Category Archives: Author Blog Post

“10 Moments That Changed My Life” by Susan Furlong ~ New Release: By Promise Made

#AHAgrp

Please help me welcome author Susan Furlong with the moments that changed her life, and her latest release, By Promise Made.  

10 Moments That Changed My Life

  1. At age five, I got my first pair of glasses. One of my earliest memories is sitting in my Kindergarten class and crying because I couldn’t see what the teacher was explaining for us to do. Those glasses made all the difference, and I took them off only to sleep from then on.
  2. As a child I was always considered the “ugly duckling” of my siblings. People would come up to my mother and say “M and L are so pretty. Susie doesn’t look anything like them.” To which my mother would sadly reply, “No, she doesn’t.” The one who kept me from being obsessed as an adult with what others think of my looks was my father who would curl his finger, rub my cheek, and say “Susie, you are so pretty.” I eventually grew to look like my great-grandmother who was always referred to as “Lottie, the pretty one.”
  3. The birth of a child always changes a life forever. My son who is now fully grown, married, and a father of his own will always be my baby. He is an independent, self-sufficient man of whom I am very proud, but as the book by Robert Munch says, “I’ll love you forever. I’ll like you for always. As long as I’m living my baby you’ll be.” Whether he likes it or not!
  4. Because my husband worked as a social worker, and I was a teacher in the public schools, when it came to children, we always wanted to “make one and buy one.” So we adopted a three-year-old from the foster care system. He was handsome and intelligent, but also damaged by severe physical abuse and fetal alcohol syndrome, which was virtually unheard of at the time. We soon learned the consequences of both were devastating. Using every resource available, we did our best to “heal” him, and we quickly learned who our true friends were and who were not.
  5. The very first article I ever had published was a short story called “The Dumbest Kid in School” for a children’s magazine. After years of writing just for myself, I finally got up the courage to send things out. Numerous rejections, but when the acceptance letter and $200 came in the mail, I jumped for joy at the mailbox. My neighbors thought I was crazy!
  6. I got Lasik surgery done on my eyes. My vision was extremely bad – 20/800 – and I couldn’t wear contacts anymore because of dry eye syndrome. When I came out of surgery, I could immediately see things I had never seen before. The nurse gave me instructions, but I wasn’t listening because I was so excited to see the candy bars and coffee maker on the counter. When we checked out at the nurse’s station, I could see the individual files on the shelves behind the desk. I started to cry because I was so happy, but the nurse asked what was wrong. I know exactly how the healed blind man in the Bible felt!
  7. My first experience in community theater was in the chorus of Guys and Dolls. It took all my courage to tryout, but once I got on stage, I loved it. I quickly realized that I wanted to play ALL the parts and that pushed me into all forms of onstage performance. I write, direct, sing, and act, mostly for church presentations. I co-wrote my first play, The Twelve Seats at the Table, about the Last Supper. It was published by Eldridge Publishing and has been presented over 100 times across the country. I now work with a traveling music and drama ministry called LightReaders in which I sing, act, and write most of the programs we do. I also work with children who bring so much excitement to any song or play.
  8. I love being a teacher. I got up every morning saying, “What do I GET to do today?” I looked forward to every day and to every child – well, not every child, but most! Being a teacher filled my life. Then I retired, and suddenly I had to figure out how I was going to fill my time now. One afternoon I prayed that whatever it was I did, I wanted to give back, and I wanted to be busy. And, wow, has that come true! My schedule is filled with my writing, my drama and music work, my granddaughter, my work with our local historical society and spending time with my friends at lunch or a movie. A lot of this has come to a halt because of the pandemic, but I am still busy and doing all the things I love!
  9. After a heartbreaking experience at a church I had attended for over 20 years, I was looking for another church, but being completely traumatized, I was having trouble finding the right place for me. Then LightReaders, my music and drama ministry group, was invited to present during a service at a Methodist church. As I walked into the Sanctuary, I was greeted by the Greeters for that Sunday – Three older women all dressed in pink blazers with the name tags Huey, Dewey, and Louie. These women (Laine, Vida, and Betty) had been best friends since childhood and were now in their 80s. As I shook each one’s hand, I laughed and commented on their name tags. These three “ducks” were so friendly, welcoming, and with such a great sense of humor that I knew I had found the place for me.
  10. My granddaughter was born in 2001, and as any grandparent will tell you, becoming a grandparent is the best thing God ever invented. If I had known what fun having grandchildren would be, I would have had them first!

 

Blurb:

She wants to take off his head. He wants to win her heart.

Hugh Cullane, accused of murder and sentenced to hang, is forced to deliver a message of betrothal to four-year-old Queen Mary of Scotland. He faces death yet again when, in rejecting the proposal, the queen’s guardian orders his severed head sent back to England in a jar.

Trained to protect her queen at all costs, Katherine Payne can show no mercy to the handsome messenger, despite the way his stolen kiss unsettles her single-minded sense of duty. Trapped between the English and Scottish armies, she must escape with Mary. Hugh joins her as they are chased by men determined to murder the young queen in their own quest for power.

Excerpt:

(After escaping the disastrous Battle of Pinkie Cleugh, Kit, Hugh and young Mary flee north.)

In the distance, bobbing heads of the horses of an English patrol headed in their direction.

“Down the cliff is the only way. Ye take Mary,” she said, tugging the straps of Mary’s carrying sack off her shoulders. “The wall of the cliff has a small cave in it about halfway down. We can hide inside. I’ll go down first and lead the way. Ye follow with the babe. I’ll guide ye. Here.” She hefted Mary and the carrying sack onto Hugh’s back. “The straps will rub on yer shoulder and start the bleeding again, but there is no other way.”

“Doesna matter. Are ye set, little one?” he asked Mary.

She kissed him on the cheek. “Aye, the man will take good care of me, Kit”

… “I think I see the cave.” She pointed. “I’ll start that way and call for ye to follow.” Swinging her legs over the side, she quickly started the climb down.

Hugh watched her from the top, trying to memorize where she put her feet and hands. “Mary, ye watch Kit verra carefully so ye can help me put my feet in the right places. Ye can even grab hold of the stones with yer hands to help me. Can ye do it?”

“Aye. Kit and I climbed this cliff more than once. Captain Rand put a rope around her waist, but we didna need it. Kit and I climbed up and down all by ourselves.”

“Are ye ready?”

“I am!”

Hugh adjusted quickly to Mary’s extra weight, and he found it relatively easy to follow Kit’s route down over the jagged rocks.

About halfway down the face, Kit called to him. “I see it. The cave. About thirty feet to yer left. I’ll get there and lead ye to it.”

“Aye,” he said.

That’s when loose rocks started sliding down the cliff, not the pebble or two that fell off when his hand hold wasn’t secure, but bushels of debris falling fast and hard. Looking over his shoulder, he saw Kit fighting to find a foothold. She had a grip on a rock with both hands, but her legs swung uselessly. She grunted and strained, but she didn’t cry out.

“I am coming to ye!” called Hugh.

“Nay!” she called back. “Get to the cave where Mary will be safe. I’ll find a way.”

Her right hand slipped off the stones, followed by her left, and she fell fast and hard. Time slowed down  as she flew through the air, bouncing repeatedly against the face of the cliff. Two, three times she slammed into the wall. Her tunic caught on a stone and ripped nearly off. On the fifth time, another jagged edge caught her boot and tore it from her foot and twisted her body until she fell headfirst toward the ground. She landed on her back at the edge of the road below with a sickening thud.

Mary screamed.

 

Buy Links: UNIVERSAL LINK https://books2read.com/u/mlW1rq 

 Amazon  https://www.amazon.com/Promise-Made-Susan-Leigh-Furlong-ebook/dp/B08DYZM2D6/ref=sr_1_6?dchild=1&keywords=Susan+Leigh+Furlong&qid=1598989549&s=digital-text&sr=1-6

Barnes and Noble    https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/by-promise-made-susan-leigh-furlong/1137427006?ean=9781509232284

Ibooks  https://books.apple.com/us/book/by-promise-made/id1526065222

Kobo (This link with be available for By Promise Made after 9/23.) https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/steadfast-will-i-be

Goodreads https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/52209069-steadfast-will-i-be?from_search=true&from_srp=true&qid=EBE51N2MZt&rank=1

Author Bio:

Susan Leigh Furlong was born in the middle of a blinding spring snowstorm at the University of Michigan, which forced her mother to walk across campus in the snow to the hospital while in labor. She moved six times to various big cities across the country before the age of fourteen, but at college she met and married her love and moved to his small hometown in southern Ohio where she taught first grade and fourth grade and raised her children who did not have to change schools even once.

After performing in her first community theater play, she quickly realized that she wanted to play ALL the parts, which is exactly what a writer gets to do. She co-wrote, The Twelve Seats at the Table. Now along with writing sketches for adults and children, she also performs and sings with a music and drama ministry, LightReaders.

Her love of history led her to write two plays about her now hometown, performed in readers theater style by local citizens with nearly 100 antique photos displayed on a screen. She then wrote two historical non-fiction books about her town’s people and history published by Arcadia Publishing.

Susan first discovered romance novels when she won a copy of Velvet Song by Jude Deveraux at the local bookstore. She reads all varieties of books, but historical romance is forever her first choice.

Steadfast Will I Be and By Promise Made are her first works published by The Wild Rose Press. A third one is in the editing stage.

 

Website https://www.susanlfurlong.com/

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

Twitter https://twitter.com/FurlongLeigh

Email: SusanLeighFurlongwriter@gmail.com

Five Star Reviews

 N.N.LightsBookHeaven.com

“By Promise Made is a historical romance I couldn’t put down. I have read a lot of books dealing with Queen Mary of Scots, but this story puts a new spin on the young queen. From the first page, I was transported to medieval Scotland. The descriptive narration is so well done, I sniffed the air and heard the sounds of everything going on in By Promise Made. The plot moves at a great pace with plenty of twists and turns. Told in multiple POV’s, the reader gets a secret glimpse into what motivates characters which I adored. The characters themselves are so expressive, I instantly connected with them. My favorite character has to be Katherine. Her heart wars with her sense of duty which brought such a depth to her. Start to finish, By Promise Made, is a brilliant historical romance and one I highly recommend!”

Marilee Lake: “By Promise Made is a wonderfully written story. Hugh and Kit both have to face personal flaws to have a future together. Set in Scotland it offers an authentic glimpse into troubled times during the reign of the infant Queen Mary.”

Stephen Wright: “Susan Leigh Furlong has added a second installment in her series of romance and adventure novels. This story moves along briskly and interweaves historical persons and fictional characters into a powerful love story. You can embrace these characters and really feel their passion along with them. A great story!”

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

Author Interview with Terry Korth Fischer & New Release: Gone Astray – GIVEAWAY!!

Please help me welcome today’s guest, Terry Korth Fischer…

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

I have lived in Texas most of my adult life, although I was born in South Dakota. When I was a child, our family moved often, but we always spent summers visiting our grandparents in Nebraska. I have wonderful memories of those times. To this day, Eastern Nebraska holds a special place in my heart and is the setting for much of my writing.

Where did you get the idea for Gone Astray?

A dozen years ago, I wrote a short story a month to share it with my sister, mother, and a few cousins. They did the same. Some of us were writers; the others were good sports. As you can imagine, over time, one by one, they dropped out. My challenge was to continue to write without the family commitment. Writing a novel was the answer. I read a lot of mysteries—traditional, cozy, and thrillers. I thought, why not? I can do that. Right around the same time, a friend’s mother disappeared. One morning she was fine, and the next, she was gone without a trace. A missing woman is not the main story in Gone Astray, but it was the spark that started the whole creative process.

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

If I have to admit to anything, it would be to over-organizing. I like an outline before I begin and then write toward an ending. The novel’s shape flexes as the story grows and matures, and I’ve been known to toss the plan aside. I don’t think I could get started without one.

What actors would you like in the main roles if your book were made into a movie?

I don’t think I could cast the actors—especially Rory Naysmith, my protagonist. I hope I’ve written the characters so that readers see them in their mind’s eye, and they can select the perfect flesh-and-blood actor for each role. Of course, I picture each character before I write. The internet is full of movie and TV celebrity images. I cold-heartedly steal their pictures and post them in my scrivener software to stay inspired. 

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

My husband devours westerns. I would love to surprise him by writing one. Maybe, someday.

What is your favorite quote?

Years ago, I received a humorous greeting card. On the front, a cartoon hippo dressed in a tutu stood at the top of a platform, preparing to dive. Fifty feet below sat a half-filled paper cup. The caption read, “Nothing is obvious to the uninformed.” I love that. When you can’t imagine failure, how hard can any task be?

Are your characters based on real people, or did they all come entirely from your imagination?

All my characters have pieces I’ve taken from real people, not replicas as much as bits of attitude and personalities borrowed. The trick is to blend the traits into the fictional characters, so the models don’t recognize themselves.  

What do your friends and family think of your writing?

My whole family is supportive. It would be wonderful if they were readers, as well.

What character in your book are you least likely to get along with?

That’s easy. Marilyn Beauregard is a seventyish busy-body widow. With a flashy wardrobe, nosy tendencies, and nerves of steel—she’s been there; done that. Marilyn’s a gal that gets in your way for your own good—precisely the kind of person I would cross the street to avoid.

 

I want to thank you for having me here today.

My pleasure, Terry…thank you for being my guest!

#Giveaway!!

Terry is giving away a $15 Amazon Gift card to one lucky commenter!!

Blurb*

A heart attack sends detective Rory Naysmith reeling. Too young to retire, he accepts a position in small-town Winterset, Nebraska. Handed an unsolved truck hijacking case, and the assistance of a rookie, Rory sets out to prove he is still able to go toe-to toe with men half his age. When the body of a Vietnam veteran turns up, he dons his fedora and spit-shines his shoes. But before he can solve the murder, an older woman disappears, followed closely by a second hijacking. He doggedly works the cases, following a thread that ties the crimes together.  But can Rory find the mental and physical strength to up his game and bring the criminals to justice before disaster strikes?

Excerpt*

“Powell’s back,” he said to Esther.

She pushed off from the wall. “Thank you.” They stood toe to toe, Esther’s chin level with his eyes. “I think Sunny wants you.”

Rory looked in the dispatcher’s direction, his gaze passing over the security monitors on the way. On the center screen, Chief Mansfield’s face stretched from edge to edge. Clutching the phone to his ear with a beefy hand, he glared into the camera.

The chief wanted him. Rory’s mouth went dry. He swallowed hard as the first hit of adrenaline kicked in. Hot damn—it was about time!

Buy link(s) Gone Astray amazon https://amzn.to/2LHnlYI

Buy link Gone Astray Barnes & Noble https://bit.ly/3q5h4Wh

Bio*

Terry Korth Fischer writes short stories, mystery, and memoir. Her memoir, Omaha to Ogallala, released in 2019, S&H Publishing, Inc. and Gone Astray, her debut mystery, The Wild Rose Press, in 2021. Her short stories have appeared in numerous print anthologies and online magazines. Terry is a member of SinC, Pennwriters, Inc. and Clear Lake Area Writers. Transplanted from the Midwest, Terry lives in Houston with her husband and their two guard cats.

Contact links

Website: https://terrykorthfischer.com

Twitter: https://twitter.com/terryiswriting

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

Amazon Author Page: www.amazon.com/author/terrykorthfischer

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/14349440.Terry_Korth_Fischer

Book  Gem Author Page: https://www.bookgems.com/profile/tkfischer/

BLOG Website: https://www.terryiswriting.com

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Filed under Author Blog Post, giveaway, New Release

Love and Murder with Author Brenda Whiteside

Please help me welcome today’s guest and one of my author friends, Brenda Whiteside…

How do you feel about series books? I don’t read series exclusively, but when I find one I like, it’s like hitting the lottery. I want each book to be a story in itself, but I love steeping myself in a setting or a family or a culture. I love getting involved with characters who will appear in subsequent books, even if in minor roles.

Born and raised in Arizona, the setting was a natural choice for my Love and Murder Series. My cast of characters for the first three books came to me like they’d been hanging around, waiting for me to notice them. I committed for five books to my publisher…and that’s the contract I got. Yikes! Set in stone. With only three storylines in my head, I dug in and tried not to worry about books four and five.

Luckily, someone emailed me after reading book one and commented that they hoped Penny (nick-named the Black Fairy for her Goth style) would have her own book. Book four took shape. I had no idea when she did her walk-on part in book one what a past she’d had—thirteen years hiding from a murderous FBI agent hired by a presidential candidate. And they come after her in book four, The Power of Love and Murder.

Unfortunately, no one came forward with a comment to get my muse inspired for book five. As is the usual way I work, the two main characters stepped forward, but their stories were hard to squeeze out of them. As it turns out, the blood, sweat, and tears of wringing out a story for book five proved worth it. The Deep Well of Love and Murder is one of my most complicated plots to date, and I managed to bring in all the main characters from the first four books.

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I agree, Brenda. I love series. And yours is a great one. I have read most of the books in the series and plan to read the ones I haven’t. Thanks so much for joining me!

If you haven’t read the Love and Murder Series, now is the time. Books 1 and 5 are on sale for $.99 and books 2, 3, and 4 are on sale for $1.99:

The Art of Love and Murder

When the past and present collide, Lacy discovers her future mired in secrets, threats and murder.

Southwest of Love and Murder

Writing murder mysteries is all in a day’s work until an obsessed fan brings Phoebe’s stories to life.

A Legacy of Love and Murder

Inheriting an Austrian Castle is an Alpine fairytale for August, until someone begins killing the heirs.

The Power of Love and Murder

Penny’s secrets can ruin a presidential contender, got her family murdered…and mark her as the next hit.

The Deep Well of Love and Murder

A vengeful ex-husband isn’t the only obstacle to happiness for Laura Katz and Randy Silva…a high stake, bloody fight for his land puts them at risk.

BOOKS ON SALE AT AMAZON

BOOKS ON SALE AT BARNES & NOBLE

BOOKS ON SALE AT iTUNES (APPLE)

Brenda Whiteside is the author of suspenseful, action-adventure stories with a touch of romance. Mostly. She and her husband are gypsies at heart having lived in six states and two countries. For now they’ve settled in Central Arizona, but won’t discount the possibility of another move in their future. They share their home with a rescue dog named Amigo. While FDW is fishing, Brenda writes.

Visit Brenda at https://www.brendawhiteside.com

Or on FaceBook: https://www.facebook.com/BrendaWhitesideAuthor

Twitter: https://twitter.com/brendawhitesid2

She blogs and has guests: https://brendawhiteside.blogspot.com/

Amazon Author Page: https://www.amazon.com/-/e/B003V15WF8

Goodreads Author Page: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/3972045.Brenda_Whiteside

BookBub: https://www.bookbub.com/authors/brenda-whiteside

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

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Filed under Author Blog Post, Ebook Deal, For Writers, New Release

February Featured Books – Find New & Amazing Authors!!! #AHAgrp #BookWorm #AmReading #Ebooks

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

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Sheriff Layton didn’t want the responsibility of protecting Gwen Standish, an unclaimed mail-order-bride, from harm in his town. But could he keep his own self-interest from interfering?

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After one concussion too many, Ben Leit is done as the NFL’s golden boy quarterback. Then his father, who was about to expose a bombshell sports scandal, is murdered.

Mimi Fitzroy, CIO for Rex Sports International, panics as she discovers thousands of stolen emails that prove Rex is breaking federal laws—big time. As Ben and Mimi work together to find a killer, they also find a connection they weren’t expecting and didn’t want.

They are headed for an explosive showdown in Seattle…and not everyone will walk away.

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2018 MAGGIE Winner – Georgia Romance Writers
“Bridges of Madison County” meets “Norma Rae”
An impossible choice between duty, desire, and faith – and the wrong decision could cost her everything.
No one can understand Helen Hodges’s burning need to have a child, a need she’s abandoned in her childless marriage. But when David Drummond, the local textile mill owner, visits her small South Carolina town, those repressed yearnings come forth again, deepening her discontent as she falls in love with him.

But David’s appearance brings escalating union and racial tensions to the town, and Helen is torn between her Catholic faith, her duty to her husband, and her growing desire to be with David. Overrun with guilt, she renounces her lover and chooses to remain with her husband. But when she learns some life-changing news, she must rush to tell David before he leaves town, and her life…forever.

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It’s the summer of 1962, middle of the Cold War, and the O’Brien family has moved off-grid to the Mojave Desert in Southern California. After all, the desert has to be a safer place to raise a family than the crime-ridden city, and there they can build a new future. But evil also stalks dusty desert roads, and eight-year-old Nonni finds herself harboring a terrible secret: Only she can identify the predator who has been terrorizing the community. And he knows where she lives.

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Rodeo star Dillon McCoy comes home to the mountains of North Carolina to lick his wounds and take over running the family ranch, the Lazy M, unaware danger awaits. Diana Thompson is having doubts about her engagement to Trent Sawyer. Needing time away, she agrees to leave Chapel Hill and spend Thanksgiving with her friend Jenn at her ranch. When Diana and Dillon meet, neither can deny their attraction, but both must resolve past relationships before giving in to their desire. Danger lurks after Dillon turns down an anonymous offer to purchase the ranch. And when a body is found, Dillon is determined to discover who wants the McCoy land bad enough to commit murder. Can he and Diana elude the killer while the sparks of their newfound love grow?

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“A man who desires revenge should dig two graves.” -Anonymous
The gated mansion on Orcas Island was built as a refuge for a timber baron’s family. The Temples enjoy insulating barriers of wealth for generations. But the heirs sense of security is brutally shattered when a mysterious madman stalks family members stoking defensiveness and fear. Enter Detective Brock Thompson with the Seattle Police Department who strives to track down and stop the perpetrator as threats against the family escalate. Along the way the detective unearths Temple family secrets that were never meant to see the light of day. Thompson struggles to overcome his own phobias while investigating a darkness that nearly envelopes the Temples.

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When the train US Marshal Reese Calhan is riding on explodes, he is one of two survivors. Trouble is, the other survivor is the woman who betrayed him years ago. A woman he thought was dead. This time he will not fall prey to her wiles. He’ll see the vixen jailed for her crimes if it kills him. Recovering from a recent jilting and now a train explosion, Shanna Johnston has no idea why the handsome stranger insists he knows her and calls her by another woman’s name. His heated looks and knowing kisses spark a fire in her she cannot ignore–even as her own mysterious past is closing in.

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Returning home from another trip abroad, Collin Crawford, met the enchanting governess of his two precocious nieces. He felt drawn to her immediately and thought she had as well. Now he must right a terrible wrong – and do so without damaging their fragile relationship.

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Click Here for More Info

When a tyrant in stilettos replaces her beloved boss, and her ex snags her coveted job, teacher Dana Narvana discovers there are worse things than getting dumped on Facebook. Time for the BFF advice squad, starting with Dana’s staunchest ally, Alex—hunky colleague, quipster, and cooking pal extraordinaire. But when the after-hours smooching goes nowhere, she wonders why this grown man won’t make up his mind.

Alex Bethany’s new lifestyle gives him the confidence to try online dating. What he craves is a family of his own until a life-altering surprise rocks his world. He knows he’s sending Dana mixed messages. Alex panics when he thinks he’s blown his chance with his special person. From appetizers to the main course will these two cooking buddies make it to dessert?

Funny and bittersweet, Dana and Alex’s story will have you rooting for them.

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With her stepfather’s sudden death, Lady Anastasia Covington goes from living a privileged lifestyle to selling vegetables in the village marketplace in the blink of an eye. Alone and at the mercy of her nefarious stepsister, she yearns for love and acceptance.

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Ivy Pierce is a Cupid who prides herself on doing her job well. Except when it comes to a certain human male, Grant Crawford. Each time she’s supposed to shoot her arrow into his heart, her stomach hurts, her chest hurts, and she feels….sad. Cupids are never sad.

Humans who are not looking for love only get three chances to find it. And after Ivy sabotages Grant’s last chance, her boss, Aphrodite, sends her to earth to right her wrong. She has until Valentine’s Day to help him find his soul mate.

But the more she’s around him, the more she wants him for herself, even though she knows that can never be. A Cupid and a human? Unheard of.

As V-Day draws closer, can she sacrifice her own happiness to help the man she loves find his?

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Author Interview with Jayne York ~ New Release: Midnight Acquisition

Please help me welcome today’s guest, Jayne York…

 

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

I’m originally from the flat lands of Nebraska, but I was raised in the Rocky Mountains, a tiny hamlet called Coal Creek Canyon. Now I live and work in upstate NY.

Where did you get the idea for ‘Midnight Acquisition”?

I’ve always loved the idea of opposites attracting. God knows, it’s happened to me. In this book I wanted to explore the ability people have to justify their choices, primarily those that have the ability to bring them a fulfilling existence. There are times in everyone’s life when we choose to do something we know is going to hurt and do it anyway. My characters are caught between pain and joy. The story lies in their choices and the outcome of them. 

Why did you choose this genre (is it something you’ve written in before)?

I’d never written action scenes and thought a good chase was a challenge. It was harder than I expected to keep up the pace and the excitement while staying in character.

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

I’ve been a jeweler for over 40 years. The temptation to delve into the technical aspect of the craft was almost overpowering. At the same time I didn’t want to dumb down the representation of what it takes to work in that industry. It was a fine line and I hope people are intrigued by what I’ve revealed.

What was your first job?

I was a late surprise to my parents and my siblings were out of the house by the time I was old enough to be helpful. So my first job was chief tool-schlepper for my father. It was unpaid and expected. I probably complained, but you can bet that I loved being the center of his attention.

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

Procrastination. I fight it every day.

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

My computer, an internet connection, and a solar powered generator.

What do you want your tombstone to say?

“Given the circumstances, she did her level best.”

 

Below is a letter I received from, if you can believe it, one of the main characters in my newest book, “Midnight Acquisition.” I know. I mean the cheek of the man!

2/1/21

Dear Ms. Jayne York,

My name is Becket Ford, and I’m a thief. I’ve always been a thief. But you know that, don’t you, Ms. York?

A friend of mine sent me a copy of your newest novel, “Midnight Acquisition.” Great title and cover art, by the way. I’m not sure whether I should pat you on the back…or sue you for libel. You make it tough for a hard-working man like me to make a living. I’d love to know who the hell your sources were, though. I’d like to get to know them a little better, if you get my drift.

I’ve got to admit that I was astounded by the way you crawled inside my head and dissected how my lifestyle came into being. It was like you bugged my life and picked out the most embarrassing, intimate, and crazy funny things that happened to me during my career. Thank God, the things that could get me arrested in ten European countries, you left out. Perhaps the most shocking and frankly frightening aspect of your book was detailing the methods I used to lift the Rochambeau family’s necklace. Do I get any points for the way I wrapped up that particular job?

I say frightening because most people consider themselves safe and protected from people like me. You see, people, even people in a business as security-sensitive as a major jewelry store, often fall prey to the mindset of “this will never happen to me.” I’m here to tell all you complacent and lackadaisical business people—it can, and it will happen to you if you’re foolish enough to take that attitude. But I’m also of the mindset that there isn’t a lock that can’t be picked or a system that can’t be beaten given the right time and intelligence. Of course, it doesn’t hurt when the thief has a lifetime of practice to draw upon.

As to your dialogue, most of it might as well be direct quotes from recorded conversations. Rest assured, I’ve scrubbed all my residences, ditched all previous identities, and dumped all my vehicles. This stunt of yours, this book, is costing me big time. My girlfriend, Juliette, is pissed, intimating that information like yours could only come from an old lover. Or worse yet, a current one. I’m in constant trouble, as you can imagine.

I hesitate to give you her phone number. Calling her will only make my life harder. Regardless, with sources like yours, you won’t have a tough time finding it.

Here’s to your career as a stalker. In the future, find someone else to pick on.

Sincerely,

Becket Ford, “former” pickpocket and jewel thief.

Order now on Amazon

BLURB:
Juliette Rochambeau was heartbroken when the boy she loved ran from South Carolina. Fifteen years later, she returns to her hometown to appraise her family’s historic gem-encrusted necklace. Becket Ford is a thief whose regret over leaving Juliette behind tears at his heart. His remorse, however, must take a back seat when a sadistic puppet master forces him to use their connection to steal the necklace or die trying. As they both vie for possession of the priceless jewels, lingering desire and emotion from years ago explode back to life. But escaping a madman and finding a future free of their past may just be a fantasy… 

EXCERPT:
“Hello, Jules.” His lips quirked up, and she took a hesitant step toward him as if he’d pulled on an invisible thread. A swarm of bees erupted in her chest. He stood, and she couldn’t help herself; she took him in from hair to soft leather loafers. Their gazes locked. His startling gray eyes should have been cool given the color, but the emotion swimming in their depths held her fixed in place. Riveted. The silvery center rimmed in a blue so dark it was nearly black, and thick lashes, a lush sable brown like the roots of his hair. This Beck was as familiar as home and at the same time different as night from day. Gone was the boyish promise of good looks, and in its place, a devastatingly handsome man. The shoulders she used to love were broader, his waist honed. The flat stomach she’d caressed with curious, questing fingers was now an impressive six-pack of muscle revealed by the cling of his T-shirt. His chest, when he drew in a deep breath, strained the white fabric. Her body seemed to disconnect from her mind, and the power of speech deserted her. When she finally mustered the wherewithal to reply, her voice resembled the grate of a rusty screen door. “What are you doing here?” She cleared her throat. “I mean, hello yourself. I didn’t know you were back in Charleston.” She fought the urge to sling herself across the distance and jump into his arms. Her fists clenched to drag back control. Pull yourself together, Juliette. He trashed your stupid heart and didn’t think twice.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
I can’t resist the call of a great story. As the child of a world-class machinist and a frustrated artist, I learned early on the joy of creating handcrafted jewelry. Each piece, like every customer, has its own tale to tell. You’ll find them, collected like pearls in a strand, inside my steamy contemporary romance and edge-of-your-seat romantic suspense novels. Like my one-of-a-kind pieces of jewelry, the heroines in my books are rare, desirable and priceless. Their hearts can only be won by sexy, formidable heroes. ~*~ Find me online at: http://JayneYork.com

 

 Website: JayneYork.com

Blog: JayneYork.com/What’s On My Mind

Email: Jayne@JayneYork.com

Twitter: @JayneYorkAuthor

Facebook: JayneYorkAuthor

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My New Release – Sweet Fantasy Valentine’s Day Short Story – Cupid’s Beau

I’m pleased to share my re-release of Cupid’s Beau through The Wild Rose Press – Just in time for Valentine’s Day! 

#WRPbks
#AHAgrp
#ShortStory
#BookWorm
#Valentine’s Day

Fun Fact:

I love to create fictional locations for my stories, and I always try to attach some kind of meaning to them. For Cupid’s Beau, I set it in Wisconsin because I wanted it to be a wintry setting and because my favorite NFL team is the Packers. For the name of the town I chose Castleville. It’s a play on Castle Rock, from Stephen King novels, and a town I lived in as a child for a brief, idyllic time, Cassville, Missouri. (Technically, we didn’t really ‘live’ in Cassville. We lived in some odd Bermuda triangle type location that was a mash up of Exeter, Washburn and Cassville, but we attended Cassville schools, so that’s what I went with 😊)

 

Blurb:

Ivy Pierce is a Cupid who prides herself on doing her job well. Except when it comes to a certain human male, Grant Crawford. Each time she’s supposed to shoot her arrow into his heart, her stomach hurts, her chest hurts, and she feels….sad. Cupids are never sad.

Humans who are not looking for love only get three chances to find it. And after Ivy sabotages Grant’s last chance, her boss, Aphrodite, sends her to earth to right her wrong. She has until Valentine’s Day to help him find his soul mate.

But the more she’s around him, the more she wants him for herself, even though she knows that can never be. A Cupid and a human? Unheard of.

As V-Day draws closer, can she sacrifice her own happiness to help the man she loves find his?

Excerpt:

He helped Gretchen into her coat and walked her to her car. She hesitated before climbing inside the door he held open. Did she expect a goodnight kiss? Snow had started, and he wanted to get back in, so he leaned forward. She lifted her lips, and he gave them a quick kiss. “Goodnight, Gretchen. I had a nice time.”

Her expression showed disappointment, but she didn’t voice it. She slid in the driver’s seat. He closed the door and watched while she backed out of the parking spot and headed down the road.

Before going in, he glanced down the street. A woman was outside a small cottage half a block away. Was that Ivy? What was she doing outside, in the dark, with a blizzard brewing?

None of his business. He turned toward the restaurant, but didn’t go in. What if something was wrong? If she was hurt? How would he feel if he didn’t at least go check on her? Cursing under his breath, he whirled and stalked down the sidewalk to her house.

“Ivy? What are you doing out here?”

She turned to him, her eyes wide. She wore a white coat with a fur hood framing her face. “Grant! Hi. Isn’t it beautiful?”

He blew into his hands and rubbed them briskly together. “It’s freezing. Are you out of your mind?”

She closed her eyes and stuck out her tongue, trapping a snowflake and swallowing. She looked at him. “You try it. It’s wonderful.”

He nearly groaned with irritation. “I don’t have time—”

She took his hand, her soft, gloveless skin warm on his. “Just try it.”

Letting out a heavy sigh, he groaned again. The sooner he acquiesced, the sooner he could leave. He stuck out his tongue. Icy snowflakes drifted into his mouth. Nope. He still didn’t get it.

She squealed. “Wasn’t it great?”

Her green eyes sparkled, the pink in her cheeks making her look…heart stoppingly lovely.

He hadn’t seen anyone show such pure joy in…well, ever. Especially in something so insignificant. He looked up into the sky. Snow drifted down from the blanket of blackness. The Heavens dumping an icy wonderland on Earth. Nature was amazing. While he didn’t exactly share Ivy’s enthusiasm, maybe it wasn’t so insignificant after all.

Kindle

Nook

Apple Books

 

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Author Interview with Nancy Brashear ~ New Release: Gunnysack Hell

Please help me welcome Nancy Brashear. Her new release with The Wild Rose Press, for which I was the editor, is a fantastic read. You’ll definitely want to grab a copy.

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

I’m a California girl, born in Santa Monica. However, I lived most of my childhood in the desert, my teens in a ski resort in the mountains, the majority of my adulthood in the San Gabriel Valley. And now I’ve cycled back to the beach where I have a lovely view of Catalina Island from my office (the gazebo in the breezy corner of the yard!) where I spend a lot of time writing. I live there with my husband (my high school sweetheart) and our rescue dog, Goldie Licks. Our three grown children and their families, which include seven busy grandgirls ranging in age from five to twelve, visit often.

Tell us a little about how the book came together

“The Challenges of Writing Gunnysack Hell, a Book with Rotating POVs”

Gunnysack Hell, my first psychological thriller, was inspired by my childhood stint in the desert and something that happened to my family. I began writing it in third person and got about halfway through, but the story didn’t feel right. I began over, this time switching to first person, and things began to come together, but it wasn’t until I let the other family members tell their own stories that the novel was born.  Writing in first-person, rotating POVs, presented me with many technical challenges such as keeping individual voices for each character (and what each person knew and wasn’t telling others), making sure there was minimal overlap, and always moving the action forward. With the help of an excellent editor Ally Robertson (aka Alicia Dean), I was able to make sure that all the moving pieces worked. I’m gratified that the book has received well by readers.

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

From a technical writing viewpoint, I loved the complete cleverness of the suspense book, Gone Girl, with Amy as the ultimate believable and, as we find out, unreliable narrator. I loved how the author manipulated the points of view (along with the reader) through the forward/backwards chronology of the story. I loved the planted clues. Most of all I loved the wild ride that the reader was taken on, and I’d love to write a book like that.

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

I was a junior high and elementary school teacher before I moved into teaching at the university level. I have a Ph.D. in Education with concentrations in literacy development and children’s literature. I served as the Chair of Teacher Education working with new teachers at my university for twelve years before moving to the English Department where I taught Literature for Children and Adolescents and mentored students planning to become high school and college teachers for another decade. I love teaching. As Professor Emeritus, I still occasionally teach an online course I developed in the M.A. in English program and also serve on students’ portfolio committees.

What was your first paid job (other than babysitting or ironing shirts)?

My neighbor hired me to work as a soda jerk in her penny arcade in Big Bear Lake, California, when I was thirteen. I learned to make a mean cherry coke, root beer float, and malt from scratch! I’m also a whiz at making cotton candy!

What actors would you like in the main roles if your book were made into a movie?

I made a Pinterest page (https://www.pinterest.com/nancybrashear/writing-ideas-gunnysack-hell/) while I was writing Gunnysack Hell so that I kept a visual in my mind as I described the characters (Sean Connery, father; Loretta Young, mother; Barbara Stanwyck, grandmother; Jodie Foster, older sister; and Georgie Henly, younger sister).

What do you want your tombstone to say?

“Life is all about choices.”

Have you written any other books that are not published?

I’ve written two adolescent novels (sci-fi and historical fiction) and two adult novels (realistic fiction). They all need a lot of editing, but I’m hoping to bust some of them out into the world!

How did you come up with the title Gunnysack Hell?

The perpetrator (in his off-screen crimes) has been attacking women around the periphery of the Mojave Desert and leaving them in gunnysacks. Gunnysack Hell began as a working title and stuck.

Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?

That no matter how painful it is to do so, recognizing and speaking the truth will set you free. This is something one of the main characters has to do in order to free herself from the psychological bondage of silence.

Other bits about me …

  • I have eclectic tastes in music including rock and roll, jazz, classical, and musicals. For the last two years, our family has been caught up in the songs from Hamilton, and some of our grandgirls know all of the lyrics.
  • My favorite (well, most interesting!) place I’ve visited is Zimbabwe during a revolution during an election year there when I was teaching a course and had my family with me. We were almost hijacked on the way back to the airport.
  • In all my international travels, I haven’t visited Ireland (and I’m part Irish!). I’d like to visit there and track down some obscure relatives.
  • My favorite sports to watch are ALL of the Winter Olympics games!
  • I love assembling jigsaw puzzles.
  • My love language is making soup and sharing it.
  • I lived in a UFO Space Commune at Giant Rock with my family when I was in the second grade.

I enjoyed getting to know you better, Nancy. And thanks for the kind words!  

Enter Nancy’s Free eCopy Giveaway Drawing of Gunnysack Hell at her blog (ends February 26) by leaving your name and choice of the version you’d like: Mobi (Kindle), ePub (Nook), or [scrolling] PDF! Winners will also be mailed a postcard of Gunnysack Hell.

(https://www.nancybrashear.com/february-drawing-for-free-e-copy-of-brashears-gunnysack-hell-ends-feb-26/)

Blurb: “There’s more to fear in the desert than scorpions and rattlesnakes.” It’s the summer of 1962, middle of the Cold War, and the O’Brien family has moved off-grid to the Mojave Desert in Southern California. After all, the desert has to be a safer place to raise a family than the crime-ridden city, and there they can build a new future. But evil also stalks dusty desert roads, and eight-year-old Nonni finds herself harboring a terrible secret: Only she can identify the predator who has been terrorizing the community. And he knows where she lives.

Excerpt from Gunnysack Hell: Nonni – The Serpent

I read this morning that Donald Fricker was granted parole after serving twenty years in prison. Once I saw his name in print, the decades disappeared in the flick of a newspaper page. My childhood flooded back to eight-year-old me, too scared to identify him and save my family.

It was May of 1962. My family had recently moved to our new home, our grandparents’ one-room homestead cabin in the California high desert with tarpaper and chicken-wire lining the walls. It never occurred to me to ask my father why we had moved from our three-bedroom suburban home by the beach to “off the grid.”

All I knew was that we used kerosene lanterns, the chemical outhouse under the tall water tank, a wood- burning stove, and an old-fashioned ice-box that our father replenished with a big block of ice from Jolly’s Corner on his way home each day.

Tessa, my six-year-old sister, and I walked home alone, every school day, from the bus stop, a mile and a half down an isolated dirt road.

That’s when it happened, the thing that changed our family. I’ll never forget that day. I protected Tessa even though I broke all of my promises to Mama I’d made just the night before. To walk directly home from the bus stop, not to talk to strangers, and to stay away from open wells.

That afternoon, when the bus’s hissing air brakes signaled our stop, we leapt from the bottom step onto the dirt shoulder of the road.

I picked the perfect stone from the side of the road. It had to be small and round, with no sharp edges, and light enough to kick all the way home.

Tessa followed on my heels, talking my ear off, and stepping on the heel of one of my tennies. “Gave you a flat!”

“Back off!” I glared at her. Mama said those shoes were like gold, and we were to protect them. I gave the rock a punt and forged ahead.

Oblivious to things going on out there in the desert, we were lulled into a sense of safety and routine. Like Eve, we didn’t feel the danger around us until it was too late to escape. Instead, I should have been paying attention to the truck following us slowly.

Down the deserted road.

Yes, this is our story.

My story.

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

Check out Nancy’s short story… ONLY 99 cents!

Bio: Nancy Brashear lives in Orange County, California, with her husband, Patrick, and their rescue dog, Goldie, where her grown children and seven grandgirls have supported her writing adventures. A professor emeritus in English, she has published short stories, poems, academic articles, textbook chapters as well as website content and writing projects with educational publishers. Gunnysack Hell is her debut fiction novel and was inspired by a true-crime event. And, yes, she did live off-grid with her family in a homestead cabin in the Mojave Desert when she was a child. Visit www.nancybrashear.com to learn more about Nancy’s interests and writing projects (and to get a free prequel story, “Dare to Wish Upon a Star,” with Claire, the mother in Gunnysack Hell as a child).

Contacts:

Author website: www.nancybrashear.com

Author FB: www.facebook.com/nancybrashearauthor

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

Twitter: https://twitter.com/drnancybrashear

BookBub: https://www.bookbub.com/profile/nancy-brashear

Amazon Author Page: https://www.amazon.com/Nancy-Brashear/e/B083JNZGPR%3Fref=dbs_a_mng_rwt_scns_share

GoodReads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/dashboard

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

 

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Author Olive Balla – Code Murder

I am delighted to welcome today’s guest, talented author, Olive Balla…

Whack-a-Mole Killer

As a writer of mystery and suspense, I have always kick started my novels with a single murder. Lately, however, I find myself wondering if I should sprinkle my plotline more generously with random corpses. Does “the more the merrier” apply to literary murders? Like that breakfast stewed-prune-conundrum: Are three enough…six too many?

I enjoy cranking out mayhem as much as the next mystery writer, but the question remains: would killing off a swath of characters heighten tension, or merely normalize it? Might an inundation of innards and gore compel my Reader to chew her nails from story’s beginning to end, or make her yawn? Worse, would it tempt her try to figure out how to get her money back?

I tap an index finger against my chin.

As every psychologist knows, with repetition, the bizarre becomes the norm. No doubt a survival mechanism at its root, even the strangest behaviors and most horrific experiences, if repeated often and long enough, ooze amoeba-like into the predictable category. And as every suspense writer on the planet knows, not only is a predictable book a waste of their Reader’s time, but it emblazons a scarlet P on the author’s chest.

What if the real question is a matter of genre? Perhaps, as a pop-up ad on one of my social media feeds recently suggested, I should take a hard look at writing Horror. I stare into space as my inner Stephen-King-wannabe chews over possible story lines.

“But Mystery and Suspense is where my voice belongs,” my Inner Writer points out. “It scratches an itch like no other genre.”

“True,” I respond. “What do you think?” I ask my Antagonist.

“We should kill everyone,” she says. “…especially Miss Prissy Protagonist.”

“Typical.” My Protagonist shakes her head. “Gratuitous mayhem never won the day…heavy on gratuitous.”

My shoulders relax, and I stop grinding my teeth. Whether I decide on a single murder or insert a serial killer into my story, whether I dispose of one character or take out a million – I must make the action plausible. It must make sense. And it must offer a complete, logical answer to the question: Why?

I can build a world of my choosing. To paraphrase William Bonney, aka Billy the Kid, I’ll only ever kill the ones that need killing.

Fingers to keyboard, I begin:

A shot rang out at the same instant chips of bark flew from the tree behind which McLaren crouched…

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

Thank you, Olive. Your articles are always so entertaining. Love this! And congrats on this prestigious award…

WRITER’S DIGEST

1st Annual Personal Essay Awards

Congratulates

Olive Balla

on being awarded

5th Place

with the personal essay titled

The Flower Pot

_________

Amy Jones

Editor-in-Chief

2020

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

Check out Olive’s fabulous mystery novel…

Feisty sixty-year-old twins Dix and Lil Ruiz share a house, but little else. When Dix witnesses the murder of a software-coding guru known for exposing cyber-crime, she is determined to find the killers while her sister warns against getting involved. Suddenly catapulted into a feud between a crew of cold-blooded cybercriminals and a mob boss, the twins must fight for their lives. But how can they survive when both sides want them dead?

Excerpt: Dix stepped onto the porch, her hand raised as if to stop the speeding car. “Henry, look out,” she yelled. A puzzled look on his face, Henry turned toward the vehicle just as it smashed into him. The force of the blow catapulted him over the car’s hood and sent him airborne with his arms and legs flopping like a man-sized rag doll. He landed on the asphalt with a muffled whump, then lay still. Its tires spinning on the asphalt, the weaponized car fishtailed a couple of times then shot up the street, leaving behind the smell of burning rubber.

Buy Link: https://www.amazon.com/s?k=books+by+Olive+Balla&ref=nb_sb_noss

 

Author Bio:  Olive Balla, author of three suspense mysteries and a firm believer in the adage that it is never too late to follow your dreams, began writing for publication at the age of sixty. A fifth-place winner in the 2020 international Writer’s Digest Personal Essay contest, she nears completion of her fourth novel titled Murder in Amber. Ms. Balla lives in a village in New Mexico with her husband and their bossy dog Dazee. Read her prize-winning essay in her blog at: www.omballa.com.

 

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Mrs. Spinney’s Secret by M. S. Spencer

Please help me welcome today’s guest, author M. S. Spencer….

Thirty years ago my family drove up for the first time to a small village in Maine for a week’s vacation. Thirty years later, we own a house in that village, and consider it home. That first year, however, was unique. We were met by the rental agent, who apologized for the chaos—Mel Gibson was making a movie in the village. We thought (and said), “Cool!” Turned out the apology was indeed in order. All activity had to stop while the cameras filmed, and parts of the tiny hamlet were off-limits to the lay folks. To this day my kids will stop a conversation by saying, “Cut!”

The movie, The Man Without a Face, premiered in 1993.

My second novel set in the village of Amity Landing takes its inspiration from that event.

Lights! Camera! Action! Hollywood comes to Amity Landing, trailing corpses

Blurb

What do you do when Hollywood takes over your tiny Maine village to make a movie?

Cassidy Beauvoir, chair of the board of overseers of Amity Landing, is ready to throw the bums out; that is, until she meets Jasper MacEwan, the director of American Waterloo: the Rout of the Penobscot Expedition. It’s instant attraction until a series of deadly incidents threatens their budding romance. Are the attacks directed at the movie crew or the townspeople?

As the two search for answers, the trail leads them to long-held secrets of the worst naval defeat of the American Revolution—including betrayal, murder, and a lost hoard of English gold.

Excerpt: Cassidy Meets the Toff

Cassidy decided she could safely ignore the sarcasm. “I think I just encountered the Toff.”

“You think? The man gives ‘demigod’ a whole new definition.”

“Okay. Greek hero with Samson’s locks and Julius Caesar’s nose?”

“That’s the chap. I’ve been ordered to introduce him to the Spinney house. Want to come along?”

She checked her watch. She didn’t have to open up the store for another couple of hours. “Sure.”

“Hop in.” They proceeded at a more sober pace past the row of tiny houses perched on the cliff above the bay and pulled in next to the green-shuttered Spinney house behind the McLaren. They walked down the steps and entered the kitchen. It looked the same as when Cassidy showed it to Sally, but the rest of the house had been transformed into Prospero’s cave. Black curtains covered all the windows—even the great bay ones looking out to sea. Equipment and captain’s chairs were strewn about, the original furniture pushed against the walls. Cassidy sucked in a breath. “Why did you need a real house if you were going to turn it into a studio?”

“Oh, we’ll move stuff around as needed. There’s Digby.” He led her over to the current heartthrob of dozens of middle-aged women. The actor was standing in the middle of the room, eyes shut, with a hand over his heart.

“Digby?”

He started. “Who disturbs me in my cogitation?” His round BBC tones resonated in the room. He opened his eyes. “Oh, it’s you, MacEwan. What do you want?”

“I would like you to meet Miss Cassidy Beauvoir.” He made it sound as if he were doing Toff-Smythe a favor of the highest order. “Cassidy? This is Digby Toff-Smythe, star of our little project.”

“Little? My dear boy, this will be the toast of Sundance, of Cannes, of Venice. It has all the makings of my best effort yet.” He smiled graciously at Cassidy. “Are you with the crew, Miss Beauvoir?”

Jasper jumped in. “No, she’s the president—”

“Chairman.”

“Chairman of the board of overseers of this town.”

“I see.” He shook her hand. “It’s always gratifying to connect with the local establishment. Are you here to present me with the keys to your municipality?”

This question met with astonished silence. Finally, Jasper—his voice rather desperate—added, “And she owns Mindful Books. It’s a bookstore in Penhallow. I am pumping her for recommendations for nearby watering holes. I know you prefer to avoid the canteen—all those fawning stagehands.”

Buy Links:

Books2Read

Amazon  ITunes   Barnes&Noble   Walmart  

KOBO   Google Play   Thalia  

Goodreads   BookBub

It will also be available on Overdrive, Indigo, and other online stores.

About the Author

Librarian, anthropologist, research assistant, Congressional aide, speechwriter, nonprofit director—M. S. Spencer has lived or traveled in five of the seven continents. She holds a BA from Vassar College, a diploma in Arabic Studies from the American University in Cairo, and Masters in Anthropology and in Library Science from the University of Chicago. All of this tends to insinuate itself into her works.

Ms. Spencer has published fourteen romantic suspense and mystery novels. She has two fabulous grown children and an exuberant granddaughter and currently divides her time between the Gulf Coast of Florida and a tiny village in Maine.

Social Media Links

Blog  Facebook  Twitter  Instagram  Pinterest 

Linked In GoodReads  Bookbub

 

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“10 Moments That Changed My Life” by Monique DeVere ~ New Release: Matt’s Pregnant Runaway Wife

#AHAgrp

Please help me welcome author friend Monique DeVere with the moments that changed her life, and her latest release, Matt’s Pregnant Runaway Wife. I’ve read the book and it’s a fabulous romantic read. 

10 Moments That Changed My Life

  1. Moving to the UK with my parents and meeting my future husband at age 16, then marrying him when we were both 19. We celebrated our pearl wedding anniversary in December last year. 30 years of marriage. Not too shabby.
  2. The birth of my firstborn. Up until that point in my life, I was going to be a doctor but I had no understanding of how much I’d love this little person at first glance, and never want to let her out of my sight.
  3. Swapping my doctor future for a mummy-and-author future. I can’t remember a time when I wasn’t creating stories to entertain my siblings. So, deciding to pursue a writing career felt like a secret dream come true. Especially when a couple of my stories were read on local radio.
  4. The years spent pursuing the dream of writing for Harlequin Mills & Boon. I wouldn’t say it was wasted time—although on occasion I’ve felt that way. I have to honour those years because the time spent targeting that market taught me how to write romance with emotional depth. If I could go back and speak to my younger self, I’d say: the first full-length book you ever wrote was a romantic mystery. Stick to that!
  5. Giving up the dream of the Big Publisher contract and concentrating on writing for The Kingdom instead. For the first time in my life, I feel truly fulfilled and satisfied with my genre.
  6. This may not be obvious, so I’ll state it. The births of each one of my other three children changed my life for the better. No one can prepare us for the depth of joy children bring to our lives. I cherish every moment of raising my children.
  7. The births of my three granddaughters, at which I was blessed to be present.
  8. The dreadful day we received the diagnosis that our seven-year-old had Acute Lymphoblastic Leukaemia. This was the saddest day of my life. What made it worse was the length of time it took before the doctors addressed my concerns. In the end, it took almost a month to get serious attention, and that was only because she began bleeding from her nose and her liver was grossly swollen. When the doctor asked me what I thought the diagnosis was, I told him I thought it was leukaemia. He said that while she had a lot of the symptoms, she didn’t have all of them so he was happy to tell me it wasn’t that. Then he went away and returned an hour later to say he was sorry, but I was right, our little girl did have leukaemia.
  9. When Meg came out on the other side of the chemo treatment. She is now 18 and a university student studying Digital Film Production & Screenwriting. So proud of her.
  10. My heritage as a Barbadian. It has given me the tools I need to write my new series of Christian fiction set on the island of Barbados.

 

When an award-winning pastry chef marries a Sicilian-born restaurateur in a whirlwind romance she thinks she has it all…until he refuses to introduce her to his family.

Blurb: 

This might be the biggest risk of her life.

When her whirlwind romance with gorgeous Sicilian-born restaurateur Matteo Giordano culminates in marriage, award-winning pastry chef Sabrina Newton-Giordano thinks she has it all…until Matt refuses to introduce her to his family. Sabrina desires their baby to have the same love she knew from her grandparents, but Matt’s outright rejection of his family could result in their baby never knowing his or her paternal grandparents, something Sabrina will not accept. Until that is, she hits on the perfect solution—run away to Sicily to meet the in-laws!

Matt wants only one thing—to keep his wife and unborn child safe. For a man intent on never allowing anything to stand in his way, it should be an easy task. But Matt hasn’t bargained on how stubborn his irresistible, runaway wife can be. Despite his stern objections, she’s determined to form a relationship with his family. He knows, from past experience, they’d never accept her or the baby. Now Matt is torn between the urgent need to protect his wife and fear of causing her undue stress in her pregnancy.

Excerpt

Copyright © Monique DeVere 2020

Crystal Swan Publications

All Rights Reserved

She kept him on his toes, he’d give her that. From the moment he met her he’d known she was unique to any other woman. The first hint was when he’d arrived unexpectedly to check on his London restaurant. Everyone, except Sabrina, had nervously tripped over themselves in his presence. She’d simply continued to work as though his arrival was as insignificant as a dust mote drifting past her head. The second hint had knocked him the moment she glanced up and locked eyes with his. Something he’d never experienced before had happened. His body had responded to the instant connection in a way that had been shocking and potent. He’d decided right then to make her his. Even then, she hadn’t made it easy for him. She’d resisted their attraction, had flat-out refused to have drinks, dinner, or—her words—anything else with him. To say that she’d become a challenge he’d fixated on was to understate the level of his attraction for Sabrina.

Then one day, after weeks of him putting his best moves on her and about to admit defeat, a delivery arrived at his office. It was a beautifully presented slice of his favourite dessert along with a note that read: if you want more, come and get it! He was pretty sure the soles of his handmade Italian shoes left scorch marks on his office rug in his haste to get to Sabrina. The rest had been white-hot sizzling sexy, whirlwind, and incredible. And now here he was, fighting to keep his marriage from falling apart only after eleven-and-a-half months of wedded bliss.

Matt washed his hands at the kitchen sink, then rummaged in the under counter fridge.

He chuckled. “Surprise, surprise, nothing but dessert and fruit.”

Yep, one thing he could be sure of was that he’d always find some sort of dessert in their fridge at home, thanks to Sabrina’s never-ending effort to create new and exciting after-dinner treats. And, oh look, she had his favourite dessert sitting in a small yellow and white cake caddy, as though she’d somehow been expecting him. When he grabbed the container his gaze landed on the four red apples in a bowl on the shelf below, so he snagged one of those, too.

Available on Amazon KindleUnlimited and to purchase from Amazon.

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Author Bio

Monique DeVere grew up on a plantation on the beautiful island of Barbados, where her childhood was all about exploring and letting her imagination run free. She moved to the UK as a teen and soon fell in love at first sight with her amazing, strong-silent-type husband. They have four beautiful children and four incredible grandchildren.

Monique writes sweet ‘n’ spicy romance, and when she isn’t working on the next novel or movie script, she can be found spending time with hubby and family, armchair travelling, creating recipes, reading about health and nutrition, or working on her spiritual growth. She enjoys going for walks, gardening, or simply crazy-dancing around the house. Monique loves to hear from her readers. You can email her at monique@moniquedevere.com, or contact her by visiting her website: www.moniquedevere.com or blog: http://moniquedevere.blogspot.co.uk to learn more about her books. You can also visit her Facebook author page: https://www.facebook.com/moniquedevere or follow her on Twitter: @MoniqueDeVere or Instagram: authormdv

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