Tag Archives: new release

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

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

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

A Passion for Honor

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

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

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

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

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

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

Blurb:

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

Blurb for the Collection:

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

One storm, eight authors, eight heartwarming novellas.

Pre-order now for 99 cents:

Excerpt

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The weather.

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

He sipped his drink, eyeing her over the glass.

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

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

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

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

Buy links:

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

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

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

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

About Alina:

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

website  https://alinakfield.com

Blog https://alinakfield.com/blog

Twitter https://twitter.com/AlinaKField

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

 

Please tell us a little about yourself.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Do you collect anything?

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

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

What was your first job?

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

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

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

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

Would you rather have a bad review or no review?

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

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

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

Have you written any other books that are not published?

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

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

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

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

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

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

How did you come up with the title? 

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

Author Margot Johnson—Loves What She Does!

About Love Leads the Way

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

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


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


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

Book title: Love Leads the Way

Genre: Sweet contemporary romance

About Love Leads the Way:

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

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


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


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

Excerpt:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Buy it here:

LOVE LEADS THE WAY

LOVE TAKES FLIGHT

About Margot Johnson:

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

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

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

Social media links: 

Margot Johnson Author

https://twitter.com/AuthorMargot

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Filed under Author Blog Post, New Release

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

#AHAgrp

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

10 Moments That Changed My Life

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

 

Blurb:

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

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

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

Excerpt:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

“Are ye ready?”

“I am!”

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

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

“Aye,” he said.

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

“I am coming to ye!” called Hugh.

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

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

Mary screamed.

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

Author Bio:

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

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

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

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

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

 

Website https://www.susanlfurlong.com/

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

Twitter https://twitter.com/FurlongLeigh

Email: SusanLeighFurlongwriter@gmail.com

Five Star Reviews

 N.N.LightsBookHeaven.com

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

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

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

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

Author Interview with Nancy Brashear ~ New Release: Gunnysack Hell

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

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

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

Tell us a little about how the book came together

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

What do you want your tombstone to say?

“Life is all about choices.”

Have you written any other books that are not published?

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

How did you come up with the title Gunnysack Hell?

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

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

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

Other bits about me …

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

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

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

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

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

Excerpt from Gunnysack Hell: Nonni – The Serpent

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Down the deserted road.

Yes, this is our story.

My story.

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

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

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

Contacts:

Author website: www.nancybrashear.com

Author FB: www.facebook.com/nancybrashearauthor

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

Twitter: https://twitter.com/drnancybrashear

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

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

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

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

 

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

#AHAgrp

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

10 Moments That Changed My Life

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

 

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

Blurb: 

This might be the biggest risk of her life.

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

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

Excerpt

Copyright © Monique DeVere 2020

Crystal Swan Publications

All Rights Reserved

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

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

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

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

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

Available on Amazon KindleUnlimited and to purchase from Amazon.

Book Purchase Link: https://smarturl.it/6mypb6

Author Bio

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

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

Get The Forever Deal FREE when you sign up to Monique’s New Release Newsletter.

Where to Find Monique

Embedded Media Links

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Raw Media Links

Website: http://moniquedevere.com/

Blog: http://moniquedevere.blogspot.co.uk/

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Amazon Author Page: http://hyperurl.co/moniquedevereamazon

Twitter: https://twitter.com/MoniqueDeVere

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/3213844.Monique_DeVere

Facebook Fanpage: https://www.facebook.com/moniquedevere

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/monique-devere-4b996a18

Wattpad: https://www.wattpad.com/user/MoniqueDeVere

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

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

 

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Author Interview with Kara O’Neal + New Release: Love’s Redemption

I am so thrilled to host today’s guest, talented author, Kara O’Neal. Kara is a sweetheart and her books are fabulous. Take it away, Kara…

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

 I am from Texas, the east side where there are a lot of pine trees and humidity, lightning bugs and flowers, brisket and tacos and most of my family. I have three children, who won’t stop growing up, and a husband who is a lovely combination of Captain America, Mr. Darcy and Jim Halpert. I’m a teacher and work with lots of people who are my heroes and many friends who have inspired my characters. The heart of me, the center of my life, is God and family. And I think those two things shine through in my books.

Where did you get the idea for LOVE’S REDEMPTION?

 This book was born in book 2 of my series. Willa Kramer has to deal with abuse, and she does something that no twelve-year-old should have to do. She ended up having a strong relationship with Lonnie Davis, which developed into a beautiful love story.

What is the most difficult thing about writing a book?

For me, the most difficult thing is giving my characters trouble and allowing them to make mistakes. I don’t like it when people get mad or sad or hurt others’ feelings. So, it’s hard for me to write.

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

 Lonnie has to lie to Willa, which is totally against his character. It was very hard to give him a reason to lie and to have him keep up with it.

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

I soooo wish I had written A Box of Peppermints. I love that book. Or Little Women.

Do you collect anything?

 Yes! I collect castles, crosses and things with the number 7 on them.

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

 Well, that would be my day job. But it’s not time yet.

What’s your favorite book of all time and why? What’s your favorite childhood book?

My favorite book of all time is Pride And Prejudice because Lizzie Bennett and Mr. Darcy are absolutely gorgeous. Jane Austen wrote a masterpiece. And it’s so subtly done. My favorite childhood book is Riki Tiki Tavi.

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

I’m sooo glad you asked this!!! I would love Jennifer Morrison and Colin O’Donoghue to play any character they wanted. I love them together.

Would you rather have a bad review or no review?

Any review is a good review in my opinion. I like to see what people thought.

What is your favorite quote?

In daily life, “There are no perfect people in this world, only those with perfect intentions.” From the bible, “Fear not.”

Have you written any other books that are not published?

Not other books, but I do have a blog called The Story Continues. I post extra scenes about characters in published books or short stories about characters who won’t need a full book.

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

Half and half. Some of my characters are based off of my siblings, my best friends, and the hero in my current release, Lonnie Davis, is based off of my husband.

Blurb:

September, 1880

Pike’s Run, Texas

When she was little more than a child, Willa Kramer went to extreme lengths to save her family from their abusive father. After that horrible day, her mother and siblings moved to Tennessee, and Willa had hoped to leave Texas, its memories and Lonnie Davis, the only boy she ever trusted, behind. But fate is unpredictable.

Five years have passed, and Lonnie finds himself reunited with Willa, the only girl he’s ever loved. He’s determined not to let her slip away again, but a figure from the past looms, threatening his hopes for the future.

Excerpt:

A sagging house stood before Oscar Kramer. His blood boiled. What the hell had happened to his brother’s home? The damn place was falling apart. The weeds rising around the rotting wood served as evidence something had gone wrong. He spat tobacco on the ground.

While he considered possible scenarios, he cracked his knuckles and narrowed his eyes. If someone had ruined his brother, Oscar would rip his heart out then get back everything that had once belonged to his kin. The acres of wheat and corn surrounding the house were in good condition. What was going on?

A cheerful whistle distracted him. He turned his head toward the sound and found a man with a hoe slung over his shoulder walking down the dirt road. Oscar stalked to the gate. “Whoa, there.”

The wiry man noticed him and paused. Caution spread over the whistler’s face. “M-Mornin’.”

Oscar jerked his head at the decaying structure behind him. “You know the people who lived here?”

The man swallowed then nodded.

When he didn’t continue, Oscar had to tamp down irritation. Grabbing him by the throat wouldn’t help get the answers he needed. “Where are they?”

“Gone.”

Where?

The man’s face paled. “I…uh…I don’t know. Their man died.”

The explanation knocked Oscar on the jaw. “What the hell do you mean? Willard Kramer is dead?”

White appeared around the informer’s lips. “I-I…”

Oscar shoved the gate. “Get the damn words out before I rip them from you!”

The man’s eyes shot wide. “The sheriff shot him. K-Killed him. A-After Kramer beat up the schoolteacher, Miss Parker.”

Murdered? His brother had been murdered? Because of a woman? He blinked as a roaring grew in his head. The sound of harsh breathing reminded him he wasn’t alone. He snapped out of his haze. “Get the hell out of here,” he growled.

The man didn’t hesitate. Dust followed in his wake.

Oscar’s hands trembled. He whipped back to the house. The sheriff would pay for this, and he’d find his brother’s children and take them from that bitch of a wife. He gritted his teeth as he cracked his knuckles again. No one murdered a Kramer. No one.

Buy link:

https://books2read.com/u/49lVYM

Bio and links:

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. Please visit me at www.karaoneal.com.

Website ~ Amazon ~ B &N ~ BookBub ~ 

Facebook ~ Twitter ~ Pinterest ~ Newsletter

 

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Casi McLean – Reign of Fire – #Audiobook – #PoliticalThriller #Paranormal #Romance

USA Today Bestselling Author, Casi McLean, presents a political thriller with military and supernatural elements in Reign Of Fire.

To expose a faction threatening America’s democracy, Emily Rose joins forces with a team investigating her sister’s murder, but she never expects to fall in love – or to encounter her twin’s ghost.

Ashton Frasier accepts his detective career choice means a life of bachelorhood – until Emily Rose blows into his world. The spitting image of his latest victim holds a mysterious allure he can’t deny. Surrounded by danger with the country’s democracy at stake, Emily and Ash uncover a dangerous faction threatening to take the White House. Can a ghost spark love to expose the truth?

Buy Links

Buy on Amazon

Buy on Audible

Award winning author, Casi McLean, pens novels to stir the soul with romance, suspense, and a sprinkle of magic. Her writing crosses genres from ethereal, captivating shorts with eerie twist endings to believable time slips, mystical plots, and sensual romantic suspense, like Beneath The Lake, WINNER: 2016 Gayle Wilson Award of Excellence for BEST Romantic Suspense.

Casi’s powerful memoir, Wingless Butterfly: Healing The Broken Child Within, shares an inspirational message of courage, tenacity, and hope, and displays her unique ability to excel in nonfiction and self-help as well as fiction. Known for enchanting stories with magical description, McLean entices readers in nonfiction as well with fascinating hooks to hold them captive in storylines they can’t put down.

Her romance entwines strong, believable heroines with delicious hot heroes to tempt the deepest desires then fans the flames, sweeping readers into their innermost romantic fantasies. Ms. McLean weaves exceptional romantic mystery with suspenseful settings and lovable characters you’ll devour. You’ll see, hear, and feel the magical eeriness of one fateful night. You’ll swear her time travel could happen, be mystified by her other worldly images, and feel heat of romantic suspense, but most of all you’ll want more.

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Narrator Bio

Kristin “KJ” James was born and raised in the Nashville, TN area. Acting has always been a passion of hers. Starting on the stage as early as preschool, KJ pursued her passion into college where she received a BA in Communication with a double emphasis in Theatre and Public Relations from Mississippi State University. After college she found herself more and more drawn to voice overs. Several classes, coaching sessions, seminars, research, and a closet-turned-studio later, and she now records and produces audiobooks on a regular basis. She has also done several radio commercials for clients such as Advance Financial, TriStar Health, and GAC.

When she’s not in her booth, you can find her crocheting, playing video games, or running agility with her dogs.

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Author Interview & New Release: If Wishes Were Horses by Jayne York

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

So glad to have you here, Jayne!

 

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

I’m a professional jeweler specializing in custom design and manufacturing. Writing is my second career, and just like my first, it fills all those gaping holes yearning for productive creativity.

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

Distraction, I’m easily led astray.

  1. What do you want readers to come away with after they read “If Wishes Were Horses”?

This is a story of lessons learned and the strength they bring. My main characters are both at turning points in their lives. How they handle the changes and the challenges is the crux of the story.

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

Debra Messing and Hugh Jackman.

  1. Have you written any other books that are not published?

My WIP is a fast-paced heist enmeshed in a love story. Tentatively titled, “Midnight Acquisition”, I hope it will be out this time next year. After that, maybe a sequel to “If Wishes Were Horses.”

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

I was advised to put the MS under the bed and move on. But I believed in the story and kept at it until I had it the way I wanted it. The message there—trust your gut and listen to people with experience and a keen eye. The flip side compliment—another author called me a “Unicorn” because not only is this my first book, but my first pitch and was picked up by the first publisher I queried. Incredible luck all around, I know. Hope it holds going forward.

  1. How did you come up with the title?

It was something my mother used to say to me all the time. Usually when I was whining about not having what I wanted.

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

If I had to put a finger on the message; Remember to forgive yourself for doing the best you could when you fail. Life is a long road, and it’s full of potholes. So try to stay out of the weedy ditches.

 

 

BLURB:

Emily Converse never expected to return to Tamarack, Colorado. But she’s determined to rescue her drug-addicted brother and start a new life. Standing in her way, she finds her stepfather, a powerful US senator, looming over her future like the ever-present monster he’d been during their childhood. Meeting wounded retired Navy SEAL, Michael McCandlis, is a steamy surprise in her homecoming, though he’s adrift in civilian life. Together can they find a way to transform from victims to survivors?

 

EXCERPT:

Once upon a time, she’d run away from Tamarack like her heels were on fire, and now here she was volunteering to step back into the furnace. What was the definition of insanity? Doing the same things over and over, expecting a different outcome. Like if she managed to change, be stronger, be smarter, things would turn out better—different. It wouldn’t be that simple. She downshifted the Jeep to slow for the last of the S-shaped turns on the narrow ribbon of asphalt. The road led her past the pretentious granite columns that marked her stepfather’s compound. She wasn’t consciously holding her breath, but a trickle of fear dribbled down her spine just the same. Her molars ground together in determination. The past wouldn’t decide her present, not ever again. In spite of herself, images of her last day on his estate flashed through her mind like the herky-jerky frames of a child’s flip deck animation. Fear sharpened every visual, clarified every word, enhanced every touch. She’d run down the steps, racing for her car. He’d charged after her, smelling of alcohol and fury when he tried to stop her headlong rush toward an unknown future. They’d screamed out their mutual hatred, all the bitter dregs of their time together. She smirked when she remembered getting in the lucky shove that had landed him in a heap on the ground. It had been her first glimpse that Senator Ray Domenico was not the invincible, all-powerful monster she’d known him to be.

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

I’ve been an avid reader and sometime writer all of my life. I’ve never been able to resist the draw of a good story, and that has been true in my professional life as well. I was raised as the third of three children in the Colorado high country. Early on I discovered the joy of creating handcrafted jewelry, which led to a forty-five-year career as a professional jeweler. Every customer, every piece has its own story. I’ve collected them like pearls in a strand, and I often use them as a jumping-off point for the tales I tell. If you’re looking for me, you’ll find me on the shores of a northern lake, hammering away on my latest story of love and life in the modern world. ~*~ Find Jayne online at: http://www.JayneYork.com

Website: JayneYork.com

Blog: JayneYork.com/What’sOnMyMind/

Email: Jayne@JayneYork.com

Twitter: @JayneYorkAuthor

Facebook: JayneYorkAuthor

 

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Author Interview with Linda Griffin ~ New Release: The Rebound Effect

Please help me welcome today’s guest, Wild Rose Press author, Linda Griffin.

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

I was born and raised in San Diego, California, and although I love to travel, San Diego is still home. I have a B.A. in English from San Diego State University and an MLS from UCLA. I’m single and share a house with my sister. I’ve had numerous short stories published in literary journals, and I’m a member of RWA and the Authors Guikd. I’m definitely a cat person, but don’t have any pets now, unless you count my lizard muse Sparkle, and my sometime collaborator, Huxley, a writer mouse from Starbucks. Huxley co-authored my novella, “Starbucks,” (Eclectica, April/May 2015), but his specialty is bedroom scenes!

Where did you get the idea for The Rebound Effect?

The original trigger was a response that wasn’t made to an apology. Teresa responded instead and although it’s now in Chapter Two, it was the first line I wrote.

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

I never choose a genre. I write the story that wants to be told, and then try to figure out what genre it belongs to. I had written other romances, but some were a better fit for the traditional genre than others.

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

Some of the notes for the story were written while I was traveling, and Frank and Teresa’s first visit to the coast is based on a real one. The fictional places are versions of spots on the Oregon coast, and I had a lot of fun renaming them. The city of Florence became Genoa, but the rest were less obvious.

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

I loved my career as reference and fiction collection development librarian, but the job changed so much in recent years that I was glad to retire to spend more time on my writing.

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

Probably a lot of things, but the two that are most often remarked on are riding the bus and washing dishes by hand (although I prefer to be read to while I do it). I also enjoy editing, which most writers dislike.

What was your first job?

I had my first babysitting job when I was four years old. A new mother paid me a dime to watch the baby while she hung her laundry on the clothesline. My first real job was as a library aide in a branch library, where I discovered my dream job—reference librarian. I’d always loved looking things up, but didn’t know it could be a career.

Is there one subject you would never write about? What is it?

Probably politics. I did once begin a romance between a librarian and a campaign manager, but I generally find the subject distasteful and boring.

Have you written any other books that are not published?

Several that are definitely not publishable, and a couple I hope will be. The decision on Guilty Knowledge, a police procedural/interracial romance is pending. The other still needs work before being submitted.

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

I’d like to spend a day with Sasha English. She’s one of my favorite characters, and it would entertain me just to listen to her talk. We would go to the zoo or the beach or shopping and out to lunch at a restaurant that serves ravioli. It would definitely be G-rated  since she’s only seven.

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

None of the major characters in The Rebound Effect is based on a real person, but I gave Teresa a lot of my own quirks, from her pet peeves and T-shirts to her religious philosophy. The bipolar cook that Alix describes was based on someone I worked with.

How did you come up with the title?

It wasn’t the original title. The Wild Rose Press already had one called Whirlwind, and my wonderful editor Nan Swanson and I had a lively back and forth on the subject before settling on the current one. The rebound effect refers to symptoms recurring and even worsening when treatment is stopped, and love is a dangerous illness. A rebound romance can be the cure for a broken heart or a prescription for trouble.

How did your interest in writing originate?

I learned to read. As soon as I grasped the concept that somebody had to produce those words, I knew that was what I wanted to do when I grew up. I didn’t wait though; I wrote my first story at the age of six.

Thank you, Linda. I enjoyed getting to know you. I also do not want to write about politics, good call. 🙂

And now, check out Linda’s book…

Blurb:

In the small town of Cougar, struggling single mother and veterinary assistant Teresa Lansing is still bruised from a failed relationship when Frank McAllister sweeps her off her feet.

Frank is a big-city SWAT officer who moved to Cougar only four months ago. He’s handsome, charming, forceful, very sexy, and a bit mysterious. He had his eye on Teresa even before they met and is pushing for a serious relationship right away.

Teresa finds his intense courtship flattering, and the sex is fabulous, but she doesn’t want her deaf six-year-old son to be hurt again. Her former fiancé cheated on her when he got drunk after being unjustly fired, but he loves her and her son, and the whirlwind romance is complicated by his efforts to win Teresa back. And then there’s the matter of the bodies buried at Big Devil Creek…

Excerpt:

She reached inside the robe to rub his shoulders. She was feeling something new now, something tender, loving, intimate, possessive. She kissed him. She wanted to give in to this sense of well-being, of the inevitability of a future together, of love, but wasn’t it too soon?

“Teresa,” he said, again as if her name was a special endearment. “I want to sleep with you. I want to hold you all night.”

“It sounds very romantic,” she said, “but what if I snore? What if I need you to let me breathe a little?”

“Breathing is overrated. I never want to let go of you again.” He kissed her, and then he lifted her in his arms. It had never happened to her before—Gene hadn’t even carried her across the threshold on their wedding night.

“Frank!” she cried, laughing, but a little scared—what if he dropped her? He was strong, but she wasn’t very light. He didn’t drop her—or he did, but deliberately, from about an inch above the cool, clean sheets of his bed. They were both laughing, and he started kissing her randomly, here and there. This can be a lot of fun, she told herself. Enjoy it while it lasts. “Remember when you asked if it was too soon for me to date?” she asked.

“Yeah, and you said it depended on the definition.”

“It turns out it was too soon,” she said, “and now it’s too late.”

~*~

The Rebound Effect can be purchased from:

Amazon https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07SS8SGT1/

Barnes & Noble  https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-rebound-effect-linda-griffin/1131957492

Kobo: https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/the-rebound-effect-2

~*~

I can be found at:

Website:  http://www.lindagriffinauthor.com/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/lindagriffin.author/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/LindaGriffinA

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

Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/lgriffin08392487/

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Filed under Author Blog Post, New Release

Peggy Jaeger’s DIRTY DAMSELS ( DotComGirls Series Book 1)

Please help me welcome the talented Peggy Jaeger with her intriguing new release!

DIRTY DAMSELS ( DotComGirls Series Book 1)

This isn’t your childhood version of Cinderella, folks, but a 2019 retelling of the fairy tale with a few modern twists.

Ella Jones is the CEO of an exclusive cleaning company titled DIRTY DAMSELS. With a $150,00 business loan and a sound business plan, Ella’s company has grown in leaps and bounds since she first started it in college. You know you’ve made it in the business world when someone wants to acquire what you’ve built, and now Ella’s fighting a corporate takeover. As she fights for her company, she also fighting not to lose her heart to the one person who could take everything she’s worked for away.

Blurb:

When I first saw Cynderella all covered in soot in that sexy maid uniform, I knew I wanted to be her Prince.

She’s a small and savvy businesswoman who’s built her cleaning company from the ground up. But now that Dirty Damsels is booming, I’ve been hired to arrange a hostile takeover.

But the temptation of having her was too much to ignore… We ended up spending one night together—a night neither of will forget. Now, I want more. I need more. I want to spend every night, skin-on-skin, with my beautiful Ella.

Problem is, when she finds out who I really am, she’ll never forgive me.

Excerpt:

The bathroom door opened.

In his tailored suit he’d been impressive and striking. With a white bulky towel wrapped around his waist, and the humidity in the bathroom sluicing off his damp torso, he was downright magnificent. Those wide and solid shoulders tapered down into biceps I could tell regularly attended a gym with him, and then into forearms corded with strong sinew and veins.

“I-I’m sorry,” I stammered. “I’m almost done. I’m sorry.” I blushed again and I cursed my fair skin. But really, how could I not blush and stutter when faced with this unbelievable specimen of hotness standing five feet away from me, all wet and hard muscled and gorgeous?

He moved like a panther across the rug, soundlessly stalking, as if playing with his prey, until he came to the opposite side of the bed.

He took one corner of the sheet in his hand and yanked it. “Do you have enough on your side?”

Speech was impossible because I knew I’d start blabbering again, so I nodded and tucked the sheet under the mattress.

“Hospital corners.” He nodded and then mimicked my motions. “I love a tight sheet.”

I couldn’t help but stare at the way his biceps swelled when he lifted the mattress as if it weighed nothing, and shot the sheet under it. Nor could I forgo glancing at the thick mat of black hair crisscrossing from one side of his pecs to the other and then down, disappearing below the towel. And I’d have to have been struck blind and stupid – which I’m neither – not to notice and admire the trim, tight waist and abdomen the towel was securely wrapped around.

At least I prayed it was securely wrapped.

I grabbed the comforter, shook it out and he helped me place it over the bed.

“Toss me one of those,” he commanded when I grabbed a pillow and began tugging the case on.

He caught both in midair.

The bed made, I turned to tell him about the platter of food, but stopped before the words could leave my throat. He’d moved without a sound again, coming to stand so close to me I could smell the citrus scent of the soap he’d used wafting off his body.

He placed a hand on my shoulder and gave it a little squeeze. I swear my body temperature went up ten degrees. I figured by now I resembled one of those cartoons where the character’s head turns beet red and then explodes upward.

“Thanks, Cinderella.” A devilish grin tripped across his tired face. “But I need to crash now, so…”

I truly could have stood there for the rest of the afternoon basking in his hotness, but I got the hint.

I nodded and made one last visual sweep of the room.

“Do you want me to close the blinds?” I asked, turning back just in time to see him drop the towel and slide – gloriously naked – into the freshly made bed.

Holy Mother of God. The man had a butt made for grabbing. Two perfect, round, and tight cheeks dipped from that narrow waist, leading downward to two thick and powerful thighs. Since his back was to me he didn’t notice my jaw hanging open  to my knees while he burrowed under the comforter.

“Mmm…sure. Thanks, Cinderella.”

Even half asleep his voice made my heart skip a few beats and my girlie parts go zing.

 

Buy links:

Amazon: Exclusive to KU readers for free

Kindle version: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07TBBPHM8

Print Version: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1640348409

Bio

Peggy Jaeger is a contemporary romance writer who writes Romantic Comedies about strong women, the families who support them, and the men who can’t live without them. If she can make you cry on one page and bring you out of tears rolling with laughter the next, she’s done her job as a writer!

Family and food play huge roles in Peggy’s stories because she believes there is nothing that holds a family structure together like sharing a meal…or two…or ten. Dotted with humor and characters that are as real as they are loving, she brings all topics of daily life into her stories: life, death, sibling rivalry, illness and the desire for everyone to find their own happily ever after. Growing up the only child of divorced parents she longed for sisters, brothers and a family that vowed to stick together no matter what came their way. Through her books, she’s created the families she wanted as that lonely child.

When she’s not writing Peggy is usually painting, crafting, scrapbooking or decoupaging old steamer trunks she finds at rummage stores and garage sales.

A lifelong and avid romance reader and writer, Peggy is a member of RWA and her local New Hampshire RWA Chapter.

As a lifelong diarist, she caught the blogging bug early on, and you can visit her at peggyjaeger.com where she blogs daily about life, writing, and stuff that makes her go “What??!”

Social Media links:

Website/Blog: http://peggyjaeger.com/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/peggy_jaeger

Amazon Author page: http://www.amazon.com/-/e/B00T8E5LN0

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Peggy-Jaeger-Author/825914814095072?ref=bookmarks

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

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/13478796.Peggy_Jaeger

Instagram: https://instagram.com/mmj122687/

BookBub: https://www.bookbub.com/authors/peggy-jaeger

You-Tube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCDR8RRIlssIyS0FYZWeGqsg/videos?view_as=subscriber

 

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Filed under Author Blog Post, New Release