned around her. Where am I? What happened?

Then she remembered her fruitless struggle in the hospital room. Willing her head to the side, she forced her eyes to open again. Her kidnapper sat in a chair across from her reading a newspaper.

He looked over the top of his paper and smiled. “You’ll be groggy for a while longer. Go back to sleep.”

Too tired to fight, she gave into the void sucking her down.

Buy link: https://books2read.com/u/mY6NDo

About Michelle:

Growing up as an only child in a small town, with only my imagination for company, I dreamed of becoming an author. My father laughed and said something like: okay, but you might be broke. I shrugged and kept clacking on the keyboard of our home PC, delighted when my words appeared on the small monitor, a staple of early 90s technology.

In high school, when it was time to decide on a future career, I chose to pursue an Honours Degree in Criminology at the University of Ottawa, but at the back of my mind, the dream of writing for a living persisted.

Fast forward fifteen years, and as a happily married woman and proud mother to two children, four dogs, and a cat, my dream came true.

Facebook: Michelle Godard-Richer Author

Twitter: @MGodardRicher

Instagram: michellegodardricherauthor

Tiktok: @mgodardricher

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/22332655.Michelle_Godard_Richer

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