Tag Archives: #HobbyCareerPassion

#HobbyCareerPassion: “A Passion for Horses” ~ Author Kara O’Neal ~ #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, Kara O’Neal…

A Passion for Horses:

My name is Sarah Kerry, and I live with my father and step-mother in Asheville, North Carolina. We have a profitable farm, with well-stocked stables. I spend my days with our horses.

Horses are beautiful creatures. They understand people much better than we do and respond to a person’s mood in ways that have always fascinated me. I respect their judgment and pay attention to their reactions around others.

Nothing is better than an early morning ride, and I must admit, that I love to race. So does Anthem. That’s my horse. He’s gorgeous and spirited and likes reckless rides as much as I do.

When a person from my past, a person I thought was my friend, showed up, I should have followed Anthem’s instincts. Liam Devlin has evil in his veins, and he wants nothing more than to abuse the power he holds over me.

Anthem knew. When I introduced him to Liam, he tossed his head and backed up. I realized Anthem didn’t like Liam, but I kept quiet, afraid to be rude. I let Liam into my home, and now my life is in shambles.

But at least I have Anthem, and he takes me away from all of it. We ride over the fields, the wind whipping over us, and for a brief moment, I’m safe.

An Excerpt:

The river rushed before her, strong and free. What she wouldn’t give for the ability to run unchained, to grab the happiness she wanted and never look back. She exhaled deeply and closed her eyes.

Michael Lonnigan stepped closer, the warmth of his solid frame seeping into her. “Tell me,” he urged. “Who is the man who stalks your every step?”

As she looked up, an image of her predator flashed before her. “He is…no one.”

“No one?” His voice grated on the phrase. “He had his arm around your waist in church today.”

She clenched her teeth, keeping the bile down as the memory of his touch plagued her.

“If I didn’t know your true feelings,” Michael continued, “if I hadn’t seen you step away from him, I’d think you didn’t love me.”

His hands came up to rest on her shoulders. “Tell me who stands between us. Why have you turned away from me and gone to him?” he begged, his tone rough and seared with pain.

She ached to tell him, to lay her burdens at his feet, but no one could know her family’s shame and peril. To confess her hell would be to betray her father, and she couldn’t do that. “Please,” she urged, her voice wavering, “you must let it alone. We can’t be together anymore.”

He gripped her tighter, pulling her back against his chest. She allowed the intimate embrace, needing his touch, for it was her life’s blood. He ran his hands down her arms and circled her waist. As he buried his face in the crook of her neck, he breathed in deeply.

Yearning centered inside her, making her heart pound. One month of precious courtship, thirty days of happiness, thirty nights of sweet longing, gone now. Obliterated by her dead mother’s hand.

Michael Lonnigan, the man of her heart, could never be hers. Tall, broad shouldered, dark haired, brown eyed and with a smile true and honest, he would not belong to her. She had to leave him, to set him free. It would kill her to do so.

His arms tightened so firmly, she feared he might carry her off. Pushing at his forearms, she yanked herself from his solid hold. “I have to go.” Her knees shook as she took the necessary steps away from him.

“I can’t accept this,” he called after her as she walked swiftly down the path through the swaying pine trees. “I can’t let you go.”

Tears formed in her eyes.

“I love you, Sarah,” he cried.

Sobs clutched her chest as she picked up the pace, branches snagging at her skirt. Her life had been ruined, her dream crushed, and her sweet love could do nothing about it.

Blurb:

Sarah Kerry’s world is shattered when a man from her past, Liam Devlin, shows up with proof that, if shared, would send her father to the noose. In order to keep Liam quiet, she must break her young courtship with Michael Lonnigan and marry Liam instead.

Michael is crushed and angry when Sarah abruptly ends their courtship, but he knows something isn’t right. He’s seen the new man hanging around the Kerry family and believes the man is blackmailing the woman Michael loves. Unwilling to let her go, Michael will do whatever it takes to save Sarah and make her his own.

Saving Sarah is $0.99 and is available here:

Amazon – https://www.amazon.com/dp/B087CG14JC/ref=sr_1_1?dchild=1&keywords=kara+o%27neal+saving+sarah&qid=1587507691&sr=8-1

Barnes and Noble – https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/saving-sarah-kara-oneal/1129607915?ean=2940163902194

Kobo – https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/saving-sarah-19

Apple – https://books.apple.com/us/book/id1506428776

Bio:

Born and raised in Texas, the state had to be 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.

Social Media:

Website –  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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#HobbyCareerPassion: “A Passion for Purses” ~ Author Wendy Kendall ~ #WRPbks #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, Wendy Kendall…

(I’m proud to say that I was Wendy’s editor for Kat out of the Bag – and I love her book!)

A Passion For Purses

by Wendy Kendall

I have reveled in a passion for purses many years. I enjoy all kinds. You name it and I’ll claim it. My curiosity and wildly growing peronal collection led me to investigate the world of purses. That resulted in my new mystery novel Kat Out of the Bag, introducing Katherine Watson celebrated international purse designer and amateur sleuth.

Why do women love purses? I had my suspicions, of course. I followed many clues. I devoured everything there was to read about designers. I researched art appreciation. But it was when I interviewed every day women about their favorite purse, and learned about their incredible lives and families that I knew I was hot on the trail to uncovering the mystery of a passion for purses.

I met with a variety of women who enjoyed purses. Their favorite purse, the one they told me all about,  was often a special gift, maybe a family member, loved one, friend, or mentor. Sometimes their purse was a style similar to another woman’s who they’d known. Often it evoked a cherished memory, like an aunt who had a purse pocket with surprise candy treats for kids. There was a sisterhood here.

For some women their favorie purse represented a cause that they supported wholeheartedly. They were wearing their heart on their arm, or sometimes crossbody.

No matter how contemporary, these stories had roots in history. Yes, a woman’s purse tells a story, that’s unique and at the same time shared. The final piece of the puzzle fell into place. I traveled from Seattle, Washington to Little Rock, Arkansas to visit one of only three purse museums in the world – Esse. The ESSE Purse Museum does not simply showcase accessories. It makes HERstory tangible and familiar. ESSE is focused on honoring women, artisans and the stories that make us unique and connected.

Mystery solved! And my novel underway, about Katherine Watson the purse designer. She creates purses because it was a passion that her great grandmother had shared with her when she was a young child. It was then she learned  inside every purse there’s a treasured story of the woman who carried it, and those stories are important. When Katherine ends up temporarily back in her hometown of Bayside, she decides to create a purse museum in honor of her great grandmother, and all the women who’s stories would be told in the exhibits. Never did she imagine that the mayor would be murdered at the Gala Opening.

My character Moonjava is a fan of the hippies of the 1960’s. She’s also the museum historian. She loves the idea of showcasing history in creative exhibits. She shares a daily meditation with anyone who will listen, often with interesting repercussions.

Amber is the college student who manages the museum gift shop. She’s a wristlet gal. She stumbles on her own cold case mystery when she and her boyfriend Michael find a note in a donated vintage purse.

While Michael and Amber partner on their cold case, Katherine finds herself investigating the murder with, and sometimes at odds with local cop Jason Holmes and his K-9 partner Hobbs. Jason ends up learning some things about purses as the mystery deepens.

I wrote Kat Out of the Bag for the fun of mysteries, for the fun of creating the characters, for the women who are making history right now, and to honor memories of the women who have gone before.

Kat Out of the Bag is available on Amazon

Book Blurb –

When celebrated international purse designer Katherine Watson hosts a gala for her Purse-onality Museum, she never expected the next day’s headline to read: ‘Murder at the Gala Prmiere.’ But after a dead body is found during the event, that’s exactly what happened.

Working to solve the murder, Katherine matches wits with local cop Jason Holmes and his K-9 partner Hobbs. Although Holmes and Watson disagree often, they discover an undeniable attraction building between them. But they’ll have to put their feelings on hold and focus on solving the murder, before Katherine becomes the killer’s next knock off.

Excerpt –

“There’s an officer nearby. We’ll alert him. Hold the line.”

Katherine was worried by the operator’s monotone. Did she understand the urgency? Katherine watched in disbelief as the shadow figure moved toward the shed attached to the waterwheel. Too late, she thought to get a picture after the person disappeared inside the shed.

“Oh no,” Katherine muttered. She spoke into the phone, “Hurry, I think it’s the killer, maybe looking for something left behind? Hello?” Had the operator hung up?

“Yes, the officer is on the way. Please stay on the line.” The operator’s voice now sounded bored.

A sharp ray of light from inside the shed cut through the darkness. The light jumped around. Sweat collected on Katherine’s upper lip as she imagined the killer looking through her things for something, maybe critical evidence. Fear gave way to irritation at the invasion. Irritation gave way to anger. Someone had to stop that killer from removing whatever incriminating thing was so critical it had driven a return to the scene of the crime. Katherine wanted to scream. Where were the police? Maybe MJ was right about them. She pressed against the french doors. The light in the shed went out. Her breath caught in her throat. The silhouette walked out of the shed toward the alley leading to the maze that burrowed throughout Bayside and beyond.

Katherine spoke gruffly and fast, “Hello. Where’s your officer? The suspect is getting away.”

“Ma’am, please stay calm and hang on the line. They’re on the way.”

Katherine unlocked the door to the yard and whispered to the 911 operator, “I’m in pursuit.”

 

Author Bio –

Wendy Kendall has a passion for purses and stories of the women through history who carried them. Her cozy mystery Kat Out of the Bag is the first book of the In Purse-Suit Mystery series.

Wendy is a blogger, editor, speaker, project manager, and syndicated columnist. Catch exciting author interviews on her podcasts. She loves her two sons, Alex and Brad and lives near Seattle.

Website – Wendywrites.org

Blog – ApassionForPurses.blogspot

Facebook– Wendy Kendall, Mystery Author

Twitter – wendywrites1

Podcasts – Kendall & Cooper Talk Mysteries . . . A Novel Talk . . . The Cozy Mystery Quartet

Columns – Recommended Reads and Kids Are Bookin’ It

Esse Purse Museum

 

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#HobbyCareerPassion: “Bear With Me” ~ Author Marilyn Barr ~ #Strawberryshifters

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

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

Dear Readers,

It has been a difficult few months on the job but I have finally found my bearings at Bergan Pharma.  Despite my multiple FDA filings for innovative drug products and tireless hours working for pennies, nothing prepared me for the unique (dare I say supernatural) challenges as their Director of Regulatory Affairs.  My new coworkers have worked their magic to take the world stage as the leader in biologics despite choosing to have their headquarters in the middle of nowhere: Strawberry, Kentucky.  I have three new biologic drug products to bring to market in the coming months and if we work around the clock, the company will make more money then we can spend in a lifetime.  It is these leadership qualities they wanted when they hired me.  No one can drive a pharma company like me.

It was a hard sell to my wife and son, but eventually, they saw the benefits of living over an hour’s drive from the nearest school or town center.  I am so excited they are moving into our new home tomorrow.  I can hardly stay away even though I relocated to Strawberry Kentucky alone months ago.  Gifting my wife a giant plantation home with acres of gardens was a stroke of genius on my part.  No more sensory overload from her job at the garden center.  She can manage her sensory processing disorder in isolation.  I assume it is what she wants but our truce right now is shaky at best.  It is my hope that a new town and a fresh start will bring us back from the brink of divorce.

Perhaps she will be happier with no more meetings with the principal about our son’s disciplinary problems.  He will be homeschooled by her.  I am grateful to Brad and the Board of Directors of Bergan Pharma for their generous signing bonus, so I could make this happen, including my new BMW.  They simply made me an offer I couldn’t refuse.  If only I had known the unwritten job duties and how they would turn my world upside-down, when I signed on.  How did I score such a deal?  I explain it on my drive home through the hills of Kentucky in Strawberry Shifters Book 1: Bear with Me:

“It had been an early Christmas present when the head-hunter called me about Bergan Pharma. They needed someone to get their products approved by the FDA, which is my specialty. You could say I possess a certain set of skills coveted by the industry, but less James Bond and more Bob Cratchit. Up until that call, I hopped from one slave driver to the next. Every company promised innovations but really, they were all the same.

First, a trust-fund kid parties through undergrad who uses a nerdy “friend” to barely slide through with a degree in something dumb like underwater basket weaving. Next, they build a start-up pharma company and the nerdy friend drives a group of employees into the ground for the success of “their” invention. Finally, the partners have a happily ever after of saving a little slice of the world while making the big bucks.

They marry and have kids to start the cycle over. It’s my job to make all the bar napkins, lab books, scrap paper musings, and alcohol-fueled business models into a cohesive professional package. Sometimes I am assigned a minion to help me, like a blue-haired neighbor or barely legal “friend” of the boss to manage the dozen boulder-sized binders.

I have over forty New Drug Applications— miracle-working piles of binders otherwise known as NDAs—somewhere in the FDA pipeline. They have been filed with five different companies. My name is all over their site as a name for inquiries only, never profit share. My bosses have always obliged with a signature for that part.”

My wife asked that I learn to listen to her in our months apart.  When she arrives in Strawberry tomorrow, she will see I’m a changed man.  No more struggling to get by, no more putting work before her, and no more tuning her out.  I have it all: the dream job, the flashy car, the plantation home, and a fresh start for my family.  What could possibly go wrong?  Follow my family on their adventure in the wilds of rural Kentucky in Strawberry Shifters Book 1: Bear with Me.

Best regards,

Grant Luther

Amazon Buy Link:    Amazon

Author Bio:

Marilyn Barr currently resides in the wilds of Kentucky with her husband, son, and rescue cats. When engaging with the real world, she is collecting characters, empty coffee cups, and unused homeschool curricula.

She has a diverse background containing experiences as a child prodigy turned medical school reject, biodefense microbiologist, high school science teacher, homeschool mother of a savant, and advocate for the autistic community.

She would love to hear from readers via her website: http://www.marilynbarr.com.

Author Social Media Links:

website

Twitter

Facebook

Instagram

Amazon author profile

Goodreads

BookBub Author Profile

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#HobbyCareerPassion: Crab Fishing with Jack Devereaux ~ Author Constance Bretes

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, Jax Devereaux…

 

Constance:  What exactly do you do as a crab fisherman?

Jax:  I take a crew of 7 or 8 people, and we go out to the Bering Sea. I have 800 crate shaped open cylinders we call pots. When we get to the destination where we want to get crabs, We use a pulley and grab a pot, bring it to the deck, bait it with raw fish, attach a buoy to it and toss it in the sea. I mark the spot on my radar and GPS as well as write it on a pad of paper. We strong the pots along a line until all are dumped into the sea.

Constance:  What do you do after you string all your pots?

Jax:  We circle around and go back to the beginning. Sometimes it is 24 to 48 hours before we reach for the rope with the pulley, and pull the buoy and the pot up to the surface. When it reaches the surface, we lay it on a slab, open the pot, and dump the crabs in a chute, sorting them as we go. We are only allowed to keep male crabs that are a certain size. All others will be toss back into the sea. The chute takes them down to the holding tank.

Constance:  Where do you take the crabs you’ve caught?

Jax:  When we reach max weight, we head back to the harbor and offload at the warehouse where they process the crabs for distribution to the customers.

Constance:  What kind of crabs do you fish for?

Jax:  King crabs, Opillo crabs and Biardi crabs. Each has their own seasons.

Constance:  How often are you out at sea?

Jax:  Crab season starts in September and ends in the Spring. We are gone almost the whole season.

Constance:  How did you get into this profession?

Jax:  I’ve been a crab fisherman all my life except for the time I served in the US Coast Guard. My father and grandfather both were crab fishermen.

Constance:  Do you get to go home for holidays?

Jax:  No. We miss all the holidays, including Christmas, except for July 4th.

Constance:  What are the biggest concerns you have as far as deep sea fishing is concern?

Jax: Rove waves, severe weather, motion sickness and safety. Safety is my number one priority.

Constance:  How well do the crew perform in this condition?

Jax:   Everyone does a good job and pull their weight, that is, except one. My brother, Rudy. I have to light a fire under him to get him to perform at max potential.

Constance:  What made you famous?

Jax:  An author wrote a book called Midnight Escape where I’m the hero. It’s how I met Suzanne, the heroine. I snuck her on to my boat and took her crab fishing in an effort to shield her from the mafia who had a hit on her and was after her.

Constance:  I bet that was a ride of the lifetime.

Jax:  It was a hell of a trip. Poor girl, I had no idea Suzanne was deathly afraid of water.

 

On the run from the mob, Suzanne discovers that hunky Jax is just the man she needs.

Suzanne Pacheco is on the run from the mob after witnessing a murder and helping to put the killer in prison. Her trip across the country brings her to a small town in Alaska. But once again the mob’s hitman has tracked her down. She’s disheartened at the thought of leaving the town she’s developed a real fondness for, but there’s nothing else she can do. Until she finds help in the unlikeliest of places and embarks on an adventure like never before.

Commercial fisherman Jax Devereaux has his hands full fishing for crabs in the formidable Bering Sea, but when Suzanne needs his help, he adds yet another thing to his list of responsibilities. He takes her with him to the one place he thinks she might be safe—the middle of the sea. But there’s danger everywhere. Can he keep Suzanne safe, and will he lose his heart in the process?

Author Bio:

Constance Bretes is an author of contemporary romances.

When she’s not writing book boyfriends and strong heroines, she enjoys basket weaving, reading, making jewelry, and playing the piano as well as spending time with her husband and their two furball children, Tigger and Sunny. Constance is married to Jim, and they live in a small town in Alabama.

You can sign up for her newsletter here:  https://constancebretes.com

Email: bretesc@gmail.com

Website: https://constancebretes.com

Blog: https://www.constancebretes.com/connies-blog

NL Link:  https://www.constancebretes.com/news–things.html

Amazon Author URL: https://www.amazon.com/Constance-Bretes/e/B00IKSKRES/

Bookbub Author URL: https://www.bookbub.com/profile/constance-bretes

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

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7737457.Constance_Bretes

Instagram: constancebretesauthor

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

Twitter: https://twitter.com/ConstanceBretes,

 

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#HobbyCareerPassion: A Passion For Paranormal by Robert Herold

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, Robert Herold…

A Passion For Paranormal

We all feel a little unnerved when the power goes out, when we are plunged into darkness, when we are booked into a room on the 13th floor, or when 13 is missing from the elevator options, and most especially when people we know pass away. People have huddled around fires since ancient times to keep away their fears, both real and imagined. Today, when the power goes out, we cluster around that scented candle on the coffee table, or that flashlight app on one’s cell phone—until the battery wears out. Are we really so different from those in the past?

Imagine it is 1885, the beginning of the modern era. Science is making new strides in hitherto unexplored areas: chemistry, physics, psychology, even applying the scientific method to the hereafter – exposing frauds and maybe, just maybe, proving the existence of life after death. This was a passionate sideline for William James, a real figure from history. He was a famed Harvard professor, father of American psychology, and brother to the famous writer Henry James (author of The Turn of the Screw, among many others).

Professor William James helped found the American branch of the Society for Psychical Research, who applied the scientific method to investigations of the supernatural. Eventually the group in America became headed by a dogmatic skeptic and James had a falling out. Using this as a springboard, I imagined he then started his own investigative group, The Eidola Project (eidola being a Greek word for ghost). Some real investigations, including those that are downright spooky, are woven into the story, especially while he is building his team of paranormal researchers.

In addition to William James (age 42), the Eidola Project consists of Annabelle Douglas (age 28), one of the first graduates of The Harvard Annex (later known as Radcliff), Sarah Bradbury (age 18), an authentic medium, Edgar Gilpin (age 26), a brilliant African American physicist and graduate of Howard and Yale Universities, and Nigel Pickford (age 39), one of the youngest Confederate officers, who in the years following the Civil War is plagued by paranormal visions & has become a drunken derelict. Each contributes to the group, but each has his or her own peculiar baggage and set of weaknesses.

Professor James directs The Eidola Project from Harvard, sending them off on various missions, and occasionally joining them (akin to “Rupert Giles,” a character in the TV show Buffy the Vampire Slayer). The Eidola Project are intrepid explorers of the supernatural, but in doing so, they enter the darkness and become ensnared in a dangerous investigation of a haunted house, where they encounter all sorts of things that go bump—or worse!

 

https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-eidola-project-robert-herold/1133990920

Blurb:

It’s 1885 and a drunk and rage-filled Nigel Pickford breaks up a phony medium’s séance. A strange twist of fate soon finds him part of a team investigating the afterlife.

The Eidola Project is an intrepid group of explorers dedicated to bringing the light of science to that which has been feared, misunderstood, and often manipulated by charlatans. They are a psychology professor, his assistant, an African-American physicist, a sideshow medium, and now a derelict, each possessing unique strengths and weaknesses.

Called to the brooding Hutchinson Estate to investigate rumored hauntings, they encounter deadly supernatural forces and a young woman driven to the brink of madness.

Will any of them survive?                                                                

Excerpt:

Sarah retrieved the lamp and twisted the peg. The outhouse door swung open on its own, and she gasped.

“Momma?” Sarah asked as she held out her lantern. No. A ruined version of Molly stood in the doorway.

Before her disappearance, people often commented on the sixteen-year-old’s beauty, but in the last twenty-eight days birds pecked out her pretty blue eyes, and maggots now swam in the sockets. Molly’s head hung to the left at an odd angle. Her skin looked mottled with patches of gray, blue, and black. A beetle crawled out of Molly’s half-opened mouth and darted back in.

Sarah’s heart leaped to her throat, and she jumped back. She lost her footing, fell onto the outhouse seat, and dropped the lantern to the floor. She bent to retrieve it; thankful the glass globe did not break. Sarah looked up and saw an empty doorway.

Impossible, she told herself. Must’ve dozed off, had a nightmare, and woke up when I dropped the lamp. Her heart still pounded in her chest, and Sarah took a deep breath to calm herself.

Holding the lamp before her once more, she crept out… 

Available at:

https://www.amazon.com/Eidola-Project-Novel-ebook/dp/B07YRB4F99/ref=sr_1_1

https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-eidola-project-robert-herold/1133990920

Animated Book Trailer (17 seconds!): https://youtu.be/SZovJ-MZQ5Y         

About the Author:

The supernatural always had the allure of forbidden fruit, ever since Robert Herold’s mother refused to allow him, as a boy, to watch creature features on late night TV. She caved in. (Well, not literally.)

As a child, fresh snow provided him the opportunity to walk out onto neighbors’ lawns halfway and then make paw prints with his fingers as far as he could stretch. He would retrace the paw and boot prints, then fetch the neighbor kids and point out that someone turned into a werewolf on their front lawn. (They were skeptical.)

He has pursued many interests over the years (among them being a history teacher and a musician), but the supernatural always called to him. You could say he was haunted. Finally, following the siren’s call, he wrote The Eidola Project, based on a germ of an idea he had as a teenager.

Ultimately, he hopes the book gives you the creeps, and he means that in the best way possible.

https://robertheroldauthor.com/

https://www.facebook.com/RobertHeroldauthor/

https://twitter.com/RobertHerold666

 

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#HobbyCareerPassion: “Say it loud, I’m Black and I’m proud” by Michal Scott

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, Michal Scott…

“Say it loud, I’m Black and I’m proud”

We all need to be inspired. I grew up in the “Say it loud, I’m Black and I’m proud” era, so I’ve been seeking and finding images and histories of African Americans for over fifty years. As part of that quest, I once bought a box of thirty-six famous Black Americans flashcards. Imagine my disappointment when only six of the thirty-six were women! Six?! And the six that were included were women I already knew. Three were important 20th century figures in entertainment, politics and civil rights and three were slaves. But weren’t there any other Black women I should know about? That question started me on my present hobby: specifically collecting pictures of African-American women. If a postcard had a Black woman’s face on it, I bought it and framed it. If there was book with a collection of photos, I bought three: one for the keeper shelf and two to cut up for framing. Soon I had so many Billie Holidays and Josephine Bakers, I started making and framing collages to fill 11×14 frames. I hung my treasures prominently around my home where I could receive inspiration from their presence.

Although I was initially disappointed by my flashcard purchase, those six cards impacted my writing. I became consumed with the question of how we went from being slaves to producing a famous Metropolitan contralto, the first Black woman elected to Congress and a fighter for civil rights that President Roosevelt included her among his advisors. The histories I learned as I became acquainted with these and the other women in my collection stirred my imagination. I began to model the heroines in my stories on them. Sometimes I’m able to incorporate incidences from their lives as well.

For instance, not many people know how later in life Harriet Tubman was so poor, she became vulnerable to swindlers. In One Breath Away my heroine, ex-slave Mary Hamilton, was victimized by someone she trusted and had her life put in danger as a result. One Breath Away is a romance that shows how she learns to trust again: herself and the man who wants to win her love.

I’ve recently moved from the Northeast to the Southwest and have over two hundred photos and drawings to be unpacked and rehung again. As I do I’ll be sharing my collection on Twitter and Facebook during Women’s History month hoping they’ll inspire others and they’ve inspired me.

 

Blurb:

Sentenced to hang for a crime she didn’t commit, former slave Mary Hamilton was saved at literally the last gasp. She returns home to Safe Haven, broken and resigned to live alone until the handsome stranger who helped save her re-enters her life one night at a dance, stealing her breath from across the room and promising so much more. Hope ignites along with lust until the past threatens to keep them one breath away from love…

Excerpt:

“Why—why do you want to dance with me?”

He smiled with the serpent slyness that probably charmed Eve. “I don’t think you’d believe me if I told you.” “I might.”

He turned his head slightly. “Really? Your practiced calm says otherwise.”

She raised an eyebrow. “Practiced calm?”

“The face you present to the world until something touches your heart.” He gestured to his right. “Like when that baby there cried. Your expression changed to one of concern, then changed to one of contentment when his mother satisfied his hunger.”

Mary blew a breath through her mouth. This man was studying her. Really studying her. Should she be flattered or worried?

The one-two-three, one-two-three magic of the waltz began. He guided her in its dips and glides, through its rises and falls. The awkwardness attributed to her by past dance partners didn’t raise its ugly head. Her spirit lightened then soared until that still, small voice sounded the alarm.

You were fooled by another man and his fancy manners. Don’t be fooled by this one.

Hints of bay rum mingled with a manly scent against whose lure she struggled then lost. Once again her toilet water failed to hide the salty scent of her arousal.

Eban pinned her with a not-so-casual scrutiny. Could he smell her too? She tried but failed to read him. Dare she hope the ease in his smile meant he found it pleasing?

The other couples held their partners off with discreet and proper holds. Not Eban. Warmth radiated from the hand holding the small of her back hostage. The heat spread across her buttocks then seeped into places more private. He bent his elbow and gentled her forward so only their clasped hands separated them.

“Why, Miss Hamilton, I do believe you’re blushing.” His fingers held hers with a teasing yet possessive grip.

“I am not.” Her words shot out with a force she hadn’t intended. “I mean I don’t blush.”

“No?” A cheeky boyishness winked at her from eyes as dark as chocolate. He leaned down so his breath tickled her earlobe. “Not even if I kissed you behind your ear?”

She shrank back then stared up into the gaze showering her with attention. Her heart beat beneath her breast with a prisoner’s unease. An unease she knew well having once been a prisoner.

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

Bio:

Michal Scott is the pen name of Anna Taylor Sweringen, a retired United Church of Christ and Presbyterian Church USA minister. Inspired by the love mystics of Begijn, Audre Lourde and Bell Hooks, Rev. Anna writes erotica and erotic romance with a faith arc, hoping to build a bridge between the sacred and secular, spirituality and sexuality, erotica and Christ, you and a well-written spiritually-stimulating and erotically-arousing story. Her story settings also seek to give insight into the African American experience in the US. In addition to erotic romance, she writes inspirational romance as Anna Taylor and gothic romance and women’s fiction as Anna M. Taylor.

Social media: @mscottauthor1, www.michalscott.webs.com

 

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#HobbyCareerPassion: It Happens to Nice Men and Women Too by Alana Lorens

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, Alana Lorens…

It happens to nice men and women, too

Nice to meet you!  My name is Inessa Regan, and I’m an attorney practicing in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. While I handle many different kinds of cases, one particular kind of client really calls to me—survivors of domestic violence.

While we don’t like to think about it, our friends and neighbors (and maybe ourselves) are victims of this sad crime. According to the CDC, 1 in 4 women and 1 in 7 men will experience physical violence by their intimate partner at some point during their lifetimes. About 1 in 3 women and nearly 1 in 6 men experience some form of sexual violence during their lifetimes. In an effort to help reduce that number by any means I can, I often provide free legal services to clients who need to get out of a dangerous situation, and I work with the local shelters to help their clients when I can.

At the time in my life told in the novel SECOND CHANCES, I get the opportunity to help an Iraq veteran who’s being battered by his soldier wife. The wife suffers from post-traumatic stress from her own war experiences, but won’t get the help she needs. As is so often true, we wonder why the battered party doesn’t just “get out”—but it is very clear that each of these situations is more complicated than is seen from the outside.

Do you need help, or know someone who does? Here’s some numbers for you to call.

 

BLURB

When Inessa Regan gets a pink slip, laid off from her law firm at the age of 42, without prospects she’s sure her life is over. She hides from the world, until her neighbor brings her a client, a young Iraq war veteran dying of cancer.

Kurt Lowdon only wants to make sure his affairs are in order should the worst happen, but meeting Inessa gives him encouragement on the road to recovery. His quest to help her realize her self-worth leads them into dangers they never expected, as horrors from the war and long-hidden family secrets come back to haunt them.

EXCERPT:

“A lot of people back home don’t understand what it’s like,” Rafe went on, his throat tight with the strain. “People get pushed to the wall. You’re on edge all day, all night. Things happen when guys get stressed out, you know? They need an outlet. Relief.”

“’Things’? You mean what? Fights? Drinking?” He shook his head and she wondered what other kinds of ‘relief’ he might be talking about. Her thoughts took a darker turn. “You mean the reports about women raped by their fellow soldiers?”

He nodded. “It happened all the time. It happened…to Susan.” He choked up. “Most of the girls, they’ll stay in their bunks all night, no matter what, just so they don’t have to hit the latrine alone. One night, Sus just couldn’t. No one would go with her. So…”

Inessa saw confirmation in Kurt’s face. “And Susan blames you for what happened.”

“If I-I-I’d been more c-careful, or let J-Jimmie get that b-bomb…I shoulda looked out for her. No one would have t-touched her if I’d been there!”

Kurt walked around the desk to put a hand on Rafe’s shoulder. “Susan’s been violent. I’ve seen the bruises. But he won’t retaliate—he feels responsible.”

“She’s changed. She’s a whole different person!” Agitated, Rafe ejected from his chair and started pacing. “She was never like this with me, not before I was sent Stateside. After she got back to the Real World, she was damned moody, man. We got into it at least twice a week, sometimes about nothing. She quit going to counseling after she lost the last job, just like all the others, always a fight with co-workers or a boss, and then it’s done. Seven months now, we’ve lived mostly on my disability.”

He turned to Inessa, gaze intent. “Living with her’s like living outside the wire, you know? I couldn’t stay any more. When I told her I was leaving, she shoved me down the stairs. I had two broken ribs.

“I would even have let that go, ‘cause I know she’s had a bad time. But since I been home with my parents, she won’t leave me alone. She threatens me, threatens them, follows me all the time. I’m not worried about me, I can take it. Damn her, my parents have nothing to do with what happened to me, or to her! I can’t let her do this.”

Alana Lorens has been a published writer for more than forty years. Currently a resident of Asheville, North Carolina, she loves her time in the smoky blue mountains. One of her novellas, That Girl’s The One I Love, is set in the city of Asheville during the old Bele Chere festival. She lives with her daughter, who is the youngest of her seven children, three crotchety cats, and four kittens of various ages.

 

Website https://wordpress.com/page/alana-lorens.com/21

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

Goodreads https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/4829967.Alana_Lorens

Amazon Author Page https://www.amazon.com/Alana-Lorens/e/B005GE0WBC/

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#HobbyCareerPassion: 911…What’s Your Emergency? by D. V. Stone

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, D. V. Stone…

 

911…What’s Your Emergency?

Hi, Alicia. Thank you for hosting me today on your passion blog. I am so excited to talk about First Responders. Though I haven’t been one for many years, I’ll never forget the times I did. It followed naturally that in my book Rock House Grill the main character is an EMT.

Here’s a bit of personal history. I became an EMT while working at the Hunterdon Developmental Center, working with the disabled. There’s a special place in my heart for these often-forgotten group of people. At first, I was a personal care attendant for my patients. When a position opened in the on-site clinic for an ambulance driver, I applied. Soon I was a certified EMT.

Our local volunteer squad always needed help. I joined and ran a routine duty night as well as picked up other calls when available. Only two blocks from the squad building often I was the first there to pull out the rig. Over the years, I worked and volunteered as an EMT, including in a women’s state prison and a hospital emergency room.

So, what is a First Responder? According to Merriam Webster, the definition of first responder is a person (such as a police officer or an EMT) who is among those responsible for going immediately to the scene of an accident or emergency to provide assistance.

Who is a First Responder? First responders typically include paramedics, emergency medical technicians, police officers, firefighters, rescuers, and other trained members of organizations connected with this type of work.

How many are there? There are over 1 million firefighters in the United States, of whom approximately 750,000 are volunteers. Volunteers in many places undergo a minimum of 110  to 171 hours of training. They continue that training throughout their careers via drills, meetings, and seminars.

Local police departments have an estimated 556,000 full-time employees, including about 436,000 sworn enforcement personnel.

Sheriffs’ offices reported about 291,000 full-time employees, including about 186,000 sworn personnel.

There are over 155,000 nationally registered emergency medical technicians (EMT).

My husband is also a volunteer firefighter. Though he is no longer active at a fire scene, he’s known to the children in our area as Fireman Pete. He and several others go to schools and daycare centers and teach fire prevention to the kids.

So many of these people run to danger instead of away. They miss time with their families, holidays, special occasions, etc. Unfortunately, First Responders are often targeted. Many years ago, when I volunteered, the danger was rampant. My partner and I both females responded to a man down. When we arrived, he was high and combative. Not only that, but those around him also had impaired judgment. My partner was knocked to the ground and I had to radio for assistance. Luckily for us, help arrived before we were further assaulted. One of the cities not far from us provided bulletproof vests to their EMTs. This was in the early 1990s.

Next time you see red and blue lights, I’d like you to remember the men and women who are manning the front of the line, which is often the line between life and death.

I hope this gives you a small peek inside the life of a First Responder.

One man’s choices—One woman’s impact

 Rock House Grill

 Coming in 2020

 Aden House, successful but driven chef and TV personality, refuses to slow down. His life implodes one night, damaging him both physically and emotionally. He’s rescued by a woman he thinks of as his angel.

Shay McDowell has rebuilt her life after her divorce. She juggles volunteer EMT duties and her job, while dreaming of becoming a chef. She finds her way to Rock House Grill and back into the life of the man she helped save.

Can love be the ingredient needed to survive the many obstacles they face?

Bio

Hi, my name is D. V. Stone. Recently, Rock House Grill, a contemporary romance, has been signed with Wild Rose Press. I host Welcome to the Campfire, a weekly blog. I am also a multi-genre author of two independently published books. Felice, Shield-Mates of Dar is a fantasy romance. Agent Sam Carter and the Mystery at Branch Lake is a mid-grade paranormal.

Born in Brooklyn, D.V. Stone has moved around a bit and even lived for a time on a dairy farm in Minnesota before moving back east. Throughout her wandering, she always considered herself a Jersey Girl. She met and married the love of her life, Pete—a lifelong Jersey Man.  They adopted Hali, a mixed breed from the local shelter.

D.V.’s career path varied from working with the disabled to become a volunteer EMT, which in turn led to working in hospital emergency rooms and then in a women’s state prison. After a few years, she took a break from medicine and became the owner of Heavenly Brew, a specialty coffee shop and a small restaurant. Now, when not writing, she is a medical receptionist.

“Thank you for taking the time to read about me. Each time you open the pages to one of my books, I hope you’ll be swept away by the story and find encouragement in your own life, never to give up on hope.”

 

Website          Facebook        Twitter            Instagram

Pinterest         Bookbub        Goodreads      Newsletter

Welcome to the Campfire Blog          Amazon Author Page

 

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#HobbyCareerPassion: The Mint Invasion: Out Of Chaos Comes Jelly…And Romance by M.S. Spencer

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, M.S. Spencer…

 

The Mint Invasion: Out Of Chaos Comes Jelly…And Romance

Up until my thirties, I traveled a great deal, living in many countries with amenities that many would consider below standard. So it wasn’t until I married and settled down in an old farmhouse with an acre of land that I could indulge my fantasy of growing my own food. We planted apple, plum, peach, fig, hazelnut, and cherry trees; gooseberries, strawberries, blueberries, and raspberries; all kinds of vegetables, including an ill-fated attempt to grow artichokes; and finally, lots and lots of herbs. I built a formal herb garden and planted thyme, lovage, rosemary, chives, tarragon, sage, and lemon balm. The one thing I couldn’t get to grow was mint. Yes, the gardeners among you will scoff, but it took me years to get a plot to flourish. Be careful what you wish for. When it finally got going, I had to do something before it took over the entire acre.

So I called upon my sister-in-law, to whom Whirlwind Romance is dedicated. She directed me to an old recipe for mint jelly. Once I’d mastered it, I went on to work up jelly recipes for all my herbs. Good thing we had a basement.

In Whirlwind Romance, my heroine, Lacey Delahaye, moves to an island in Florida and wants to reestablish the herb store she’d owned up North. Florida boasts innumerable ecosystems, from pine uplands, to coastal plains, to palm hammocks—all of which are host to many wild fruits, most of which can be made into jelly. Whirlwind Romance opens as she returns from a foraging trip, unaware that a hurricane had swept through, leaving an unexpected visitor in her mangrove swamp.

Woven throughout the story are descriptions of the wild fruits of Florida and the western Caribbean. For fun, I added recipes to each chapter. Here’s one for a common tropical wild fruit:

 Cocoplum Jelly

The cocoplum is native to South Florida and occurs naturally in cypress hammocks and wetland areas. Evergreen, it forms a dense, clumping bush. Fruit is a dark purple drupe one to two inches in diameter, and ripens May through August. The nut is also edible.

200 cocoplums to make 2 cups juice

2 cinnamon sticks

4 cups brown sugar

1 box (1.75 oz.) powdered pectin

Place peeled plums and cinnamon sticks in water to cover. Bring to a boil and simmer for about 1 ½ hours, or until liquid is dark purple. Remove from heat and strain, reserving the nuts. Add water if necessary to make 2 cups of liquid.

Shell the nuts and chop. In a jelly pan add the juice, nuts, and pectin and bring to a rolling boil. Pour in sugar all at once and bring back to a rolling boil. Boil exactly one minute. Remove from heat, skim off any foam, and ladle into hot, sterilized jelly jars to within ¼ inch of the top. Wipe rims and place the two-piece canning lids on the jars but do not tighten completely. Turn the jars over and leave upside down for five minutes on a padded rack. Turn upright and tighten the lids completely.

Alternative method: Process filled, tightly closed jars in boiling water for 15 minutes.

Cool.

Makes about 4 pints.

I give other jelly recipes in the book for Sea grapes, Kei apples, Beautyberries, Passionfruit, Roselle, and Shining Sumac.

Pirates, Puritans, propaganda, and princes—pieces of the puzzle in the whirlwind romance between a beautiful jelly maker and a mysterious castaway:

Whirlwind Romance by M. S. Spencer

Blurb:

In the aftermath of a hurricane,  jelly-maker Lacey Delahaye discovers a man washed ashore in her mangrove swamp, and tumbles into a sea of troubles. Kidnapped along with her shipwrecked sailor, she is taken to a tiny island in the western Caribbean. There, the two must escape from pirates, defeat a power-made ideologue, deflect a jealous ex-husband, and prove her companion’s birthright.

Excerpt (PG): Slipping Briskly

As she turned to leave, he touched her arm. “Stay a minute?”

How could she admit she had to get out of there quickly or she wouldn’t be able to go at all? His handsome face—the strong chin covered with stubble, the pearly teeth contrasting with his tan skin, not to mention the long, graceful fingers he held out to her—all conspired to lure her closer. Her heart led the way, propelling her to his side. She sat down. “What is it?”

“Lacey…um.”

Her body tensed as desire fought to get out, and she fought just as hard to keep it in. I have to go. I have to…go. “What?”

His words came out in a rush. “Lacey, the other day—the first night—when you rescued me. When we…we…”

Don’t say it. Don’t say it. Christ.

“I…uh…want you to know I don’t do that on a regular basis.”

His air of shy ambivalence gave her courage. “I see. You don’t have sex on a regular basis?”

“No, no, it’s not that.” He stopped, flustered. “Er, I mean… I don’t sleep with women indiscriminately.”

Should she let him off the hook? Nah. “But you do sleep with a lot of women?”

“No! Lacey, you’re being difficult on purpose. I meant, that I didn’t mean to…you know. It just happened. Forgive me?”

“I—”

Armand interrupted her. “Not that it wasn’t enjoyable.” He seemed distracted, running a finger down her arm. “Wonderful. Fantastic. Too short.” He peered at her. “Lacey, you must know how beautiful you are. You have the most perfect cheekbones I’ve ever seen.”

“Cheekbones?” What the hell is he talking about?

“I’m an amateur photographer. Those cheekbones could belong to a supermodel. Perfectly sculpted. And your nose…” He tapped the tip. “A little pixie nose. It even turns up slightly. Your long, fine hair is the russet-gold of burnished copper pots I once saw piled high in a shop on Martinique. Your eyes…” He closed his. “Your eyes are the blue-green of a freshly mowed cricket field, of the emeralds that grow deep in the mountains, of the lagoon near my home on a blustery day.” He touched her hand. “Then there’s your body—as I remember it—a soft, comfortable, pillowy—”

“Hey!” Lacey shook her head to break the spell. “I think you’ve said enough. Get some sleep.”

She tried to rise, but he slipped his arms around her and drew her close. She wanted to struggle. She tried to struggle. It was no use. The long kiss filled her with a warmth that matched a fire on a cold night, a cup of cocoa, or a hot bath. When he lay back, the warmth turned to blazing passion. The power of it frightened her. I’ve got to go. She ran out of the room before he could stop her.

Whirlwind Romance

Wild Rose Press (2016)

Contemporary romance/Action Adventure
Rating: Hot (R)
358 p.

Buy links:

Wild Rose Press 

Amazon

Bookstrand

Barnes & Noble

Kobo

Google

ITunes

Walmart

Indigo

About the Author

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

Ms. Spencer has published thirteen romantic suspense or murder mystery novels, with two more on the way. She has two fabulous grown children and an incredible granddaughter. She divides her time between the Gulf Coast of Florida and a tiny village in Maine.

Blog: https://msspencertalespinner.blogspot.com

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

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

GoodReads: http://www.goodreads.com/msspencer
Pinterest: http://pinterest.com/msspencerauthor/

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

Linked in: www.linkedin.com/in/msspencerauthor

Bookbub: https://www.bookbub.com/profile/m-s-spencer

Amazon Author Page: http://www.amazon.com/M.S.-Spencer/e/B002ZOEUC8/

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#HobbyCareerPassion: Write What You Know – Horses by Pamela S. Thibodeaux

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, Pamela S. Thibodeaux…

Write What You Know…

Horses

Horses have always been my passion. I’ve loved them as far back as I can remember, even owned a few in my lifetime. In memories of dreams past, I recall the desire to be a Veterinarian and work with horses. I’ve also held Bandera, TX near and dear to my heart since I visited the area as a small child with my grandparents. And, as most women, young and old, romance, and the desire for it, is a passion of mine. So how does all of this pertain to my writing?

I write contemporary romance and women’s fiction and my Tempered series is set in none other than, Bandera, Texas!

In Tempered Hearts (book 1), Tamera Collins is the culmination of that long-ago dream and obsession with horses.  A large animal Vet, she describes her love of these majestic animals like this…

“I’ve always had a passion for horses, much to the dismay of my mother. From the time I was very little, my daddy swore I was part horse. He said I squealed with delight every time I saw a pony.”

Hero, Stanley Morrison is the horse lover in Tempered Fire (book 3). His desire is to raise horses… “Not many, but well bred, well trained, high-quality horses. Quarter, Thoroughbred, Walkers, and Arabians; horses for speed, strength, show and beauty.”

Horses play a large part in any contemporary, cowboy series set on a ranch, but the Tempered books are not the only place horses appear in my writing.

In Circles of Fate, the heroine, Shaunna owns a horse. Keri’s Christmas Wish depicts a horse on the cover, one that Keri owned as a child which died when she was a teen. I’ve even written a story of how being around horses while living/working on a ranch in (you guessed it!) Bandera, TX during one of the darkest times of my life virtually saved me. The story is included in The Horse of My Heart anthology (Revell, Oct. 2015).

My love for horses has not dimmed over the years despite decades of not owning and years of not riding, however horses will most likely show up in books and stories for years to come.

All of these books can be found on my Amazon Author Page

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 Personal: http://facebook.com/pamelasthibodeaux

Face Book Author page: 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

 

 

 

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