Category Archives: New Release

Author Interview with Katherine Grey and New Release: Honor Bound ~ #AHAgrp #Blog #Bookworm

Please help me welcome today’s guest, Katherine Grey…

 

Please tell us a little about yourself, where are you from? Where do you live now? Family? Pets?  I was born and raised in upstate NY and still live there. I still live on the same street and only a few houses away from the house I grew up in.  I have two cats – a male who likes to snuggle against my legs and feet no matter what I’m doing and a female we adopted from a shelter when she was a kitten. I think she was with a foster family that had dogs because she wags her tail all the time especially if she’s excited to see you or if you ask her if she wants a treat. I tell her she’s really a dog in disguise.

Where did you get the idea for Honor Bound? I hate to say it, but the idea for the book popped in my head one day. The only thing that I knew for certain was that the book would be part of a series revolving around a military unit consisting of a group of men with unusual abilities. It took a bit of brainstorming to get the plot ironed out.  What is the most difficult thing about writing a book? For me, the most difficult thing about writing a book is making the time to sit at the laptop and actually write. I have a day job and a family. I try to squeeze at least an hour of writing time in between when I get home from work and dinner time. It doesn’t always happen if I have errands or there’s a doctor appointment or something else comes up that has to be taken care after I get out of work.

Are there any tricks, habits or superstitions you have when creating a story?  I turn the laptop on and while it’s booting up, I get a big glass of water. After I’ve opened the word document of the story I’m writing, but before I start typing anything, I light a candle. I think of it as a signal to my brain that it time to get to work weaving the words together to make up the story.

Do you collect anything? Dust bunnies. Just kidding! Some people would say I collect books since I have so many. I collect Precious Moments figurines, but just the ones that come out around Christmas and are stamped with that year’s date.

What was your first job? I worked at a craft store while I was in college. It was a lot of fun. Unfortunately, it closed during my senior year.

What’s the main thing that you could get rid of in your life that would give you more writing time?  My day job. I like my job but I would have a lot more writing time without it.

What’s your favorite book of all time and why? I spent a lot of time thinking about how I would answer this question and finally came the conclusion that I can’t. I have so many books that I love for so many different reasons that I don’t think I could choose just one. What’s your favorite childhood book?  The Cat in the Hat by Dr. Seuss. I still have a copy on my bookshelf right now.

If you were stranded on a deserted island and you could have 3 (inanimate) objects, what would they be? Number one would be lip balm. My family says I’m addicted to it. Lol. The other two items would be paper and pen (provided I was stranded with the necessary provisions to survive like a knife/machete and a lighter) so I could write to my family even if they would never read the letters. If I was stranded with no provisions, then it’d have to be the knife/machete and lighter.

Would you rather have a bad review or no review?  While no writer wants a bad review, I think a bad one would be better than no review at all. I know of some people who buy books based on the bad reviews alone just to see if the book is really as terrible as the reviewer states. If you have no reviews, it’s possible readers will just pass your book on by because there are no reviews so maybe they think it’s not worth reading.

Have you written any other books that are not published?  I wrote a mystery a few years ago. I’m not sure I’ll ever publish it. I had a couple of people read it and they both told me they knew who the killer was by the third chapter so it obviously needs a lot of work.

How did you come up with the title?  Honor means a great deal to Lieutenant James Hawkins, the main male character in Honor Bound, so I wanted the title to reflect that.

How did your interest in writing originate?  I’ve always loved to read. As a child I always had a book with me, always begged my mom to go to the library so part of my interest originated in my love of books and the stories they held. I didn’t start writing until I was in college when I read a book that was assigned in a literature class. I hated the ending, everyone died or ended up miserable. I rewrote the end, saving the characters I liked and gave them a happy or happier ending. I showed it to a couple of friends who liked it and told me I should try writing my own book. I played around at it for a while, but didn’t start learning the actual craft of writing until 2009 or so. I had two books and a novella published by a small press within four years, but then life happened. I started writing again in 2019 when I realized how much I missed it.

 

 

When honor meets temptation…

Blurb:

California “Callie” St. John learned the hard way just how much one night of rebellion can cost. Determined not to repeat past mistakes, she tries to be the perfect daughter by volunteering with various charities and keeping everyone at arm’s length. After narrowly escaping a car bombing, she is forced to accept help from the one man who can get past her defenses, making her long for the impossible — letting him into her life…and her heart.

Lieutenant James “Hawk” Hawkins, a member of a Special Ops unit of soldiers with unusual abilities, is known for keeping his cool in any situation. Acting as a bodyguard to the daughter of one of DC’s mover and shakers is just one more mission like any other. When an enemy from his past targets the spoiled socialite, Hawk realizes she is more than she seems.

With his reputation on the line, he’s willing to risk everything to keep her safe. But succumbing to temptation isn’t an option…no matter how much he wants to give in.

Excerpt:

William St. John turned to his daughter. “After tonight’s events perhaps now you’ll take the threats against you seriously.”

“Those things could have happened to anyone. Before tonight any of them could have been a coincidence,” California argued.

Jimmy stared at her. Nobody could be that naïve. “There’s no such thing as coincidence.”

She glared at him, her eyes sparking with anger, showing exactly what she thought about the situation. “As I seem to have no option but to have you follow me around like a lost dog, let me be clear. I will not be changing my daily routine. You will be unobtrusive and remain in the background when I’m in public.” She ticked off her rules on her fingers.

Jimmy crossed his arms over his chest and waited for her to finish. Her slight British accent made her sound as though she was royalty giving orders to the peasants.

“Your presence won’t be needed when I’m at home or with friends. Understood?”

He took a step forward. “You listen to me, Duchess–”

“I’m not a duchess. If I were, you would address me as ‘Your Grace.’” She sounded even haughtier if that was possible.

I’m charged with your safety. I will be the one laying the ground rules,” he continued as if she hadn’t spoken. “So until any threat to you is removed, I’ll be sticking closer to you than your panties on a hot July night. Got it?”

Buy link(s):  Amazon – Honor Bound

Bio: Katherine Grey writes sexy sweet paranormal contemporary romances and historical romances set in the Regency period. When she’s not writing, she can be found up to her elbows in flour trying out new bread and cookie recipes. She’s also a champion procraftinator, spending more time than she should making cards and crocheting.

Find Katherine on Facebook at @AuthorKatherineGrey

Email her at Katherineg425@yahoo.com

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Filed under Author Blog Post, New Release

Ticket to True Love Multi-Author Series ~ #AHAgrp #Blog #ContemporaryRomance

Please help me welcome today’s guest, Jennifer Wilck and the other authors of her Ticket to True Love multi-author series. Such a clever idea. And the covers are fabulous! Sounds like a fantastic series. Congrats, ladies!

 

Thanks so much, Alicia, for hosting me on your blog today! Better Together in Boston is a contemporary romance that released on June 11. It’s part of the Ticket to True Love multi-author series. I’m excited to tell you a little about the book, as well as to share some of the other books in the series.

Anna Levinson has long since come to terms with the understanding that “having it all” is impossible if she wants a successful career. Despite being left at the altar twice, Ben Diamond still believes his soul mate is out there. A long-distance relationship isn’t what either of them has in mind, and Anna isn’t about to ruin another person’s dreams; however, giving each other up is harder than it looks.

Here are a few of my favorite lines from the story:

This was it. The moment she’d waited for and dreaded at the same time.

The seventh inning stretch.

Anna was not like the other women she’d grown up with and knew. She’d never dreamed of a happily ever after for herself. Her mom was strong and independent, and she was, too. Regardless of how much guilt Anna carried, she never felt the need to depend on a man, so marriage had never been one of her goals. And once she started achieving professional success, a relationship would just be one more thing pulling at her time.

But every time she came to a baseball game with her mom, there was always someone nearby who would lean over and kiss his or her partner while everyone else rose during the seventh inning stretch. As a child, she’d been fascinated. As a teen and a young adult, she’d been at first horrified and then a little envious. But as she matured, she decided it was stupid, especially if the couple was unlucky enough to be shown on the Jumbotron.

Seriously, who wanted their kiss broadcast to the world? It gave an intimate moment too much weight.

Buy Link: https://www.amazon.com/Better-Together-Boston-Springs-Contemporary-ebook/dp/B09432941B

Jennifer’s links:

Website: http://www.jenniferwilck.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Jennifer-Wilck-201342863240160/

Newsletter: https://www.jenniferwilck.com/contact.html#newsletter

Twitter: https://twitter.com/JWilck

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

Fun Fact: Boston is known for the “Freedom Trail,” but it also has an entire literary district, including the homes of famous authors and even a statue based on the story, Make Room for Duckling!

The most difficult thing about writing with other authors is making sure the things that carry through all our stories, such as the small town of True Springs, are consistently portrayed.

The best thing about writing with other authors is that I get the benefit of their knowledge and I have a built-in support system, whether it’s for blurb help or advertising.

And now, let me introduce you to the others!

Georgia Grace by Savannah Kade

Blurb: Equal parts determined and petrified, Grace is leaving her abusive boyfriend for good. Hopping on the the back of a stranger’s bike isn’t the worst decision she’s ever made. How can two broken and scarred hearts give in to love when they’ve each vowed never to lose themselves again?

Buy link: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B08CFSVYZ1/

Favorite Lines:  He’d woken up and everything he’d ever wanted, everything he was supposed to get, was gone. And he could never get it back.

Fun Fact:  I’ve been to every place they visit! Even the fictional towns. Ha!

Most Difficult Thing: Just making sure we had everything lined up!

Best Thing: Great ideas I got from reading the other stories.

FB: https://www.facebook.com/ReadSavannahKade

website: https://www.savannahkade.com/

Yearning in Yellowstone by Holland Rae

Blurb: It was supposed to be a summer road trip in an RV with old friends. She never expected the adventure to be love. Big skies may call to both of them, but work is waiting for Rhiannon and Nick has never claimed one place as home. They only have a few days to decide what’s worth risking and what they’re willing to live without…or they might just find that what matters most is already gone.

Quotes:

“It was the first national park,” he said. He hadn’t let go of her hand and she hadn’t pulled away. “Seems an auspicious place to run into each other, no?”

They were the same passes their group had used to get into Indiana Dunes, into Theodore Roosevelt National Park, into Cuyahoga. But this time, knowing that Nick would be joining them all for dinner, that she was seeing him again in just a few short minutes, they felt like tickets to a far greater adventure
This time, he was here with Rhiannon.

And that made all the difference.

“It’s yours. The whole sky, it’s yours.” 

Buy Link: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B08WKNRGD1/ref=dbs_a_def_rwt_bibl_vppi_i0 

Fun Fact: This story was very much written as my love letter to young women who are still trying to navigate the world and their place in it. The inspiration of a group of summer camp friends who have stayed in touch and grown up together came from my very own group of summer camp friends. We have traveled together, grown together, and continue to be part of each other’s lives, no matter how far away we move. 

Not only was Rhiannon’s relationship with her friends based on the real life friendship—and many of the real life conversations and experiences—of my own camp friends, but many of the stories in Yearning in Yellowstone are from camp, as well, if altered slightly. While nearly a decade has passed since I worked at a sleepaway camp, it was one of the most unique and challenging and exciting experiences of my life—and it definitely comes with stories. Camp taught me how to think on my feet and how to find joy in the in-between moments, and for that, I’ll be forever grateful. I’m also eternally grateful that I never have to deal with several dozen vomiting children again… 

Working With Other Authors:

The Ticket to True Love writing process has been nothing but wonderful. I love the excitement of seeing where each of the stories are going to be set and how each other blends the series rules with their own style and story. The series guides, with the water and the tickets, really gave me a chance to push the story and try new things and I enjoyed taking Yellowstone to a whole new level. Ironically enough, the summer camp where I actually worked isn’t very far from where True Springs can be found, which helped inspire the very start.  It’s also been so fun running parties and creating a community with such amazing authors surrounding romance and adventure and a little bit of the magic of love. 

Find Holland: 

Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/HollandRae 

Facebook Group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/196337010993469 

Twitter: https://twitter.com/RaeRomance 

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

TikTok: https://www.tiktok.com/@rubymayqueen?lang=en 

HollandRae.com 

Practically Persuaded in Pittsburgh by JB Schroeder

Blurb:

In this friends-to-lovers, interracial story with a small-town feel, Sadie agrees to a fake marriage for a good cause, but she has to fess up about other plans when Jake begins playing for keeps!

Amazon and Kindle Unlimited: https://amzn.to/34jiNht

A few favorite lines from the story:

“Are you offering me some kind of partnership? Just spit it out already.” Sadie didn’t have time for this, and Jake was cracked if he thought she had any kind of capital for some kind of family-ruining buyout. “I’m going to be late.”

“No—it’s bigger than that.” Jake sucked in a big breath. “I’m asking you to marry me.”

Sadie’s mouth dropped open. Her heart stuttered with shock and then recovered, as if Cinderella’s pumpkin carriage had appeared and then vanished all in the space of a second.

She barked out a laugh—because really, what other way was there to react? “You are out of your mind.”

“I’m completely serious.”

She scrunched up her face and peered at him. His hair was mussed, but his eyes were clear and he wasn’t muttering or drooling or frothing. Not drugs, not a psychotic episode, not even sleepwalking.

And sadly, most definitely not some romantic notion blown out of proportion as a result of one heart-stopping kiss seven years ago.

Fun Fact: I grew up in Pittsburgh but the Strip District has had a complete blossoming since I’ve been gone!

Most Difficult Thing: Keeping everyone excited and motivated!

Best Thing: The camaraderie and sharing of ideas.

www.JBSchroederAuthor.com

www.facebook.com/JBSchroederAuthor

www.instagram.com/jbschroederauthor/

www.goodreads.com/JBSchroeder

Sure to Fall in Sedona by Julie Strauss

Blurb:

Tiffani Lemmen worked hard to get clean. If she can stay out of trouble and away from men, she’ll inherit her grandmother’s fortune.

Danny Ibanez is the most promising young cop on the South Sedona police force. The law is black and white, and when you’re the son of the most crooked cop in Arizona, you follow the rules. All of them. The last thing Danny plans to do is fall for an ex-junkie with a criminal past.

Resisting each other is impossible. Falling in love with cost them everything.

Buy Link: https://amzn.to/34JUJ7s

Favorite lines:

She hit the water back-first. The basin was deeper than she expected, and the water came up over her face. The cold surprised her, and she opened her mouth to gasp. Water filled her mouth, and she choked on it. Suddenly, time sped up, and she struggled to stand up. Her clothes had grown heavy and waterlogged, and her flip-flops had fallen off, so her bare feet couldn’t get purchase on the slippery tiled bottom. She managed to struggle over onto her hands and knees, coughing and spitting out water.

She looked up at the two young men in front of the statue, who had stopped mid-makeout to gaze at her.

“Well,” observed one of them, “that’s one way to find your true love.”

Fun fact about the story:

After I wrote the initial draft of “Sure to Fall in Sedona,” I sent it to a cop friend of mine. She replied, “Did you actually research police work? Have you ever met a cop? Have you ever even seen a cop show?” I had to admit the truth: all I really know about police work was that one time I’d been out to lunch with a girlfriend of mine and their was a bachelor party in the room next to us and a stripper in a cop uniform showed up and stripped down to his g-string. I corrected the actual police work in the book, but I left in a few cracks about ogling handsome men in uniform. Like I’m gonna pass up that opportunity!

The most difficult part of writing with other authors: I admire the other writers so much, and I was pretty sure they made a mistake when they invited me to join them. I was (and still am!) afraid that I could never match their level of excellence.

The BEST part about writing with other authors: I loved that we were all working with similar parameters and coming up with such different stories. I think the experience made me a better writer.

Contact Links:

Website/Instagram/Podcast

 

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Filed under Author Blog Post, New Release

Free Range Killers & Murder Unrehearsed by Roxanne Dunn

Please help me welcome today’s guest, Roxanne Dunne…..

Free Range Killers

Bad things—sometimes very bad things—happen to good people. And killers do go free.

I once worked with an intelligent, fun-loving woman who was putting herself through grad school. She finished her degree and went to work for a large, well-known organization where she discovered what she believed to be an illegal diversion of funds into someone’s private pocket. Believing in justice with all her heart, she began to gather evidence. After receiving warnings to leave it alone, she contacted some of us, her old colleagues, to tell us what was going on. She wanted us to know in case something happened to her.

Someone broke into her home and stole the evidence she had amassed, and shortly afterward, she was murdered. Her killer has never been found.

This story simmers in the back of my mind. So far, I haven’t found the courage to write it.

The fact is, a lot of people get away with murder. To get an idea of how many, I searched the web, and on the DC.gov website, found closure rates for the Metropolitan Police Department. (https://mpdc.dc.gov/page/homicide-closure-rates) They posted a chart showing that in fourteen of sixteen years (2003 through 2018), somewhere between 20 and 40 percent of murderers got away. Their closure rate was above 80 percent in only two years.

How do they define closure? A suspect must have been arrested, charged, and turned over to the court for prosecution. Or, alternatively, a suspect must be identified, located, and with enough evidence to support prosecution, but unable to be prosecuted due to circumstances beyond the control of the law, such as death.

So, murderers who were tried and not convicted or who were unable to be prosecuted should be added to the 20 to 40 percent who got away. That’s a lot.

I think about the victims’ friends and families; how sad, impotent, and frustrated they feel.

So, why do I enjoy reading and writing murder mysteries?

In fiction, as writers, when we make bad things happen to our characters, we give them allies, resources, and strengths they never knew they had. We grant them endurance and courage to get up every morning and face whatever must be faced and not cave. Because of their goodness, justice triumphs. The bad guys get their what they deserve. Finally, when their tribulations are over, we give them happy endings.

And I go to bed at night believing that justice will prevail; knowing that most of the time, good things happen to good people.

*******

Wow, Roxanne. Fascinating. I heard a little while back that nearly 40% of murders go unsolved, and I was shocked, but it’s true. So sorry about the woman who was murdered. Tragic. Thanks for being my guest today!

Heather Shelton has man problems: an unfaithful lover, a mysterious stranger, and a psychopathic killer.

Matt stopped. His mouth hung open for a few beats. “What are you doing here?”

The darkest parts of me, those that I kept stuffed way down inside surged to the surface. My face burned with indignation. I was Kate the Shrew at her best. “How dare you! You and your pretty little Live Like King Tut fable. You kiss me and tell me you liked it. You say you are my biggest fan. You pretend to bare your soul. You think I can’t figure out what’s going on? All you want is for me to believe that you’re a good guy, so you can leave me hanging out for a pack of wolves. So I can end up as dead as Mariella. Well, damn you all to hell!”

Slick as spit, Matt reached out and took my hands. “It’s not like that.”

I wrenched away. “Keep away from me, you – you Judas!”

 Kindle:
https://www.amazon.com/dp/B08DHJ6TG7/ref=dp-kindle-redirect?_encoding=UTF8&btkr=1

Barnes and Noble:
https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/murder-unrehearsed-roxanne-dunn/1137387167?ean=2940162985846 

Kobo:

https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/murder-unrehearsed 

https://seaportbooks.com/

https://www.thewildrosepress.com/books/murder-unrehearsed 

and via my website: www.roxannedunn.com

Roxanne Dunn has studied writing in Paris and Seattle, and writes the galley column for Pacific Yachting magazine. Murder Unrehearsed is her first novel.

She is a physical therapist, a foodie, a fanatic about good chocolate, and a private pilot. She lived aboard an old wood motor yacht for seventeen years, and in her dreams, is a famous author, a pianist of renown, an acceptable water-color artist, and a globe-trotting yogini.

Contacts:

www.roxannedunn.com

https://www.facebook.com/roxanne.dunn.127

https://twitter.com/roxanne_dunn

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Filed under Author Blog Post, New Release

#HobbyCareerPassion: Debby Grahl ~ Sundae My Love ~ at Sand Lake, Where Ghosts Bring Two Lovers Back Together ~ #WRPgrp #Blog #AHAgrp

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

I’m pleased to introduce today’s guest, Debby Grahl…

Sundae My Love – at Sand Lake,

Where Ghosts Bring  Two Lovers Back Together 

 Hi, I’m Samantha Murray, and Sundae My Love is the story of my family’s ice cream business. The Murrays have called Sand Lake, in the Irish Hills of Michigan, home since the nineteen fifties.

After my grandparents retired, I took over the running of the Dairy Delight. Lake-goers have enjoyed our Neapolitan Nectar milk shake for generations, but now Zack Hunter, the love of my life and the man who broke my heart, is back in town and threatens my business.

Hey there, I’m Zack Hunter, and I also grew up on Sand Lake. I left to go to college out west and have returned with a degree in architecture. You see, my grandparents built Frontier Town, a tourist attraction near the lake. The buildings have stood empty for years, and it’s been my dream to restore them and add an old-fashioned ice cream shop. The problem is the land I need to use adjoins the Dairy Delight. I have to confess I messed up pretty badly and hurt Samantha when I left. But I’ve realized my mistake, and I’m home and plan on winning back the woman I love.

When Wild Rose Press requested stories for their Two Scoops or One anthology, I knew my family’s home on Sand Lake was the perfect setting. Even though I’ve changed the characters’ names, the people actually exist. The house, built in the late nineteenth century, is as I describe, including the ghosts. I haven’t seen them, but, along with my cousins, we’ve heard them. Doors slam, floorboards creak, and footsteps go up and down the stairs.

Across the lake on US 12, there’s a drive-up ice cream shop, and down the road the empty buildings of a frontier town still stand. When I was young, my cousins and I would sit in the saloon wearing our western shirts and moccasins drinking root beer. We’d hop on the stagecoach which was always held up by outlaws. 

The Irish Hills is a rural area in southeast Michigan. There’s farm land, a number of lakes, woods of maples and oaks and dogwoods. I now live on Hilton Head Island, SC, but each summer I go home to the lake where I enjoy spending time with all my cousins, going out for ice cream, and reminiscing about growing up in such a beautiful place.

Can ancestral ghosts bring Samantha and Zack back together to fulfill all their dreams?

Sundae My Love Blurb

As manager of the Dairy Delight, Samantha Murray is dismayed to discover her past love is back and plans on building a rival business next door.

Zack Hunter returns to Sand Lake to win back Samantha and fulfill his grandfather’s dreams by restoring Frontier Town, a tourist attraction once owned by his grandparents, and adding an old-fashioned ice cream parlor.

Samantha is heartbroken over Zack’s past betrayal and struggles, conflicted over the love she can’t deny, but resolved to stop his building plans.

Zack is torn between his love for Samantha and his determination to follow through with his grandfather’s legacy.

Convinced the two are desperately in need of help, the family ghosts intervene to bring them together and solve their differences.

Sundae My Love excerpt

In the living room, a female shape materialized. Her     long dress swirled around her ankles, and the heels of  her high button shoes tapped across the hardwood floor. “Good grief, Angus, I wanted you to make them meet on  the lake, not have Zack run Samantha down,” Patricia Murray said with exasperation.

In a Queen Anne style chair, a male form appeared. “Patricia, it wasn’t my fault. Thaddeus was sitting next  to Zack and took control of the wheel.” He removed his pipe from his shirt pocket. Puffs of translucent smoke soon filled the room. “But it worked out.”

Hands on her hips, Patricia glowered. “Worked out! Are you kidding? What should have been a romantic reunion has made Samantha even more upset.” Patricia shook her head. “Samantha and Zack are perfect for  each other. It’s beyond me why that boy broke her heart and now is making matters worse by threatening the  Dairy Delight.” She narrowed her eyes. “You don’t seem too surprised over Zack’s plans. Did you already know about this?”

Angus squirmed in his seat. “Ah, well.”

“You did. Angus Murray, I can see it in your eyes. You’ve known all about this and didn’t tell me. This is why you’ve been gone so much lately. I’ll bet you and Thaddeus have been over there watching every move he’s made.”

“The boy is doing a top-rate job restoring the buildings. I can’t tell you how pleased Thaddeus is. You  know how much that place meant to him.”

“What about Zack’s disregard for Samantha and the  Dairy Delight?”

“Patricia, we’ve watched over our family for three generations. And no matter what problem occurs, they manage to work it out.”

Patricia threw up her arms in exasperation. “Sometimes situations need to be helped along. Samantha is on her way to confront Zack. Go over there and see what happens.”

“You want me to spy on my great-great-granddaughter?”

“Yes. It’s for her own good.”

 “Why don’t you go?”

“Because Thaddeus is your friend, not mine.      Besides, I promised Virginia Bradly I’d visit this afternoon. You know how lonely she gets when her  family is gone.”

Angus sighed, then stood. He placed his pipe in his pocket, adjusted his suspenders, straightened his bow tie, kissed his wife’s cheek, and vanished.

  Amazon Author Page — https://www.amazon.com/Debby-Grahl/e/B00B34HM26

 

Bio:

Debby lives on Hilton Head Island, South Carolina, with her husband, David. Besides writing, she enjoys biking, walking on the beach and a glass of wine at sunset. Her favorite places to visit are New Orleans, New York City, Captiva Island in Florida, the Cotswolds of England, and her home state of Michigan. She is a history buff who also enjoys reading murder mysteries, time travel, and, of course, romance. Visually impaired since childhood by Retinitis Pigmentosa (RP), she uses screen-reading software to research and write her books.

Sundae My Love, in the Two Scoops or One anthology from The Wild Rose Press, will be  released June 30. Her other books  are Mountain Blaze, His Magic Touch, Decorated to Death, Rue Toulouse, and The Silver Crescent.

Facebook — https://www.facebook.com/debbygrahlauthor?ref=br_rs

 

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

#HobbyCareerPassion: “Dance to a Wylder Beat” ~ Author Marilyn Barr ~ Leather Tanning #WRPgrp #Blog #AHAgrp

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

I’m pleased to introduce today’s guest, Marilyn Barr…

Leather Tanning

Nartan Sagebrush has the most revolting job in Wylder, Wyoming Territory but in 1878, his prospects were limited when he chose to join the setters instead of head to the reservation. As an Arapaho Shamanic apprentice, Nartan grew up enjoying his vision quests in the forest and the freedom to follow the bison as they migrated around the US. However, in 1874, this all changed. The US Government placed his tribe on reservations and banned the teaching of all Shamanic practices. Nartan and his brother, Ikshu, claimed a piece of Wylder and struggled their way to a thriving leather tanning business, sheep flock, and homestead.

Nartan Sagebrush lacked the chemicals used for commercial leather tanning (invented around 1902), so he relied on cow brains and urine to soften the skins. He’s ahead of his time in that he creates a system of vats and frames so three skins are ready for shipping every day even though only two men are working. Every day six skins, staggered three and three, are rotated through vats of urine. When they are pliable the skins are stretched on frames to dry in the sun. This is the worst smelling part. Three skins are dry each morning and ready for tufting (hair removal) and fleshing. Nartan describes the way his new bride, Olive, fleshes leather in Dance to a Wylder Beat:

“The steer’s horn handle of the flesher looks longer than her forearm. I always thought I made the tool too small, but maybe I serendipitously made it for her. Her tiny hand almost fits around it. She kneels before the hide and begins to hammer the center with deft strokes. She has the perfect corner angle to release the fats and flesh from the skin. It rolls into a neat coil using the same gravity that pulls my jaw to the ground.”

 Just when the smell of urine threatens to burn off her nose, Nartan introduces her to the next step in tanning. Braining. Nartan doesn’t have the land for a cattle herd, so he barters lamb chops and steaks to the butcher for cow brains. From the brain, he makes the conditioning liquid which changes rawhide to leather.

“Olive, to her credit, doesn’t flinch when I scoop the sheep’s brain from its skull and add it to the boiling fat. She even holds the scalp back so I can use two hands. It isn’t until we added the half-pound of soap shavings and cedar oil the smell subsided.”

The braining fluid must be massaged into the leather before fluffing which breaking up any hardening parts of the skins. If tanning leather is gross, how does the leather itself smell so good? The secret is in the final step where the leather is smoked. Nartan uses a mixture of spruce and hemlock wood chips in a smoking teepee. Nartan is proud of the finished product and the business he has built around it. However, it will take a special type of woman to appreciate his efforts. Will Olive live in the stench for him? Find out in Dance to a Wylder Beat.

He was uncomfortable in his skin before she crawled under it. Now he burns…

Blurb:

Nartan Sagebrush’s name may mean “to dance” in Arapaho, but he dances in secret. Forced to abandon his Shamanic apprenticeship, he is overwhelmed with homesteader life, and even his spirit guides are at their wit’s end. Nartan takes fate into his own hands. Instead of divine intervention, a wife will help with his responsibilities and in assimilating into the Wylder community. 

Olive Muegge answers Nartan’s “wife wanted” advertisement. Fiercely independent, she has secretly dreamed of a family to call her own. The secret she carries inside makes her an outcast and her wild ways don’t fit the quiet wife Nartan thinks he desires.  

Despite their differences, they are drawn to each other but a mistake may drive them apart.  Will Nartan embrace his Shamanic past to save them both or will he choose to rid himself of Olive forever? 

Excerpt:

When I turn back, the men are wrestling in a cloud of dust. Dead Eyes’ friends hoot like owls while a small crowd gathers around the scene. Being half-drunk, Dead Eyes is two steps slower than Nartan, who is landing punches on both sides. When Dead Eyes slams his gun on the ground in surrender, the dust settles, and I can study my future husband.

Nartan’s muscular body straddles the smaller man while his broad chest billows. His hat has blown off in the scuffle, revealing two thick black braids adorned with feathers. Tendrils of raven-black hair wave around his head. “Quiet wife for a quiet life” my bloomin’ butt. This man is a sweet lick of passion wrapped in a delicious exterior. I think I’m gonna like being Mrs. Sagebrush just fine. I can handle an odd stick as long as he has the countenance of Nartan because I’m not as normal as I appear myself.

Author Bio:

Marilyn Barr currently resides in the wilds of Kentucky with her husband, son, and rescue cats. She has a diverse background containing experiences as a child prodigy turned medical school reject, published microbiologist, special education/inclusion science teacher, homeschool mother of a savant, certified spiritual & energy healer, and advocate for the autistic community. This puts her in the position to bring tales containing heroes who are regular people with different ability levels and body types, in a light where they are powerful, lovable, and appreciated.

When engaging with the real world, she is collecting characters, empty coffee cups, and unused homeschool curricula. She is a sucker (haha) for cheesy horror movies, Italian food, punk music, black cats, bad puns, and all things witchy.

Social Media Links:

website

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Amazon author profile

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

Eleven Days—The Life Expectancy of a World War One Pilot & New Release ~ Heart of Ash by Kathy Otten #AHAgrp #WRPbks #blog

Please help me welcome Kathy Otten with her new release,  HEART OF ASH, a  M/M Historical Romance Short Story…

 

Eleven Days—The Life Expectancy of a World War One Pilot

Captain Elliot Bainbridge and Lieutenant Harry March, the characters in my new, historical romance short story Heart of Ash, are British pilots in the Royal Flying Corps, fighting during World War I.

While the notion of becoming a pilot at the forefront of aviation, these eager, young pilots, many of whom were in their late teens and early twenties, were only given an average of seventeen hours of instruction (expanded to fifty hours later in the war), with as little as five hours of flying time in planes they would not fly in combat. Approximately 8,000 pilots died during training between 1914 and 1918. If they survived, they were sent to France to fight Germans who had better planes and better training.

Once stationed in France, pilots engaged in dogfights in machines made of canvas, wire, and wood. They had few instruments and would have to flip the engine off and on to slow down for landing. They flew without parachutes. Averaged together, this gave a pilot in the early part of the war a life expectancy of eleven days.

Over confidence was usually fatal, while self-doubt could give a pilot the edge he needed to stay alive. Eventually, the more flight and combat experience a pilot gained, the better his chances of survival.

While these men played football, drank, and sang together, they seldom allowed themselves to grow close. Sometimes they never knew each other’s full name. Men were there and then they were gone. Speaking about death aloud was avoided at all cost. Instead, when a pilot was killed, they spoke of it in obscure terms, such as, “So and So has gone west.” They believed each man had predetermined amount of luck and worried about the day that luck would run out. Nightmares were common. Nothing was more terrifying to these young men, than the possibility of burning to death. Some men kept a loaded pistol in the cockpit, and a few chose to jump to their death rather than burn.

The plane Elliot, the hero in my story, flew was a French plane, the Nieuport 11, which had been designed to counter the Fokker Scourge in 1916, the summer my story takes place. The biggest disadvantage the Nieuport had was that it didn’t have an interrupter gear, which the Germans had developed for their planes, allowing the machine gun to fire through the propellor. The Nieuport had its Lewis machine gun mounted on the top wing. A cable ran from the trigger to the pilot enabling him to fire the weapon. The gun used a Foster mount system which allowed the pilot to drop the gun down to change the drum, rather than forcing him to stand in order to reload.

Another problem was that sometimes during high-speed dives, the lower wing would stagger and the fabric could rip off.

Despite the level of danger a pilot faced, to the men confined in the mud of the trenches and the terror of no-mans-land, looking up to see a plane soar through the sky was a life to envy. The newspapers glorified that notion by creating heroic Aces to encourage the people at home about the war rather than putting the focus on depressingly high statistics of infantry death rates. Thus, the myth of the heroic pilot was born.

But while the life of a pilot was easier than living in a trench, it was no less dangerous, and for the two heroes in my story, they each had to decide whether or not it was worth risking their hearts.

Blurb:

In the skies over France during the Great War, the life expectancy of a pilot in the Royal Flying Corps is measured in days. Captain Elliot “Ash” Bainbridge is certain he’ll be the next pilot sent spinning to earth in a ball of fire. Not because the Germans will shoot him down, but because God will punish him for daring to love another man. When Ash met Lieutenant Harry March, their attraction was instant. But Harry hates Ash’s fatalistic attitude. He believes in capturing the moment. Can Ash set aside his fear of death and take a chance on love? Or should he try to keep his heart safe from hurt forever?

Excerpt:

“You can’t…we can’t clutter our minds with lust or friendship, whatever this is. You can’t face the Huns if your perceptions are dulled thinking of me, or I you. Up there we must keep clear minded.”

March shook his head. The gold of early morning light reflected a glimmer of sadness in his eyes. “I can’t do that. Every time we go up, I watch your tail. I can’t think of you in the same way as the rest of this lot.”

“You must, because whether it’s a Fokker or another Albatros, it won’t matter after today.”

Buy link(s):

https://www.amazon.com/Heart-Ash-Kathy-Otten-ebook/dp/B08P7VW9TM

Heart of Ash by Kathy Otten | NOOK Book (eBook) | Barnes & Noble® (barnesandnoble.com)

Heart of Ash eBook by Kathy Otten – 9781509234844 | Rakuten Kobo United States

 

Bio:

Published author, book coach, and developmental editor, Kathy lives in the rolling farmland of Western New York.  Her novels and short stories are filled with wounded heroes and feisty heroines. Her Civil War novel, A Place in Your Heart was a Northwest Houston RWA Lone Star winner, and her historical western Lost Hearts, a Utah/Salt Lake RWA Hearts of the West finalist. An active member of Pennwriters, Inc., and leads an area critique group. Kathy teaches fiction writing at the local adult education center and presents workshops on-line as well as at conferences and author events. When she’s not writing, Kathy can be found walking her German Shepherd, Henry, through the woods and fields near her home, or curling up with her cat and a good book.

You may contact Kathy through her web site  https://www.kathyottenauthor.com or at kathy@kathyotten.com

 

 

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Filed under Author Blog Post, New Release

Open Door to Love by Amber Cross  ~ #Giveaway #AHAgrp #Blog

Please help me welcome today’s guest, Amber Cross…

**Giveaway: A copy of the first book in this series-Precedent for Passion

A name will be drawn from all those who comment

~*~

Amber Cross is from Northern New England, still lives in the same town she grew up in with her husband, two dogs, and two teens.

I was always meant to write David’s story; the handsome Chinese American who goes from being an only child to being the middle child in a blended, interracial family, and he is the quintessential middle child. His brilliant siblings come to him whenever they need “grounding.”

Jonnie has been “speaking” to me for some time. She’s an impulsive, colorful, affectionate sensory-seeker. I knew she would be an unusual heroine and wanted desperately to find love for her; I just didn’t know David would be her man!

The book’s title was easy. America tried for decades to find an “open door” to China, and Jonnie is trying to find an opening into David’s heart.

Writing the book was not as easy. I kept re-writing, revising, and rearranging the early chapters. David and Jonnie met three years ago, and I wasn’t sure if I should start then, or use flashbacks. In the end, I chose flashbacks.

It’s always a challenge to write about characters you’re emotionally invested in, and I wanted so much to give you, the reader, a love story. Not a book about ethnicity that also has romantic elements, but a romance about two people who just happen to be from different ethnic backgrounds. As David likes to say, “It’s that simple.”

A hot chef in a cold climate makes this wild woman want to settle down

Blurb:

Jonnie Moulton’s chance for a fresh start as Somerset’s marketing consultant might be over before it begins unless she can convince David Wang she knows what she’s doing and isn’t the desperate woman he met three years ago.

This confident new Jonnie makes David’s blood sizzle. He plans to keep her close and not just because she’s living in one of his resort cabins.

He “gets” her like no one else.

She excites him more every day.

But is this simply passion, or have they found an open door to love?

Excerpt:

They couldn’t run in the morning. Much as he wanted to spend time with her, the temperature had risen so much over the last two days the trail wasn’t safe. A thick layer of mud covered still-frozen ground. One misplaced foot could result in an injury.

“Makes sense,” she said when he explained this at the gazebo, the disappointment in her tone gratifying.

“You can always use the gym.” He wanted her to. Wanted to know she worked out one floor below his bedroom.

“Hmm. Thank you. And I will,” she hurried to add, as if he might not believe her. “It’s just that I need an aerobic workout in the morning, and being outside gives me a rush nothing else can match.”

David looked out over the hill, at the lake shrouded in fog and the white steepled church in the distance. He didn’t trust himself to look at her because he wanted to give her a rush, and he was afraid she’d see that on his face. She might find him attractive, but she hadn’t given him a green light, and he didn’t want to scare her off.

“Maybe I’ll just take a walk around the common.”

Under control once more, he met her gaze. She would never be content with a gentle stroll or simply stretching her legs for a few minutes. “How many times around?”

She grinned, and he couldn’t help smiling with her. “A few.”

Buy link(s):

https://www.amazon.com/Open-Door-Love-Kingdom-Book-ebook/dp/B0918VPNVX/ref=sr_1_2?dchild=1&keywords=Amber+Cross&qid=1617752204&s=books&sr=1-2

https://books.apple.com/mt/book/open-door-to-love/id1561488551

https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/open-door-to-love-amber-cross/1139174487?ean=2940162252184

Bio

Amber Cross was raised on a family farm in New England, one of a dozen siblings, each one inspiring her writing in some way. She still lives in that same small town with her husband and the youngest of their five children. She loves spending time in the woods, in the water, and watching people because every one of them has a unique and fascinating story to tell.

 ~*~

Find Amber online at: https://www.amber-cross.com/

https://www.facebook.com/ann.ruby.96

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Shadows of Doubt: Patricia McAlexander’s New Thriller-Romance & Author Interview ~ #AHAgrp #Blog #WRPbks

Please help me welcome today’s guest, author Patricia McAlexander…

 

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

I’m from Johnstown, New York, a town of about 11,000 in the foothills of the Adirondacks, where Sir William Johnson, British Superintendent of Indian Affairs for the northern colonies, built a home in 1763. In the nineteenth- and much of the twentieth century, it was a center of the glove-making industry; I worked in a glove factory myself for two summers during college. I now live in Athens, Georgia, where I went with my husband when he took a position in the University of Georgia’s English Department. I also taught English there, in UGA’s Division of Academic Enhancement. I have one grown-up son who lives and works in Atlanta.

Why did you choose thriller/suspense-romance (is it something you’ve written in before)?

I like romance but also like to spice it up with external conflict or drama. My first Wild Rose novel, Stranger in the Storm, was in this genre. This second novel was at first more straight romance, but my editor suggested adding more “thrill,” and my sister then suggested doing so by making its male protagonist a former student drug dealer threatened by his old supplier. That’s how it, too, turned also into a thriller.

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

What directly inspired me was an early version of this novel, written in the 1980s when I’d taken a year off from teaching. I meant it to be a YA and so the main characters were in high school. But I went back to teaching, and not until I retired did I pull out the old, yellowed, literally cut-and-pasted-on typescript. I reread it and thought it had possibilities. I rewrote the novel, making the main characters college students and, as I said, adding the drug dealer elements for stronger drama.

What is the most difficult thing about writing a book? What was the most difficult thing about this one in particular?

I find the most difficult thing about writing a book is being sure you are accurate in what you portray. For this one, I had to do research about the youth drug culture—reading books, googling, clipping newspaper articles, interviewing people.

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

I’m now retired, but I taught literature and writing at the college level—first as an instructor at the University of Colorado, then as teaching assistant at the University of Wisconsin, and finally as a professor going through the tenure and promotion process at The University of Georgia. In all these places, one thing stayed the same: I loved working with the students.

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

As an English PhD and as an undergraduate Latin minor, I love good grammar and mechanics in writing. Some people might think a focus on good grammar hampers free expression. But bad grammar can hamper communication. An ambiguous pronoun can be confusing. (“Bob told Tom he had great talent.” Who has the talent—Bob or Tom?). A misplaced or missing comma can result in something you don’t mean (“Rachel Ray finds inspiration in cooking her family and her dog”). Unless used in dialogue to reveal character, the wrong pronoun case (“Me and my husband live in Texas”) or verb form (he laid on the bed) can be like—as someone on a Facebook writers’ page said—fingernails scraping on a blackboard.

What was your first job?

My first full-time job was in one of Johnstown’s glove factories during the first two summers that I was in college. I did what was called “blackedging.” I sat at a table with several other women, and with small brushes we painted the white seams along the edges of black leather gloves black. While we did this, we talked—and I learned a lot about life from my wise older co-workers.

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

After reading the first draft of Shadows of Doubt, my Wild Rose editor said that although it had promise, it did not have a strong enough conflict.  This was tough criticism, and at first I couldn’t think of what to do other than set the novel aside, but then (thanks to my sister’s suggestion) I added the plot element of Jeff, the romantic hero, being a reformed drug dealer threatened by his old colleagues unless he rejoined the ring. This added more drama and conflict to the plot, and the novel was accepted. 

A favorite compliment was in an Amazon review of my first novel, Stranger in the Storm: “The novel takes on the qualities of a Hitchcockian psychological thriller [with] its intensity, its intricate plot, and its ominous, compelling style.” 

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

My characters are in part based on real people—including myself. Sandy, the protagonist of Shadows of Doubt, has some of my traits: I like photography and an alternate career for me would have been as a journalist. I admired a family who owned an upstate New York dairy farm near my parents’ lake house—an intelligent, strong, practical father and his sons. I am sure I based Jeff and his uncle at least in part on them. And Sandy’s mother is based in part on my teacher mother, who turned for support to my sister and me when our father died—and who sometimes did not approve of our boyfriends. 

What do your friends and family think of your writing?

I have to say they are my fans. My sister has always been always one of the first readers of my fiction—and likes it even as she gives me helpful suggestions. My husband, now retired, was a tough American lit professor. He says he is not afraid to be “mean” and would only tell the truth about my writing. He has, too, given good, constructive criticism. But I loved it when I walked in on him while he was reading the final scenes of Shadows and he didn’t even look up he was so engrossed.

How did your interest in writing originate? 

I think writing was in my genes. It began as soon as I could literally hold a pencil. After reading the Dick and Jane books in first grade, I wrote my own series, Jean and Jerry. In later grades my father let me use his typewriter to write stories on—and he never got it back. In high school my friends and my sister’s friends would read my “novels” (one-spaced typed pages stapled together). I wrote two endings to one and had them vote on the one they preferred. Sometimes artistic readers would create illustrations for the novel.

Despite warnings, should she take a chance on him?

 Blurb

 

Former grade school bully and, later, amateur drug dealer Jeff Hudson turns his life around and is pursuing a degree in agriculture. His future, as well as a budding relationship with fellow student Sandy Harris, is threatened when a former dealer threatens to expose Jeff’s past to university authorities if he doesn’t rejoin the ring.

Realizing that Jeff is no longer an angry, misunderstood boy, Sandy must take a stand against her family and friends who swear he is no good and will only cause her unhappiness. Together, can they escape the past in order to forge a future?

Excerpt

“Sandy—I need to tell you something about him.”

“I don’t want to hear it. You’d better take me home.”

Bill abruptly turned around in a parking lot he was passing and headed back toward her house. His expression was grim, almost angry. “I’d be better for you, Sandy. Your mother thinks so, too.”

Anger replaced her anxiety. “How do you know what my mother thinks? I hope you and she didn’t discuss this!”

“Just a little, last night before you came downstairs. She didn’t say much, but I could tell how she felt.” He pulled up in front of her house. “We both worry about you with Jeff. It’s not just that we think this won’t last…”

“Why else should you worry?”

Bill hesitated. “For one thing, he has a temper. He may physically hurt you. Remember how he was even as a kid.”

Her anger notched up higher. He was sounding just like her mother, expressing unfounded, outdated fears. “It was years ago that he got in those fights. He’s not like that now. I’m sorry, Bill, but I think it would be better if you and I don’t see each other for a while.” She got out of the car and slammed the door.

Bill started to pull away, then stopped, lowered the window, and called out to her. “Just remember, if you ever need me, I’ll be here.”

 Buy link(s):

Amazon kindle:  

Amazon: paperback: https://www.amazon.com/Shadows-Doubt-Patricia-McAlexander/dp/1509235426/ref

Nook:https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/shadows-of-doubt-patricia-mcalexander/

Barnes and Noble paperback:https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/shadows-of-doubt-patricia-mcalexander/1138919956 

i-books: http://itunes.apple.com/us/book/isbn9781509235438

Bio:

Patricia McAlexander earned a bachelor’s degree from The University of New York at Albany, a master’s from Columbia University, and a doctorate from The University of Wisconsin, Madison, all in English. After moving with her husband to Athens, Georgia, she taught composition and literature at The University of Georgia. Now retired, she has edited local newsletters and enjoys hiking, travel (when possible), and photography. But most of all she enjoys writing novels. Her first thriller-romance, Stranger in the Storm, was released by Wild Rose in June 2020. Shadows of Doubt was released on April 5, 2021.

Website: https://patriciamcalexander.weebly.com 

Email: mcalexanderpatricia@gmail.com

Facebook: facebook.com/patriciamcalexanderwriter/

Twitter:  https://twitter.com/PatMcAlexWriter

Instagram: www.instagram.com/patriciamcalexander/

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Filed under Author Blog Post, New Release

Author Interview with Gabbi Grey & New Release: If Only for Today (Deerbourne Inn) ~ #AHAgrp #Blog #WRPbks

Please help me welcome today’s guest, Gabbi Grey…

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

I’m a happy Canadian woman enjoying mid-life in beautiful British Columbia.  I live with a five-year-old bubbly happy Chinpoo named Ally, and a seventeen-year-old blind cantankerous Himalayan cat named Lady Arabella de Bergerac (better known as Bella).

Where did you get the idea for If Only for Today?  

The Deerbourne Inn series by The Wild Rose Press had piqued my interest a couple of years ago.  I wrote a book for the series, My Past, Your Future, which is a gay paranormal romance.  I encountered the character of the inn clerk Jared, and I just knew I had to tell his story.  That he deserved a happy ending.  I had to convince the publisher I could tell his story with heart and joy.  The book is a sweet gay romance, and I have to say I’m really proud of it.

What do you dislike that most people wouldn’t understand? 

Coffee.  Hands-down.  So many people love it and I can’t stand it.

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

I would answer flippantly that my day job would need to go.  Truth is, I love my job and helping people every day gives me purpose.  So if I could give up my addition to cable news, that would free up more time for writing.

What do you want readers to come away with after they If Only for Today

I know it sounds cheesy, but I’m hoping readers will come away seeing that love is love.  If a reader has never tried a gay romance, I encourage them to try this one.  The book is a sweet story about two men falling in love.  To be clear – there are high emotional stakes.  I don’t let my characters off easy.  That being said, the book ends in a true happy ending.

Would you rather have a bad review or no review?

Tough question.  I appreciate when readers take the time to let me know how they feel about a book.  That being said, a bad review can be tough to deal with.  You tell yourself that it’s just one person’s opinion, but it can hurt.

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

I would love to spend the day with Jared in Willow Springs, Vermont.  I’ve had the pleasure of writing about the town twice now, but I’ve never been to Vermont.  And if you’re going to get a tour, why not with one of the most well-loved members of the community.

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

The toughest criticism is always the first round of edits when the manuscript comes back with so much red ink.  I like to believe I’m good with grammar – my editor will attest I need more work.  The best compliment came from a reader who had never read a gay romance before and she loved my book.  The book resonated with her, and her comment was along the lines of love being love.

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

I’ve been known to warn friends that they might turn up in one of my books.  Do I ever base a character solely on someone I know?  Rarely.  My characters are composites of the people in my sphere.

What do your friends and family think of your writing? 

Most of my friends and extended family are extremely supportive.  They ask how the writing is going, and they follow each new release.  My parents, unfortunately, do not support or understand my writing.  They don’t understand the compulsion to write and the need to tell stories.  Needless to say, I stick to my supporters.

Who is the most famous person you have ever met? 

I don’t run in celebrity circles, but I did have lunch with Diana Gabaldon and I admit to being a little star-struck.

 Your favorite…

Movie – Grosse Pointe Blank

Music – Hamilton Soundtrack

Place you’ve visited – Nova Scotia

Place you’d like to visit – Scotland

Food – Mac & Cheese

Sports team – Toronto Blue Jays

Which do you prefer: Board games or television?  Trivia.  I love trivia.

 

Thank you, Gabbi. I enjoyed getting to know you. And, you’re right about coffee…I don’t get why you don’t like it. I’m drinking it as we speak. 😀 – And I love that you’re a baseball fan, but my team is the Cincinnati, Reds. I like the Blue Jays though! Now, please tell us about your book…

 

He came looking for solitude. He might leave after finding love

Blurb

Jared Langford is a happy man. The desk clerk at the Deerbourne Inn knows everyone in his cozy town in Vermont. He is accepted and loved by the community, but he’s missing someone special in his life.

Devastating news has brought journalist Xander Fortier to Willow Springs for some much-needed rest. He’s photographed every major conflict in the world for the last ten years, but being stateside has forced him to reassess the solitary life he’s been living.

Something in Xander’s gruff demeanor calls to Jared’s caring nature. Soon the men are spending time together, but Jared’s kisses might not be enough to keep Xander from leaving. Can the men find a happily ever after if they only have today?

 

Exclusive Excerpt

  1. Fortier.

The name was familiar, but Jared couldn’t place it. A former guest? Oh, maybe someone famous. That’d happened a few times in town, and although he played it cool, celebrity spotting was fun.

He was switching over to People Will Say We’re in Love when the door opened. He exited the backroom and stopped short.

Holy hell.

Playing it cool was going to be a bit of a challenge. This was Xander Fortier. The Xander Fortier. The photojournalist. The winner of the Prix Bayeux-Calvados two years in a row. The man who’d been shot in Syria and, if rumors were correct, had stitched himself up and kept searching for the perfect shot to show the horrors of war.

That Xander Fortier.

A throat clearing brought Jared back from his hero-worshipping ruminations. He indicated Mr. Fortier should approach the counter. Should he acknowledge knowing who the man was, or pretend to be ignorant?

“I’m here to check in.”

The deeply resonant voice hit Jared square in the chest. His fantasies occasionally featured a deep voice. The reality was so much sexier. “Of course.” Did he just stammer? Damn.

“I know I’m early, but I’m hoping it might be all right—”

“It’s fine.” Jared ran a hand through his hair. “Uh, the room is empty, so once I confirm your information, you’re free to go up and have a shower. Or a nap. Or whatever it is you’re going to do.” Ramble much?

Bio

Gabbi lives in beautiful British Columbia where her fur baby chin-poo keeps her safe from the nasty neighborhood squirrels. Working for the government by day, she spends her early mornings writing contemporary, gay, sweet, and dark erotic BDSM romances. While she firmly believes in happy endings, she also believes in making her characters suffer before finding their true love. She also writes m/f romances as Gabbi Black.

Links:

Amazon US:  https://amzn.to/3fOsviy

Amazon CA:  https://amzn.to/31LG1LP

KOBO:  https://www.kobo.com/ca/en/ebook/if-only-for-today

Barnes & Noble: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/if-only-for-today-gabbi-grey/1138919955

iBooks:  https://books.apple.com/us/book/if-only-for-today/id1556170342

Publisher:  https://www.thewildrosepress.com/book-post/if-only-for-today

Add it to Goodreads:  https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/57730616-if-only-for-today

 

Personal links:

Website: https://gabbigrey.com/

Bookbub: https://www.bookbub.com/authors/gabbi-grey

Goodreads:  https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/15456297.Gabbi_Grey

Amazon Author Central: https://www.amazon.com/Gabbi-Grey/e/B07SJVFX1M

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

Facebook (page): https://www.facebook.com/AuthorGabbiGrey

Twitter: https://twitter.com/GabbiGrey

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Gemini Rising by Bianca Swan ~ #AHAgrp #Blog

Please help me welcome today’s guest, Bianca Swan…

 

St. Michael’s Mount is a tidal island in Mount’s Bay in Cornwall, U.K. I was lucky enough to visit the Karrak Loos yn Koos,  Cornish for “hoar rock in woodland”, on my honeymoon back before recorded time. Seriously, it was last century. I immediately fell in love with this small island accessible only by a manmade causeway, passable only between mid-tide and low tide. This causeway is made of granite setts. Two types of granite are indigenous on the Mount.  These are a tourmaline muscovile and a biotite muscovite. I’m not a geologist. Wiki, my friends. The island is a civil parish and linked by the causeway to the town of Marazion.

While the National Trust now guarantees the preservation and conservation of the Mount, the St Aubyn family continue to live on and manage the island, as they have done since the middle of the 17th century.

St Aubyn Estates has been part of the West Cornwall landscape. Today, it is a modern, family-owned enterprise spanning 5,000 acres with a diverse portfolio of businesses, including land and property management, tourism and hospitality, building and farming. James and Mary St Levan live on St Michael’s Mount.

In WWII, the Mount was fortified  during the invasion crisis of 1940–41. Three pillboxes can be seen to this day.

I  hope you have enjoyed this quick tour of the island.  If I’d had more space, I’d have gone into the history but I wanted to tie in my book, you see.  The Keep in Gemini Rising, where the twins are raised, and Alain later becomes Lord of the island, was inspired by that long-ago trip to St. Michael’’s Mount. You never know what will stick in your subconscious and surface years later.  I never forgot the Mount.

~*~

Gemini Rising by Bianca Swan was published by Black Lotus Books:

This book is not for the faint of heart. It pushes all the taboos, and because it does Amazon has so far refused to carry it.  It can only be purchased through the publisher’s website. One reviewer said: “Yes, it does push boundaries, but it also holds surprises that make it more than it appears to be and definitely an interesting and entertaining read.”

Science said male/female identical twins were impossible until the Alastair twins were born. Were Alina and Alain genetically encoded or did growing up in an isolated island castle determine they walk the forbidden trails?

Blurb:

The Alastair twins are a scientific impossibility. To parents who’ve tried every way to have a child, their male and female identical twins are a miracle.

Isolated in their island castle, the Alastair twins Alain and Alina turn to each other for friendship and love. But when their love shifts from fraternal to frighteningly deep, they’ll each dance with their lust in their own way.

A dark fantasy of forbidden longings and midnight pledges, spoken only to be broken or kept. How can these phenomenal twins possibly unleash their innermost desires? The answer will shock you.

Excerpt:

Rory rushed him, grabbing his shirtfront, his fist drawn back to strike. Alain raised a defense. The horses snorted, hooves scrambling on cobbles. Aiden Alastair strode into the barn hall, assessing the situation at a glance.

“By all that’s holy!” Father’s hands fisted. “Have you both taken leave of your senses?”

Rory freed Alain with a shove. “I’m rearranging your son’s pretty face. You’ve said yourself that Alain’s too pretty for his own good.” The old, familiar humiliation and pain twisted in Alain, but he squared his shoulders, and with blood on his mouth, faced his father. His brother-in-law’s lips curled in a mocking smile. “I was just trying to help you out, Lord Alastair.” He put hateful emphasis on the title.

Alastair crossed his arms, glaring at his son-in-law. “You’re my daughter’s husband and as such this is your home, but I won’t tolerate fighting beneath my roof.”

Rory hung his head, staring at the cobbles, said nothing. His stiff posture sagged.

Father’s eyes found Alain. His expression altered from angry to hurt. “I would have expected more of you. Did you start this?”

Of course, he’d jumped to the conclusion Alain was to blame. He was always ready to believe the worst of his only son. He could tune them out, suppress his feelings and stoically endure. But not this time. Damage, like love and hate, came in degrees. All his life Alain had suffered at this man’s clumsy hand. He arched an eyebrow.

Rory’s gaze lifted to Alain’s face. He gasped, “Don’t.”

~*~

About Bianca:

Bianca lives in the Lone Star State with her baby grand piano and is very fond of her snazzy convertible whose name is Zippy Z. She enjoys reading, horses, symphony, theater, and writing. She still believes in the power of love—and the power of lust—and enjoys delving into the soul of both the L-Words, bringing to life hot, passionate men and the lucky, passionate women who love them.

You can find Bianca at:

Facebook:   https://www.facebook.com/bianca.swan.589

Web Site:  https://www.biancaswan.com/

Blog:            https://biancaswanblog.wordpress.com/

Goodreads:  https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/4573416.Bianca_Swan

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