Category Archives: New Release

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

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

Please tell us a little about yourself.

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

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

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

Do you collect anything?

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

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

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

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

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

Would you rather have a bad review or no review?

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

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

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

What do you want your tombstone to say?

Forever young. She never gave up.

How much of the book is realistic? 

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

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

 

Rockabilly lives in new release, It Happened On Thunder Road 

Hang on, baby, for the ride of your life 

Excerpt:

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

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

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

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

And I wanted him bad.

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

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

No.

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

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

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

“Charlie, please. We can’t do this.”

“Why not?” he demanded.

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

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

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

Buy links for IT HAPPENED ON THUNDER ROAD.

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

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

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

Bio:

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

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

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

Twitter: SusanAntonyCS

Blog: https://susanantonyauthor.blogspot.com

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Filed under Author Blog Post, New Release

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

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

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

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

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

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

What was the most difficult thing about writing UNTIL…?

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

What was your first job?

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

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

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

Would you rather have a bad review or no review?

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

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

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

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

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

Have you written any other books that are not published?

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

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

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

What do your friends and family think of your writing?  

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

Who is the most famous person you have ever met?

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

Life. Death. Fate has its own agenda.

Blurb:

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

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

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

Excerpt:

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

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

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

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

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

Buy links

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

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

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

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

Bio:

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

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

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

 

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Filed under Author Blog Post, New Release

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

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

Valentine’s Challenge with hero- Nikolas Steele

Here’s our story: Nikolas Steele & Thea Gale 

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

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

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

Married? Not yet 

Age difference? 7 years 

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

Who is taller? Me, by at least a foot  

Who said I love you first? Me 

Most impatient? Her dog Titan 

Most sensitive? Titan 

Loudest? Titan 

Most stubborn? Titan  

Falls asleep first? Thea. I rarely fall asleep. 

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

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

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

Most competitive? Thea 

Funniest? Titan 

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

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

Who is the neat freak? Me 

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

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

How long did it take to get serious? Two seconds 

Who picks where you go to dinner? So far me 

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

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

Who has more tattoos? Me  

Who sings better? Too soon to tell, probably her 

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

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

Did you go to the same school? Nope 

Who drives when you are going somewhere together? Me  

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

#ValentinesDayChallenge

Blurb :

FROM EXCITING ROMANCE AUTHOR BROOKE TAYLOR 

Book one in the Wicked Games series 

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

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

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

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

Wicked Games Series Info:

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

Buy link(s):

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

Bio:

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

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

Website:  TheBrookeTaylor.com

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

Twitter: https://twitter.com/brooketaylorboo

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

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

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

 

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Filed under Author Blog Post, New Release

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

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

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

A Passion for Honor

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

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

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

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

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

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

Blurb:

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

Blurb for the Collection:

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

One storm, eight authors, eight heartwarming novellas.

Pre-order now for 99 cents:

Excerpt

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The weather.

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

He sipped his drink, eyeing her over the glass.

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

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

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

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

Buy links:

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

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

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

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

About Alina:

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

website  https://alinakfield.com

Blog https://alinakfield.com/blog

Twitter https://twitter.com/AlinaKField

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

The Cowboy’s Embrace – Kara O’Neal

#AHAgrp  –  #Blog

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

About Kara:

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

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

 

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Filed under Author Blog Post, New Release

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

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

 

Please tell us a little about yourself.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Do you collect anything?

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

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

What was your first job?

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

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

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

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

Would you rather have a bad review or no review?

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

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

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

Have you written any other books that are not published?

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

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

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

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

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

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

How did you come up with the title? 

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

Author Margot Johnson—Loves What She Does!

About Love Leads the Way

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

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


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


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

Book title: Love Leads the Way

Genre: Sweet contemporary romance

About Love Leads the Way:

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

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


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


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

Excerpt:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Buy it here:

LOVE LEADS THE WAY

LOVE TAKES FLIGHT

About Margot Johnson:

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

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

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

Social media links: 

Margot Johnson Author

https://twitter.com/AuthorMargot

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Filed under Author Blog Post, New Release

Sadira Stone ~ Opposites Ignite: Bangers Tavern Romance 2.

Please help me welcome today’s guest, Sadira Stone…

I’m thrilled to introduce Eddie Volkov and Rosie Chu, the romantic leads in my just-released sexy contemporary romance Opposites Ignite: Bangers Tavern Romance 2.

Skinny, shy, and strait-laced, Eddie works as barback at Bangers Tavern and has been crushing on Rosie since the day they met at work. He’s keeping a secret from his family: instead of taking over their dry-cleaning business, he wants to open his own bar. Inspired by his Russian heritage, Dacha Vodka Bar will feature Russian dumplings and a hundred varieties of vodka, plus craft beer and wines from Washington State, since he’s located in Tacoma.

Curvy, blue-haired, tattooed, and flirtatious, Rosie Chu loves her work at Bangers Tavern but aspires to become a professional tattoo artist. Kissing Eddie under the mistletoe at work leads to more than she bargained for, and now she must figure out how such a mismatched couple could possibly work. Guys like Eddie never stick around with girls like her.

Food plays a huge role in this love story, from the endless varieties of tater tots served at Bangers Tavern, to the Russian goodies Eddie’s mom pushes on the couple, as well as Asian fusion treats they sample on their dates. Here’s Eddie and Rosie talking about their favorites:

Rosie: “You’re charming, Eddie, and cute, and a great kisser, but what really won me over was all the Russian dumplings. What are those steamed ones called again? The ones your grandma made for New Year’s Day?”

Eddie: “Pelmeni. They’re killer, right? You were a good sport to try Mom’s chocolate salami.”

Rosie: “What are you talking about? It was delish, even if it does look a little like a turd. And who could resist a guy who brought me pirozhki on one of the crappiest days of my life?”

Eddie: “Well, fried dumplings can cure pretty much anything. They’re pretty heavy, though, not like those fresh spring rolls we had downtown.”

Rosie: “Stay on my good side and I’ll make some for you.”

Eddie: “And those spicy Korean chicken wings? Wow. Plus, you looked really hot licking the sauce off your fingers.”

Rosie: “Food is seductive, right? Remember how you won me back with a platter of onion-Swiss-bacon tots?”

Eddie: “What can I say? It makes my inner caveman happy to feed my woman.”

Here are a few links, in case you want to try some traditional Russian treats.

Pelmeni: https://natashaskitchen.com/russian-pelmeni-recipe-new-dough-recipe/

Chocolate salami: https://www.curiouscuisiniere.com/russian-chocolate-salami/

Find all of this, plus cocktail recipes from Bangers Tavern, in Opposites Ignite!

A mismatch sparks the hottest flames.

 Blurb

Blue-haired, buxom, and bodacious, server Rosie needs her job at Bangers Tavern, where her work family adores her weirdness and supports her hunt for a tattoo apprenticeship. When too much New Year’s bubbly tumbles her into a sweet, shy coworker’s bed, she craves more. But guys like Eddie never stick with girls like her.

Strait-laced, soft-spoken, and skinny, barback Eddie has a huge crush on his curvy, tattooed coworker. Their New Year’s surprise is a dream come true—until grandma walks in on them.  Eddie begs Rosie to fake-date him to appease his old-fashioned family. He’s already keeping secrets, so what’s the harm in one more? But the longer he pretends with Rosie, the deeper he falls.

Their boss lays down the law: No relationship drama at work, or you’re fired. Rosie’s everything Eddie ever wanted—but to keep her, he’ll have to drop a terrifying truth bomb on his loving but stifling family. And Rosie must trust her bruised heart with the guy who nearly crushed it.

Come back to Bangers Tavern for a steamy, laugh-out-loud, opposites-attract romance that ignites in all the worst ways—and the best!

Buy links:

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B08WLKB3S8

Universal Book Link: https://books2read.com/u/m0wjvP

 Excerpt:

But why did Dawn hang mistletoe from the bar’s ceiling if she didn’t want people to kiss? Eddie would wait until the boss was in her office, then find some excuse to linger beneath that clump of green, his eyebrows flicking up in a flirtatious question. You wanna?

Damn it, she did wanna. His crooked smile was so tempting. And his lips were so soft, his kisses so sweet—unlike the slobbery mauling she got from most guys she dated. Desire simmered under his cool surface, making her want to dive deeper.

New Year’s Eve served up the perfect excuse. When the bar staff toasted the new year, it was so easy to land in Eddie’s arms. So easy to keep dancing as their coworkers filed out, leaving them alone beneath the kitschy disco ball, its dizzy sparkle whirling them around and around.

And now he slept beside her, sunlight glinting off his wavy brown hair, glossy lashes fanned across his cheekbones, dark scruff shadowing his razor-sharp jaw. So pretty, so vulnerable, so one hundred percent wrong for her. Clean-cut guys like Eddie never stuck around with girls like her. God knows she’d bashed her head against that brick wall enough times to learn her lesson.

Breath held, she gingerly removed his hand from her breast and wriggled toward the edge of the bed. Eddie sighed and squirmed into the space she’d vacated, nuzzling her pillow. No, she corrected herself, his pillow. Gotta get out of here.

Rising on unsteady legs, she turned back for a final look. Sleep melted his solemn daytime expression into peaceful sweetness. His bare shoulders rose on a shiver. As she bent to tuck the quilt around him, her boob brushed his arm.

“Huh?” His eyes fluttered open. His brow rumpled, then smoothed as a bleary smile spread across his pillow-creased face. “Good morning,” he croaked and pushed up on his elbow. His gaze sharpened as it raked over her naked body. “Wow.”

“Yeah. Wow.” She waved a limp hand over the bed. “Last night was, uh—really something.” She shuffled backward, stifling the impulse to cover her bits. After all, he’d seen every inch of her. He’d sampled it all, too. Twice, if she recalled correctly. The details were still kind of blurry, but she remembered lots of giggling, Eddie’s silky hair tickling her inner thighs, the slap of flesh on flesh, and a climax so powerful she nearly blacked out.

Author Bio: 

Ever since her first kiss, Sadira’s been spinning steamy tales in her head. After leaving her teaching career in Germany, she finally tried her hand at writing one. Now she’s a happy citizen of Romancelandia, penning contemporary romance from her new home in Washington State, U.S.A. When not writing, which is seldom, she explores the Pacific Northwest with her charming husband, enjoys the local music scene, plays darts (pretty well), plays guitar (badly), and gobbles all the books. Visit Sadira at http://www.sadirastone.com.

I’d love to hear from you! Please visit me on all the socials.

 Author Website   Facebook   Twitter  Goodreads   Bookbub   Amazon Author Page   Pinterest   Instagram   Author Newsletter    

(Here are the long-form links in case embedded links don’t work on your site)

Visit Sadira on All the Socials!

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

Twitter: https://twitter.com/SadiraStone

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/18568049.Sadira_Stone

Bookbub: https://www.bookbub.com/profile/sadira-stone

Amazon author page: https://www.amazon.com/Sadira-Stone/e/B07KWK5FBX

Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/sadira0641/

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

Author newsletter: https://eepurl.com/dKLMP2

 

Buy Links:

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B08WLKB3S8

Barnes & Noble: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/opposites-ignite-sadira-stone/1138878794?ean=2940162422211

Apple Books: https://books.apple.com/us/book/opposites-ignite/id1554956375

Goodreads link: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/57191079-opposites-ignite

Universal book link: https://books2read.com/u/m0wjvP

 

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Filed under Author Blog Post, New Release

#HobbyCareerPassion: Jennifer Wilck ~ A Reckless Heart

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

I’m pleased to introduce today’s guests, Jennifer Wilck and Simon McAlter…

I’m Simon McAlter, and I’m the hero of Jennifer Wilck’s latest romance, A Reckless Heart. Ha! Just writing that line makes me uncomfortable. Hero? No, I’m not a hero. If I were, I would have been able to save my family. And a romance? Not with this face. Jennifer told me I had to write about my passion, which is landscape architecture. I wanted to tell her, “You’re the author, you do it.” But since she is the author, that means she can get rid of me, probably easier than she was able to create me, so it’s in my best interest to listen to her. Not to mention, it gives me a reason to hide in my office while Meg, my way-too-pretty tenant, makes use of my house. She’s not supposed to be here, but the place she rented from me was damaged in the storm, and until it’s fixed, she’s here. So I’m trying to avoid her. Mostly unsuccessfully.

Anyway, landscape architecture. I’ve always loved plants and nature. Their beauty, their medicinal elements, their ability to thrive in the harshest conditions. When I went to college, I studied plants, learned computer design programs, and worked with master gardeners and architects. I learned how to design landscaping that compliments existing buildings and natural features. I thrived, and became more successful than I could have possibly imagined. I traveled to Europe and Asia, and brought my knowledge back home. I’ve designed college campuses, palace gardens, and city parks. I teach students to create beauty. My favorite thing to do is dig in the dirt and see my designs come to life.

My accident changed everything, though. The scarring on my hands makes fine motor skill difficult. Luckily for me, I found a therapy garden, and worked on my hands while designing plantings for the botanical garden. In the beginning, they scheduled my work when people weren’t there—not because of my face, although I was happy not to have anyone see it, but because I, um, tend to curse a lot when things don’t go my way, and they were afraid I’d scare off everyone else. Probably right—what my face doesn’t scare away, my language does. The therapy helped not only my hands but my mind. I created a garden that when fully in bloom, looks like flames. And in the process, I made the nightmares disappear.

I still have fine motor difficulties, but my hands are probably as healed as they’ll ever be. Things take me longer, but I get them done. I avoid people as much as possible. This solitary life on the Maine coast suits me well. I teach my students remotely, design plans—both lesson and garden—on my computer, and live as full a life as possible.

Only lately, my designs are lacking inspiration. I’m supposed to helping the town library committee develop a garden on the property next to them. Somehow, they want to buy the land, rather than let the town sell it to condo developers, and use it for a community garden. My friend, Claire, asked me to design something, and I said yes. Except, every time I sit down to work on it, my mind blanks. Even the designs I’ve made for clients in the past few years are dull. Claire tells me I need to get out more. Yeah, right. One look at my face and everyone runs screaming.

Except Meg. She doesn’t run from me. I wonder why.

 

Blurb:

Meg Thurgood, former society girl, took the blame for her friend and paid a steep price. Now all she wants is solitude and a chance to rebuild her life. She thinks she’s found that in an isolated house she rents from a mysterious stranger.

Simon McAlter has hidden in his house on the coast of Maine since a fire left him scarred. A successful landscape architect who conducts his business and teaches his classes remotely, he’s lost his inspiration and is trying to pretend he’s not lonely. 

Simon’s new neighbor is more than he bargained for. When he learns Meg’s secret, will he retreat into the shadows or will he learn to see past the surface and trust in Meg’s love? 

Excerpt:

Meg spoke. “These gardens are beautiful.”

“Want to see what I planted when I was here?”

His work was here? “I’d love to.” She hadn’t seen any of his finished projects, just his plans. She was eager to see what he’d done. He led her once again toward the pavilion. In one area, sweeping in an arc, were leafy plants and flowers. At first glance, they looked as if they’d landed there any old way, but as she studied them, a pattern and a purpose emerged. Varying shades of greens and golds merged with reds and oranges.

She gasped. “They look like flames! They’re beautiful.”

He smiled. “When they’re in full bloom in the summer, you can see the design more clearly.”

He’d created this because of his accident. To think he’d intentionally planted to make a thing of beauty out of destruction…her chest swelled, and she blinked away unwanted moisture. She wrapped her arms around him. “Does it help you to look at it?”

He shrugged. “Now, it matters less to me. Then? I needed to remove the image from my mind and this formation helped. Instead of seeing the fire that destroyed my family, I turned those visions into something that created life—flowers that stunned and soothed at the same time. Plus, the ability to do the work myself was therapeutic as well.”

“You’re amazing.” She looked around, turning in a slow circle. “I don’t think I could ever do anything like this.” The car accident and flash bulbs flickered in her mind once again. What beauty could she possibly create from her experience?

He massaged his hand. “Took way longer than it should.”

“And probably involved a lot of cursing.”

Simon huffed. “In the beginning, I made sure to only be here alone. Toward the end, Jed allowed a few select people to work here at the same time as me. But never children. Because, you know, language.”


He draped his arm around her as they meandered along the pathways. At the sound of voices, Meg turned toward them, but Simon steered them away from the other visitors.

She wanted to protest, to convince him he had nothing to fear from strangers, but she acquiesced. She, of all people, understood his fear. Instead, she followed him and absorbed the beauty of the flowers and the gentle scents that mixed and mingled around them.

Bio:

Jennifer started telling herself stories as a little girl when she couldn’t fall asleep at night. Pretty soon, her head was filled with these stories and the characters that populated them. Even as an adult, she thinks about the characters and stories at night before she falls asleep or walking the dog. Eventually, she started writing them down. Her favorite stories to write are those with smart, sassy, independent heroines; handsome, strong and slightly vulnerable heroes; and her stories always end with happily ever after.

In the real world, she’s the mother of two amazing daughters and wife of one of the smartest men she knows. When she’s not writing, she loves to laugh with her family and friends, is a pro at finding whatever her kids lost in plain sight, and spends way too much time closing doors that should never have been left open in the first place. She believes humor is the only way to get through the day and does not believe in sharing her chocolate.

She writes contemporary romance, some of which are mainstream and some of which involve Jewish characters. She’s published with The Wild Rose Press and all her books are available through Amazon and Barnes & Noble.

Author Links:

Website: https://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/

BookBub: https://www.bookbub.com/profile/jennifer-wilck

 

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

“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