Tag Archives: Contemporary

National Excellence in Story Telling (NEST) 2021 Contest Winners ~ #NESTWinner2021 #CROWGroupOK #MustRead #Books #WRPbks #AHAgrp

Central Region Oklahoma Writers is pleased to present the winners of…

Contemporary Novel

First Place

What A Guy Wants by Judi Fennell

Publisher: Mergenie Books

Second Place

The Magnolia Inn by Carolyn Brown

Publisher: Montlake Romance

Third Place

Gravity by Mona Sedrak

Publisher: The Wild Rose Press

Fourth Place (Tie)

The Banty House by Carolyn Brown

Publisher: Montlake Romance

Fourth Place (Tie)

Good Vibes at the Vine by JB Schroeder

Publisher: JB Schroeder LLC and Two Feet Press

Fifth Place

A Ranger for the Twins by Tanya Agler

Publisher: Harlequin

Contemporary Short

First Place

A Song For Another Day by Maria Imbalzano

Publisher: The Wild Rose Press

Second Place

Power Play by Anna DePalo

Publisher: Harlequin

Third Place

Crazy Old Money by Kilby Blades

Publisher: Luxe Press

Fourth Place

Snowflake Cottage by Linda Carroll-Bradd

Publisher: Inked Figments

Fifth Place (Tie)

Practically Persuaded in Pittsburgh by JB Schroeder

Publisher: JB Schroeder LLC and Two Feet Press

Fifth Place (Tie)

A Perfect Grey Christmas by Anna Sugden

Publisher: Self-Published

Fifth Place (Tie)

Cinnamon’s Courageous Heart by Ryan Summers

Publisher: Self-Published

Erotic Novel

First Place

Tempt: A Wicked Sanctuary Novel by Marie Tuhart

Publisher: Hot Blooded Press

Second Place

You Can’t Buy Love by Melanie A. Smith

Publisher: Wicked Dreams Publishing

Third Place

Never Date a Doctor by Melanie A. Smith

Publisher: Wicked Dreams Publishing

Erotic Short

First Place

Honeymoon Hideaway by Mia London

Publisher: Mia London Books

Second Place

Blue Steel Hearts by Eve Lyn

Publisher: The Wild Rose Press

Third Place

Full Metal by Eve Lyn

Publisher: The Wild Rose Press

Historical Novel

First Place

By Promise Made by Susan Leigh Furlong

Publisher: The Wild Rose Press

Second Place

The Runaway Wife by CiCi Cordelia

Publisher:  Soul Mate Publishing

Third Place

Willie, My Love by Judy Ann Davis

Publisher:  Self-Published

Fourth Place

FELICE by Kathleen Bittner Roth

Publisher: Kensington Zebra

Fifth Place

A Scandalous Portrait by Callie Hutton

Publisher: Self-Published

Historical Short

First Place

The Blueberry Swirl Waltz by Maria Imbalzano

Publisher: The Wild Rose Press

Second Place

Grayson by Linda Carroll-Bradd

Publisher: Inked Figments

Third Place

The Christmas Bride by Kara O’Neal

Publisher: Self-Published

Inspirational

First Place

Patriot’s Courage by Penelope Marzec

Publisher: Prism Book Group

Second Place

My Heart Weeps by Pamela S. Thibodeaux

Publisher: Temperance Publishing

https://books2read.com/MyHeartWeeps

Third Place

Our Town Atheist by Victoria Buck

Publisher: Harbourlight/Pelican Book Group

Fourth Place

Eight Nights to Win Her Heart by Roni Denholtz

Publisher: Self-Published

Fifth Place

Lioness: Mahlah’s Journey by Barbara M. Britton

Publisher:  Pelican Book Group

Paranormal Novel

First Place

A Glimmer of Ghosts by Hunter J. Skye

Publisher:  The Wild Rose Press

Second Place

Unseen by Cassie Laelyn

Publisher: The Wild Rose Press

Third Place

Waking the Dead by Kerry Blaisdell

Publisher: The Wild Rose Press

Fourth Place

Touch of Evil by Cecy Robson

Publisher: Cecy Robson, LLC

Fifth Place (Tie)

Rumpel’s Redemption by Tamara Grantham

Publisher: Clean Teen Publishing

Fifth Place (Tie)

Lightning Strikes Again by Roni Denholtz

Publisher: Self-Published

Suspense Novel

First Place (Tie)

Colder Than Sin by Toni Anderson

Publisher: Self-Published

First Place (Tie)

Only Obsession by Marissa Garner

Publisher: Self-Published

Second Place

Retrograde by Desiree Holt

Publisher: Totally Bound

Third Place

Time to Run by Susan C. Muller

Publisher: Self-Published

Fourth Place

Cold & Deadly by Toni Anderson

Publisher: Self-Published

Fifth Place

A Pride of Brothers: Rick by Peggy Jaeger

Publisher: The Wild Rose Press

Suspense Short

First Place (Tie)

Stranger in the Storm by Patricia McAlexander

Publisher: The Wild Rose Press

First Place (Tie)​

Blood and Breakfast by Alicia Dean

Publisher: Self-Published

Second Place

A Shot of Murder by Brenda Gayle

Publisher: Bowstring Books

Third Place

Running Wild in Reno by Shirley Hailstock

Publisher: Self-Published

Young Adult Novel

First Place

Finding Frances by Kelly Vincent

Publisher: The Wild Rose Press

Second Place

Cherokee Summer by Susan Antony

Publisher: The Wild Rose Press

Third Place

The Haunted Purse by Kimberly Baer

Publisher: The Wild Rose Press

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Filed under Entertainment, Uncategorized

#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

#HobbyCareerPassion: “For the Love of Baking” ~ Author Amber Daulton ~ Arresting Jeremiah

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

I’m pleased to introduce today’s guest,  Amber Daulton

“For the Love of Baking” by Calista Barlow, the heroine from Arresting Jeremiah

Ever since I was a little girl, I’ve wanted to bake. And not just simple sugar cookies. My dream was to run a bakery or maybe manage a fancy restaurant. I spent my childhood learning everything I could from a master chef. I was definitely lucky, at least in that regard. But let me back up…

My mother and I lived in this gorgeous manor when I was a child, but we weren’t the homeowners. Not even close. Mom was a maid, and I was the maid’s daughter who always snuck into the kitchen to “help” the moody head chef, Pascal Caron. After a while, Chef Caron realized I seriously wanted to learn how to cook and bake, and I wasn’t just there to annoy him. He took me under his wing, and my eyes opened to the world of culinary and artsy dishes.

Then I grew up. After my secret boyfriend dumped me and left me pregnant when I was eighteen, I learned quickly that life wasn’t fair and my dreams had to go on hold.

For the next ten years, I worked dead-end waitressing jobs with no end in sight, but I never stopped whipping up fantastical creations in my meager kitchen. I make everything from scratch, and I use graham cracker crusts for my shells. What do I make? Well, let’s see…cheesecake, doughnuts, muffins, tarts, pies, cakes, brownies, and more. Hmm, I would love something chocolatey right now. Sorry, but I skipped lunch and my belly is growling. Anyway, where was I? Oh yes, your mouth will water from one taste of any of my desserts—I guarantee it. I’m not normally an over-confident person, but I know I rock in the kitchen.

Mom, my daughter Lacey, and my best friend, Shana, are the best! They’re so supportive. Then there’s Jeremiah—better known as Jim. He’s unlike any man I’ve ever met. He’s so sweet and sexy, and more than determined to fulfill my dreams of opening a bakery. How could I have lucked out with him?

Now, I’m off to bake Jeremiah and Lacey a yummy surprise. He loves anything with blueberries in it, so we’re having a torte for dessert tonight. But don’t tell him, okay? First things first, though, I need to make a sandwich or I might just eat the dessert all by myself. It’s been known to happen, and yet I complain about my waistline. *sigh* Anyway, thank you so much for reading!

Blurb

Injured Parole Officer Jeremiah “Jim” Borden never expected Calista Barlow, the sassy blonde waitress he’s craved for months, to ring his doorbell. She slips into his heart—and his bed—but he’s obsessed with a gangland investigation that threatens his career and maybe even his life.

Calista doesn’t trust easily, not with a daughter to protect and the stalker who keeps calling her. After her violent ex-boyfriend returns, she finds solace in Jim’s arms.

Jim may have to forego his need for answers to protect the ready-made family he adores, but how will he and Calista escape an unseen enemy that is always one step ahead of them?

Excerpt

“What were you thinking when you tried on the necklace?”

Air whizzed through her teeth. Silence stretched between them as they walked toward the diner. She sighed, her voice soft. “No offense, but I don’t know or trust you enough to let you in that much. I’ve made some mistakes—things I don’t want to talk about. Give me some time.”

Trust? He couldn’t blame her for that. If he demanded to know her secrets, he had to tear down the barbwire he’d erected around his.

No. That couldn’t happen. His life depended on his silence. Did her private thoughts and memories hinge on life and death too? His stomach twisted. Nothing bad would happen to her, not if he was around to stop it.

“What can you tell me?” Hell, only an asshole would ask something like that without opening up in return.

“The necklace reminded me of something I once wanted more than anything. Not the pearls itself, but what it represented. I couldn’t have it because I wasn’t good enough.” She pulled from his grasp and wrapped her arms around her middle.

“I’m sorry I forced you to try on the necklace. I thought you liked it. All women deserve something that makes them feel pretty.” The stench of oil filled his nose and he sneezed. He glanced at the noisy passing cars and pulled Calista farther back along the sidewalk, away from a puddle in the road, before a vehicle splashed them. “I understand about lack of trust and the need for secrecy. I hope someday you can tell me what happened, but I do know one thing, even if you never tell me. You were good enough. You always have been and will always be.”

Her blue-green eyes widened. She traced her fingertips over his smooth jaw, leaving sparks in her wake.

“You’re so kind. I almost believe it when you say it. God, I wish I’d met you years ago, Jeremiah.”

“Why do you call me Jeremiah? Everyone else calls me Jim.”

“It feels more personal, as though you belong only to me. I may have to share Jim with the rest of the world, but Jeremiah—the strong, kind man I’ve admired over the past several months—is all mine.”

Her admission branded him like a fire poker to his skin. If he were alone, he’d beat his chest and roar. No woman had ever wanted to claim him. No one but her ever called him Jeremiah.

Amazon Buy Linkhttps://amzn.to/32vAlqu

About the Author

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

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

 Social Media Links

Website – https://amberdaulton.wordpress.com/

Newsletter – https://emailoctopus.com/lists/9d60a166-f2ea-11ea-a3d0-06b4694bee2a/forms/subscribe (Sign up and get a free ebook!)

Facebook Author Page – https://www.facebook.com/amber.daulton.author

Twitter – https://twitter.com/AmberDaulton1

Pinterest – https://pinterest.com/amberdaulton5/

Goodreads – https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6624921.Amber_Daulton

Book Bub – https://www.bookbub.com/authors/amber-daulton

Instagram – https://www.instagram.com/amberdaultonauthor1/

 

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

#HobbyCareerPassion: “I’m an Artist” ~ Author Pamela S Thibodeaux ~ My Heart Weeps

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,  a good friend, and a wonderful writer, Pamela S. Thibodeaux.

 

Hello, my name is Melena Rhyker and I’m an Artist…..

For as long as I can remember I’ve loved to draw and paint and work with stained glass. Although I took a few art classes over the years, mostly leisure learning and have used my talent to gift others, I never thought of myself as an artist. You see, I married young and worked as an Administrative Assistant in an accounting firm most of my adult life. I even got my Accounting Degree courtesy of my boss. But when my husband died, I just couldn’t fathom living the rest of my life in that same old rut. Before he passed, the rut had meaning and purpose. After, my life was meaningless and empty.

My best friend Pat told me that if I didn’t change the status quo, I’d never make it out of the valley of the shadow of death. That’s what grief is you know. Anyway, I quit my job and decided to pursue my art, thinking that if I put as much energy and passion into that as I had my marriage, my and Jon’s life together and our family, I might be able to get by with the money I earned and what savings I had.

For a while at least.

I began writing art-related articles and selling a few old paintings and greeting cards online and that was encouraging but not enough to count as substantial income.

They say God works in mysterious ways and I can attest to this because an application for a grant to an artist’s retreat popped up in my email one day and I won! That retreat and a subsequent job working on the Crossed Penn ranch (where the retreat was held) opened my eyes to the possibilities that lay before me. Leaving home and family for a couple of months was not easy, but necessary for my mental, emotional, and spiritual wellbeing. Leaving Jon took a huge leap of faith, but it paid off. My art flourished and the ranch owners, Anne and Bill Penn, offered to host a show for me and manage my career. From that moment on, I was no longer an Accountant/wannabe artist, I was a gallery-worthy artist and well paid for doing what I love.

We all have gifts and talents the Lord has blessed us with. Find yours – albeit painting or writing, sewing or needlework, carpentry or dance – pursue it with passion and dedication and most of all, with love and let God take you and your career places you’ve never dreamed of.

My name is Melena Rhyker and I am an artist.

 

Blurb: After thirty years married to the man of her dreams, Melena Rhyker is devastated by her husband’s death. Relief comes in the form of an artist’s retreat at the Crossed Penn ranch in Utopia, TX. She rediscovers a forgotten dream as her artistic talent flourishes into that of a gallery-worthy artist. Will she have the courage to follow the path she was destined to travel?

Garrett Saunders has been on the run most of his life. Abused and abandoned as a child, he escapes the clutches of a past filled with pain and shame, and hides from his calling as a Native American healer. His years as a CIA agent aid in overcoming his childhood and honing his talent and skill as a fine art photographer.

Follow their journey as two people who come from totally different backgrounds, but share gifts of gigantic proportions, find meaning and purpose in the Texas Hill Country.

Excerpt: She went into the private studio tucked away in an alcove on the third floor of the lodge, surprised to find her work arranged in an attractive display. Direct light shone on some, muted on others.

Melena wandered around the room. Her gaze rested on each individual piece of art, amazed again at what God had seen fit to express through her.

Her easel stood in the center of the room. She made her way to the stool and sat. Her mind whirled with visions, yet she hesitated to put images to paper. She closed her eyes and heard the voice of her art instructor from years past.

“What do you see? What do you feel? Delve deeper.”

One word came to mind, echoed in her spirit. Serenity.

Melena rose, wandered around the room once more and gazed upon her creations with a new set of eyes.

The eyes of her spirit.

She tugged on frames, readjusted light, and rearranged pieces until her theme fell into place.

Serenity.

She placed a fresh canvas on the easel, filled her palette with color, mixed shades and, with soft strokes of the brush, painted.

My Heart Weeps is on sale for a limited time @ 99cents and FREE on Kindle Unlimited!

Purchase Link: https://bit.ly/MyHeartWeeps

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

Links:

Website address: http://www.pamelathibodeaux.com

Blog: http://pamswildroseblog.blogspot.com

Newsletter: http://bit.ly/psthibnewsletter

Face Book: http://facebook.com/pamelasthibodeaux

https://www.facebook.com/pamelasthibodeauxauthor

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

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

Amazon Author Page: http://amzn.to/1jUVcdU

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

Instagram: https://instagram.com/pamelasthibodeauxauthor

Pam is giving away 1 Ebook, 1 Autographed Print Book, 1 Audio Book, a $15 Amazon Gift Card, a 1-month Audible membership and a SURPRISE Giftpack to 6 lucky winners! (1 prize per person) Names will be collected throughout the tour which ends Sept. 30th. Winners will be notified, and prizes awarded by October 10th so be sure to leave your EMAIL Address!

Blog Tour Dates/Stops:

8/11 Gail Pallotta’s Peering Through Life’s Window

8/13 Liz Flaherty’ Word Wranglers Blog

8/15 Clare Revell’s The Word Can Wait Blog

8/18 Southern Writers Suite T Blog

8/18 Alina K Field’s Simply Romance Blog

8/20 Penelope Marzec’s Bookish Thoughts Blog

8/25 Jana Richards’ Romance Story Board Blog

8/27 Beverly Bateman’s BLOG

9/1 Valarie Goree’s Facebook Page

9/5 D. V. Stone’s Campfire Blog

9/9 Jacqueline Seewald’s BLOG

9/11 Linda Rondeau’s Snark & Sensibility Blog

9/14 Patricia Kioyno’s Four Foxes, One Hound Blog

9/18 Diane Burton’s BLOG

9/22 Alicia Dean’s BLOG

9/25 Jeny Hickman’s BLOG

9/30 Linda Nightingale’s Author…Musings Blog

 

 

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

#HobbyCareerPassion: “A Passion for Life” ~ Author Brenda Whiteside ~ #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,  Brenda Whiteside…

 

A PASSION FOR LIFE

by Brenda Whiteside

Google Dictionary defines passion as a strong and barely controllable emotion; also as an intense desire or enthusiasm for something. My goal is for all of my characters to possess some passion.

Most of the characters in my stories in some way resemble people in my life. They could grow from a single personality trait of someone I know or have met into a full-blown hero or heroine, or my character might have much in common with the real-life person. In all cases, they have a passion that drives them forward to discover more about themselves.

Then there is Phoebe Anderson—my alter ego. Phoebe is the heroine in Southwest of Love and Murder, the second book in the five-book series. She’s a successful murder/mystery writer who lives in southern Arizona and loves coffee. My main writing genre is Romantic Suspense, but that’s close. I was born and raised in Phoenix. And I do LOVE my coffee.

Phoebe’s passion for writing started when she murdered her first husband on paper seventeen years ago. That book launched her career. She spends her mornings at the Lacy Latte consuming caramel lattes and creating villains we love to hate.

For Phoebe’s career passion, I didn’t have to do much research. Writing has long driven my days and leaked into my nighttime fantasies. As far as her preferred location to create her stories, I’m jealous of her. There isn’t a fancy latte café within two hours of me. But if I could, I would, so Phoebe gets to combine her two passions, writing and coffee, and I can live vicariously through her.

Mason, the hero in Southwest of Love and Murder, likens Phoebe’s style to a gypsy. She’s all gauzy skirts, filmy blouses, lots of jewelry, and long blonde hair with a few streaks of gray. Her passions go beyond her writing. Mason can attest to her boundless passion in at least one area. Her passion for life runs deep. In fact, anything Phoebe does is with passion.

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

BLURB

Mystery writer, Phoebe Anderson, owes her success to killing her first husband on paper seventeen years earlier. Now, someone has actually done it. When she decides to take a few days away on the ranch of her best friend’s brother-in-law, she doesn’t expect romance to find her…or murder to follow her.

Mason Meadowlark is happy with his wild cowboy ways, avoiding love since the death of his baby and the end of his marriage twenty years ago. When Phoebe shows up, he fights to control his emotions, but soon wonders if she just might be worth the risk of opening his heart again.

With an obsessed fan close on her heels, Phoebe is thrown into her own murder mystery…and the next target on his list is Mason.

EXCERPT

Phoebe shuddered and stilled.

Like the aftershocks of an earthquake, trembling overtook her body. Her knees wobbled, but Mason caught her before she collapsed.

“What’s wrong?” He hugged her briefly then brought his face even with hers. “Phoebe, tell me. Why are you shaking? What’s happened?”

“Oh my God, Mason.” She spread her hands on his chest and glanced back at the bathroom. “Tell someone to call an ambulance. Hurry!”

He took a step toward the ladies’ room, but she grabbed his shirtfront. “No!” She peered around him and shouted. “Someone call nine one one.”

Mason touched his pocket. “My cell’s in the truck.” He grabbed the shoulder of a male customer, the closest person to them. “You got a cell on you?”

The man nodded and pulled a phone from his pocket.

“Call nine one one right now. There’s been…” His face questioned her.

“Someone’s badly hurt in the bathroom. Oh hell, hurry!” She thumped her palms against his chest.

The man pulled out his cell as he raced into the ladies’ room.

Phoebe wrapped her arms around Mason, tipped her chin upward, and found the words. “It’s that
waitress, Mason. Carla.”

His expression went blank, from concern for her to no comprehension.

“There’s so much blood.” She stifled a gag, the sweet, copper penny reek still heavy in her nostrils. “Her throat.” A shudder rippled the length of her body. “I think she’s dead.”

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

For a limited time, Southwest of Love and Murder is on sale for $.99 at the following sites:

BUY LINKS

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Southwest-Love-Murder-Book-ebook/dp/B00QQPMIMQ

Apple iBooks: https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/southwest-of-love-and-murder/id965678707?mt=11

Barnes and Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/southwest-of-love-and-murder-brenda-whiteside/1121003952?ean=2940149945269

If you enjoy audio books, Southwest of Love and Murder is available in the form also:

AUDIO BUY LINKS

Audible US: https://www.audible.com/pd/Southwest-of-Love-and-Murder-Audiobook/B07MGZ1GMM

Audible UK: https://www.audible.co.uk/pd/Southwest-of-Love-and-Murder-Audiobook/B07M623KW2?

iTunes Audiobooks: https://itunes.apple.com/us/audiobook/southwest-love-murder-love-murder-series-book-2-unabridged/id1448484811

Brenda Whiteside is the author of suspenseful, action-adventure romance. Mostly. After living in six states and two countries—so far—she and her husband have decided they are gypsies at heart, splitting their time between Northern Arizona and the RV life. They share their home with a rescue dog named Amigo. While FDW is fishing, Brenda writes stories of discovery and love entangled with suspense.

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

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

Twitter: https://twitter.com/brendawhitesid2

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

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

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

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

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

 

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Author Interview with Cindy Procter-King PLUS New Release: Picture Imperfect

 

Please help me welcome today’s guest, Cindy Procter-King. So happy to have you today, Cindy. Thank you for agreeing to be interviewed. 

  1. Where did you get the idea for Picture Imperfect?

The idea for PICTURE IMPERFECT kind of sprang itself on me and then took a long time to develop. The heroine, Ursula Scott, and her basic situation (she was photographing a series of men in her underwear and wasn’t happy about it) along with the opening line (If Ursula Scott had to look at one more naked man, she’d scream) popped into my mind while I was considering what sort of book I might write about a woman disgruntled with her boss? This was long ago, before ChickLit fell “out of favor,” because at first I thought Ursula’s story was a ChickLit one. But I was contracted to write something else at the time, so I put the idea germ away and would bring it out from time to time and work on it some more. Eventually, I realized it wasn’t a ChickLit story at all, but a romantic comedy/mystery with suspense elements. The title went through a few incarnations as I grew to know the characters, beginning as UNDRESSING URSULA, then moving to SEX, PIs & PACKING TAPE, and finally PICTURE IMPERFECT, which makes total sense considering Ursula is a photographer and that at the beginning of the story something indefinable in her life just isn’t right. 🙂

I call the story a “Sassy Suspense,” because the suspense and mystery elements are fully braided with the characterization, romance, the family and friends dynamics, and the secondary characters arcs, and the story includes some pretty gritty incidents in both back story and current story time but with a humorous tone. I realized that the original title, UNDRESSING URSULA, which was meant to convey the character’s self-realization as she moved through the story, getting to know what she really wanted in a sort of peeling away or “undressing,” actually applied to the unfolding mystery and suspense elements as well as to Ursula’s rapidly developing relationship with her hero, Gabe McKenzie. So the title evolved along with the story.

  1. Sounds intriguing. My stories often undergo title changes as well. Are there any tricks or habits you use when creating a story?

I am pretty much a linear writer. I am mainly a pantser, but I plot as I go. I can only “see” a little of the plot at a time, so I try to think of how I work my way through my books as carving a tunnel out of a mountain. I need to “see” around one curve before I realize where the next curve is. For me, each scene or chapter grows organically from the previous one, so I do tend to fast-draft one scene and then revise and edit it before moving on to the next. However, with PICTURE IMPERFECT I decided to try something else, so committed myself to writing whatever scenes I could “see,” no matter where they fell in the book, during NaNoWriMo one year. It was a lot of fun, but in the end I had a beginning, what I thought might be my ending, but not a whole lot in the middle. And it took me a looong time to develop the middle. A lot of revisions and one monstrous rewrite.

Part of this was because I don’t usually write scenes out of order, and my muse seemed to stage a revolt against the idea. It was very aggravating, LOL. Because I wrote out of order, I pretty much knew the ending and thought I knew the villain. But my muse wasn’t happy with knowing the ending already, I guess, because as I rewrote the book she kept trying to change the villain. And I went along with her, but in the end the villain was the person I had envisioned in the beginning.

That sounds more like a struggle than a trick or habit. 😉 But every book I write feels like a struggle when I’m getting down the “first write,” which some authors might call a first draft, but because I revise as I go I call it a “first write.” I have had to really teach myself to accept my process, to literally tell myself to “have faith” and trust my muse. It’s like the story is buried in my head, and I can at times “feel” that my mind is working on it—but I don’t know the resulting scene yet. Sometimes I tell myself to “just sit down and see what I can do,” trying to alleviate the pressure of producing (because of course it seems like every other writer “knows” their scenes before they write them!). I tend more to hear and feel my characters than see them, so writing for me is a little like acting. I try to “channel” the characters until I can hear what they’re saying and feel their emotions. Then I “become” them. This is how I can write a complete asshat of a character and enjoy myself immensely. He thinks he’s the hero of the story, so why wouldn’t he be fun to write?

  1. Yes, we all have different processes that work for us. We just have to do what we do and trust the process. 🙂 What do you love that most people don’t like and wouldn’t understand why you do?

Lemons. When I was in Girl Guides in grade 5, I lost a game and had to suck a lemon. I was terrified because I had heard all my life how everyone hates lemons, the phrase “sour like a lemon,” etc. But, you know, it wasn’t bad! I have loved lemons ever since. I don’t eat them like fruit (except when I was pregnant with my second son, when I craved them), but I drench fish with lemon and then eat the rest (except for the skin).

  1. I love lemon too, especially in water. It just makes a huge difference. And Martini Drops are my current favorite Martinis. 🙂 What’s the main thing that you could get rid of in your life that would give you more writing time?

Well, right now I can’t afford it, but if I could…to hire a housecleaner and a meal planner. Someone who would not only plan all the meals but also shop for and prepare them to the point where I could just add a dab here and then and it would taste super fresh. I don’t mind housework; it’s just a matter of lack of time. But I strongly dislike cooking. I would rather someone else cook and I clean up. Sadly, neither my husband and I are cooks. I’m not a bad cook. I’m actually a pretty decent cook. I just don’t enjoy it. And I forget when I’m cooking to check on stuff. So now when I have something on my stove and get bored, I bring my iPad into the kitchen with me and sit down right in front of the stove so I won’t forget I’m cooking. Otherwise, I burn stuff. We had a cartoon on the fridge for years that said, “If there’s smoke, dinner’s ready.”

It would also be nice to be able to afford an assistant to handle promotional and bookkeeping chores. But that’s on the “someday maybe” list. I do like having a finger in every pie, keeping on top of things myself. But it cuts into my writing time, and I hate bookkeeping with a passion. It’s a constant struggle between being a control freak/what I can’t afford to farm out/the damn cooking!

  1. Oh gosh, wouldn’t that be fantastic! Some day… What do you want readers to come away with after they read PICTURE IMPERFECT?

First and foremost, I want to entertain my readers. I want them to smile and perhaps chuckle as they read my stories, because I smile and chuckle as I write them. But I also want my readers to feel what my characters are going through, to feel the love story developing, to know that these two people, my characters, are meant to be together. I want readers to think about the characters after they finish the story, to wish there was a sequel, to want to know more about the world or the relationships. I want them satisfied with the story, but wanting more from me as an author, whether I’m writing sassy suspense, romantic comedy, or my heartwarming hometown romances.

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

So many genres, so little time! So far, under two names, I have written contemporary romance, romantic comedy and now sassy suspense as Cindy and then erotic romance and romantic erotica under a pen name. As Cindy, now that I actually know I can write mystery/suspense (which I discovered while writing PICTURE IMPERFECT), I would like to write more in that arena. The big challenge is that I’m a slow writer and if I keep writing long books (PI is over 130,000 words) I could maybe write one book a year. I don’t know if that slow pace can work in Indie publishing. For now I’m waiting it out and working on multiple series that I’ve already started.

I have a bad habit (which I am currently attempting to address) of writing one or two books in a series and then moving on even though I know the current publishing climate favors series. So I would LIKE to and I AM now working on established series until I have at least three books or stories in a series before I allow myself to get pulled somewhere else. Like…I have an idea for a cozy mystery series with a quirky heroine and her sidekick, but it would be really, really bad of me to start that cozy mystery series without continuing on with my “established” series first. Very bad.

So very bad.

(Help.)

  1. Ha, I do the same thing. I have three or more books that desperately need sequels! Your most prized material possession? Why?

My oak roll-top desk. My husband gave it to me for our first anniversary. Instead of buying me something “paper,” he got me something to “put paper on.” I love my roll-top desk! We’ve been married 31 years, so the desk is now 30 years old—and so is the chair. The chair has barely worked for years, but I won’t give it up. It wobbles as I sit on it. I have two desks in my office, a computer desk with my desktop computer and then the roll-top desk. I draft and do business stuff at the computer. The roll-top desk is for revising on paper (I can’t really get to know my characters on the computer; the magic happens on paper with a pen or pencil in hand), planning my days, and organizing my life (I am the family financier/household manager). I love all the little compartments. It’s like a reflection of my brain, both cluttered and organized at once. It reflects my writing process—messy yet organized. And it reflects my husband’s love for me and continued support of my writing endeavors, which I cherish.

OH wow, what a perfect answer to the final question. LOVE this! And, speaking of perfect, er, well, imperfect, tell us about your latest release…

cindyprocter-king_pictureimperfect_800px

Blurb:

Just when she thought she had her life on autofocus…

Photographer Ursula Scott is six short months from buying her boss’s studio and helping her family knock down a massive debt. She can put up with his hairball antics for that long, right?

Right?

 But, oh, he makes life difficult. She can barely restrain herself when he hogs credit for her assignments, and now half-naked weirdos are responding to his ad for her first magazine photo spread. On top of that, someone is sabotaging the studio. Worse, she discovers her sexy apprentice is a former cop practicing his newbie PI skills on the case—and she’s a suspect!

Suddenly, Ursula’s dreams and hard work seem about to go up in smoke. In more ways than one.

Well, not on her watch.

When Gabe McKenzie moves home following the shooting that kyboshed his career, he doesn’t expect to get sucked into finding the culprit wreaking havoc at his uncle’s photography studio. He certainly doesn’t expect to fall for Ursula Scott, a long-legged brunette with a definite motive and a desire to play Nancy Drew. Even as he clears her, the sabotage escalates into a bizarre stalking, placing Ursula…and Gabe’s hopes for their future…in danger.

If only he can convince her to stop snooping around and let him do his job as a PI, before an unknown menace threatens not only her dreams—but her life.

 

Excerpt: 

Ursula placed an order with the food vendor. As the man set down two steaming cups of apple cider with cinnamon sticks for stirring, she caught sight of Gabe wandering toward the cart, tucking his phone into his coat.

He picked up the cups. “Smells good. Thanks.”

“You’re welcome. I hope you like hot cider. It’s locally made.”

“Any warm beverage on a fall day is ideal.”

Nodding, Ursula gazed at the gray clouds obliterating the earlier patches of blue sky. “Looks like rain’s coming.”

Gabe pointed to the hood hanging down the back of his jacket. “I have an instant umbrella this time.”

“I noticed. See, you can learn.”

“You’re a good role model.”

Another compliment. A girl could grow accustomed to his gallantry.

She collected the bag of warm, soft pretzels and, side by side, they strolled in companionable silence to the slatted bench. Gabe’s limp had improved since he’d walloped Lance, thank goodness.

They sat, Gabe on her right, his hurt leg extended in front of him, heel balanced on the grass. Preschoolers played on a jungle gym while moms and nannies chatted and supervised. A couple of seagulls squawked at the base of a trashcan.

“Here you go.” Gabe passed her a hot cup of cider.

She set down the drink with a quick thanks before opening the vendor bag. She’d ordered two varieties of homemade pretzels, and the contrasting scents of cinnamon-sugared dough and spicy mustard glaze drifted from the sack. Her mouth watered.

“What did your physical therapist say?” she asked Gabe.

“Like I figured, I’m to ice the muscle tonight and take ibuprofen. I just saw her yesterday. Because I was so touched by your concern, she’s also fitting me in late this afternoon.”

He was only teasing, but butterflies scattered inside her tummy. “That’s a relief. I’m glad you checked.”

His shoulder bumped hers. “Anything for you, boss.”

Tingles shot everywhere. He was so sexy. So incredibly tempting.

 

Buy Links:

Amazon – https://www.amazon.com/Picture-Imperfect-Suspense-Cindy-Procter-King-ebook/dp/B01LWS7E0S/

iBooks – https://geo.itunes.apple.com/us/book/picture-imperfect/id1161811331?at=11l9SH

Kobo – https://store.kobobooks.com/en-ca/ebook/picture-imperfect-7

NOOK – http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/picture-imperfect-cindy-procter-king/1124924747?ean=2940153530611

cindypk_300px

Bio:

Cindy Procter-King writes sassy suspense, rollicking romantic comedy, and heart-tugging small-town romance. To sum it up, feel-good fiction! A Romance Writers of America® Golden Heart finalist, Cindy’s mission in life is to see her surname spelled properly—with an E. That’s P-r-o-c-t-E-r. Never, under any circumstances, should you spell it with two O’s (shudder).

Cindy’s novels and short fiction are available as eBooks from retailers all over the world, as well as in trade paperback, library hardcover and large print, some foreign editions, and audiobooks.

Cindy lives in beautiful British Columbia with her family, a cat obsessed with dripping tap water, and Allie McBeagle.

Contact Links:

 

Website: http://www.cindyprocter-king.com

Newsletter signup/email: http://www.cindyprocter-king.com/contact.html

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/cindyprocterkingauthor

Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/cindypk

 

 

 

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The Marriage Trap – Fun Fact and More from Marissa Garner

I am happy to share Marissa Garner’s debut release – The Marriage Trap – published through The Wild Rose Press. I have known Marissa for years, and I am thrilled that her fabulous story is finally out for the world to enjoy. I was fortunate enough to be Marissa’s editor on this novel. It was great working with her.

Without further ado…

The Marriage Trap by Marissa Garner – Contemporary romance novel

She dreams of marriage; he thinks the institution is a trap

Fun fact:

My favorite Hawaiian island is Maui, so it seemed only natural to make it the setting for my Hawaiian Heat series. Maui is magical. From the lush rainforest of the Iao Valley to the “moonscape” of the Haleakala volcano, from the rushing Hana Waterfalls to the windy Kaanapali beaches, the island offers a kaleidoscope of experiences. Balmy tropical breezes, sun-drenched white sand, and pounding teal surf provide the perfect relief from everyday stress and rev up a couple’s libido. That’s why I decided Maui was the ideal place for my characters to fall in love.

TMT.Finalcover.lg.750

BLURB:

Ginny Fitzgerald has always dreamed of marriage and motherhood. But when she escapes her domineering former fiancé to attend a two-month writing seminar, she discovers more about herself than about fiction. Sparks fly and then ignite when she meets enigmatic Drew Morgan. He melts her reserved façade and unleashes her repressed passions. Sadly, Ginny believes she can never achieve her goals with Drew and fears the only happily-ever-after in her future is the one she’s writing for her romance novel.

Drew thinks marriage is a trap, and he’s made a pact with his brother to remain bachelors forever. Even when the Hawaiian Heat welds love and lust into his dream soul mate, he can’t marry Ginny. After she declines his invitation to live with him, he must choose between his opposition to the chains of marriage and the possibility of a lifetime of happiness.

EXCERPT:

“Virgin?”

Ginny Fitzgerald whipped her head around. “Excuse me?

“Virgin?” the man repeated. “Not you, sweetheart, your drink. You told your boyfriend no, but he ordered for you anyway before going to the john.” The bartender smiled and leaned closer. “I thought maybe you’d like to go virgin on this drink without him knowing.”

“Thanks, but I don’t want the drink at all,” she said. “And he’s not my boyfriend.”

“Just kidding.” He winked. “But whoever the guy is, he’s working damn hard to get lucky tonight.”

Ginny shrugged. “I know that. I’m not a moron. I’ve been trying to politely discourage him.”

“Need help?”

“No, thanks. I’m handling it.”

“Good to know. I hate to see slime sneak up on nice girls.”

He wiped a small towel across the bar in front of her, but still held her gaze. Even in the dim lighting, his eyes twinkled an amazing teal blue like the water over the coral reefs.

“How do you know I’m a ‘nice girl’?”

He stroked his chin. “Let me count the ways. One, you don’t let someone push you into drinking more than you want. Two, you flinch every time that guy touches you, which means you recognize the jerk for the player he is. Three, and most important, if that type appealed to you, you would’ve left with him already.” A cocky grin lit the man’s face. “Definitely a nice girl.” With another wink, he moved down the bar to take a couple’s order.

Sneaking a discreet peek, Ginny watched the bartender’s efficient, fluid movements as he mixed drinks and chatted with the customers. And there was a lot more about him to admire. The sun had woven wheat-colored streaks through his wavy, chestnut hair and bronzed his face and arms, giving him a healthy, outdoorsman appearance. The short sleeves of his Hawaiian print shirt revealed taut muscles, and his khaki cargo shorts hugged narrow hips and a sweet ass.

Hot, hot, hot…

After a mental shake, she swiveled on the barstool, her gaze sweeping around the buzzing bar and reaching the crowded dance floor. Friday night was cranking up. The brilliant colors of the tropical motif added another layer of sensual heat to the already sizzling scene. Temperatures and decibels were on the rise. Upscale Club Lahaina vibrated with pulsing music. Uninhibited dancers pumped and gyrated, performing erotic mating rituals. Their wild abandon mesmerized Ginny and tugged at a longing she was reluctant to acknowledge.

With a heavy sigh, she swung back toward the bar, determined to keep the sadness swelling in her chest at bay. Hoping to boost her spirits, she’d stopped at the popular club in the charming little tourist town of Lahaina to toast her newfound freedom only because she didn’t want to face her silent, empty condo. Even though she’d chosen an inconspicuous seat at the end of the bar, a jerk had still managed to intrude on her private celebration.

**************************** 

On sale through The Wild Rose Press for 50% off! Only  $3.00 for a limited time

Click here to purchase:

The Wild Rose Press 

Amazon:

Barnes and Noble

iBooks

Find Marissa Here: 

Websitewww.marissagarner.com

Facebookwww.facebook.com/MarissaGarnerAuthor

Twitter:  @M_Garner_Author

Goodreadshttps://www.goodreads.com/marissa_garner

Pinterest:  www.pinterest.com/garner1819/

 

 

 

 

 

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Wednesday’s Want, Wed, Waste – Jane Austen Heroes

Hello and welcome to my version of the game, ‘F*@#’, Marry, Kill. This week we are WWW’ing actors/characters in Jane Austen movies/TV shows.

Myself and some of my friends are sharing our Want, Wed, and Waste choices from this week’s list:

Matthew MacFadyen as Mr. Darcy, Rupert Penry Jones as Captain Wentworth, Jonny Lee Miller as Mr. Knightley

darcy rupert knightly

(Sorry the pics are so small, not sure what happened)

Click on book titles below to learn more and to be taken to a buy link

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Me (Alicia Dean). Author of DEATH NOTICE – A killer is using her obituary column to forecast his kills. 

Want: Mr. Darcy – I must admit, I still haven’t watched ANY Jane Austen movies. Ugh…I swear, I will one of these days. But for now, I have to base it on what I know/see. I watched a clip of Mr. Darcy and the girl out in the rain, and it was very emotional, very sensual. I adore rain, so I would have to want Mr. Darcy.

Wed: Mr. Knightley – Just because he’s the most appealing of the two who are left over, and I would rather Wed him than Want him, because Mr. Darcy is sexier. (Do the heroines in Jane Austen novels actually call these guys by “Mr.” or “Captain” so and so? Even in the throes of passion?)

Waste: Captain Wentworth. He is the least attractive of the three, although if I saw these three guys in action, I might change my mind. Besides, making her call him “Captain”….isn’t that a bit pretentious? Or, is he actually a captain?  

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Linda McLaughlin, author of Lady Elinor’s Escape, Cinderella meets Jane Austen in this sweet Regency romance.  website: http://www.lindamclaughlin.com

Want: Matthew MacFadyen as Mr. Darcy. He brings an intensity to the role that neither Colin Firth nor Laurence Olivier could, though their Mr. Darcy’s were more elegant and perhaps true to the book. I like the notion of an Atlas-sized Mr. Darcy, since he does willingly shoulders the troubles of the world, or at least the part of it he controls, which is not inconsiderable. But I put him in the want category because marriage to such a paragon would be a bit daunting, esp. having to deal with Lady Catherine de Burgh!

Wed: Rupert Penry Jones as Captain Wentworth. I’ve always had a fondness for naval gentlemen, and I love Rupert Penry-Jones. The only fault I see in the casting is that he’s too fair to be believable as a sea captain. (They were perpetually tanned from being outside in the sun and wind.) He is handsome though, and does a good job of portraying the reserved captain who never got over his first love. Persuasion is Austen’s most emotional book, IMO, and the movies always touch my heart.

Waste: Jonny Lee Miller as Mr. Knightley. This doesn’t seem right, but Emma is the least romantic of the three movies. It’s really the education of Miss Emma Woodhouse–19th c. chicklit, really–and Mr. Knightley seems more best friend/older brother than prospective suitor. It’s not Jonny Lee Miller’s fault, but rather the limitations of the character as written. I hadn’t seen this version of Emma and it was fun to watch. I’ve always found Mr. Knightley less dashing than Austen’s other heroes, though he’d be good husband material. But if I have to choose between Mr. Knightley and Captain Wentworth, I’ll take my sea captain.

 

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Jill Hughey, author of the Evolution Series set in Charlemagne’s empire, wants you to know that today, April 2, is Charlemagne’s birthday! Get her five-star series bundle only $6.50 for three novels and a short story! http://jillhughey.blogspot.com

 

Alicia is killing me with this round of choices because I LOVE all these movies.

 

Want – Jonny Lee Miller as Mr. Knightley – I enjoy Jonny Lee Miller in this movie and also his series, Elementary. I’d probably wed him except he was once married to Angelina Jolie, which worries me more than a little, and he has some affectations that might get on my nerves. I’d definitely like him to court me for awhile, though! The way he sighs when Emma reveals her feelings for him is truly swoon-worthy.

 

Wed – Rupert Penry Jones as Captain Wentworth – This character drives me a little crazy when he leaves the recital after Anne throws herself all over him, but that is Jane Austen’s doing. I think Rupert Penry Jones absolutely nails the pivotal interaction that gives Anne renewed hope with the way he delivers the line: “A man does not recover from such a passion with such a woman. He ought not. He does not.” I just melt. And the way he looks at her in both the kiss scene and the end of the movie shows that he will be attentive and faithful to the end! 

 

Waste – Matthew MacFayden as Mr. Darcy – Matthew MacFayden does a wonderful job in this role. My family will tell you I’ve about worn out my DVD of this movie, so it is pretty surprising to discover that he is not my type. I can’t even figure that out because I absolutely adore Richard Armitage who has a similar build, coloring, and voice, but Matthew doesn’t really light my fire. Sorry Mr. Darcy! 

 

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RoseAnn DeFranco, author of Secondhand Romance She wants to know if he’s a Mr. Darcy or a Mr. Knightley. He’s there to fix more than the wiring in her bookstore. A bet and a stack of old love letters leads to a secondhand romance.  Website: www.radefranco.com

 

Choosing between Jane Austen’s heroes is very difficult for me but here goes….

 

Want: Persuasion – Rupert Perry Jones as Captain Wentworth. Sigh. The passion in the Captain as played by Rupert Perry Jones gets me EVERY time…and I do try to watch this one at least twice a year! The glances he steals of Anne throughout the story smolder as he tries to conceal his passion, but his final declaration, and the kiss at the end of this one makes me think these two will enjoy a very happy marriage bed.

 

Wed: Emma Masterpiece – Jonny Lee Miller as Mr. Knightley. First, Johnny Lee Miller gives the best performance of Knightley to date! His portrayal of Knightley conveys the thoughtful, honorable traits of Knightley while also exposing his depth of emotion for Emma plain for everyone (except her) to see. His love and understanding of Emma and her family situation makes him perfect husband material.

 

Waste: Pride and Prejudice – Matthew MacFayden as Mr. Darcy. As much as it pains me, and it DOES, someone has to go in the waste column. While perhaps not my favorite portrayal of Mr. Darcy (See Colin Firth, BBC Version THE POND SCENE) Matthew MacFayden portrays a very passionate Darcy, one that it would be hard to say no to. “You have bewitched me body and soul, and I love, I love, I love you…” Amazing moment in the movie, sigh. Damn. I want them all. I’d wed them all. I’d let nothing go to waste! But in this instance, sorry Matthew!

 

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Linda Carroll-Bradd, author of Capturing The Marshal’s Heart, a western historical, that will be on sale on Amazon for 99 cents 4/4/14 only.  Website: www.lindacarroll-bradd.com

 

Want—Rupert Penry Jones—his performance was understated and confined, which makes me think there was so much more under the surface to be discovered. 

 

Wed—Matthew MacFadyen—he stepped into big shoes to play this role and within the first couple of scenes, he made me believe in his sincerity and steadfastness. 

 

Waste—Jonny Lee Miller—he was good in this role but I wasn’t convinced that such a high-energy performer was the calm and laid-back Mr. Knightley.
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Juli D. Revezzo, author of Passion’s Sacred Dance, He may be her savior in disguise–but can she trust him? 

 

Want: Rupert Penry Jones 

 

Wed: Johnny Lee Miller (He seems like a sweetie)

 

Waste: Matthew MacFayden (Sorry. But his portrayal of Darcy was just *too* depressing)

 

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Now we’d like to hear from you….which of these Jane Austen Heroes would you Want, Wed, and Waste?

Thanks for playing!

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