Tag Archives: Western

“10 Moments That Changed My Life” by Kara O’Neal ~ New Release on July 10th: The Cowboy’s Embrace, Book 10, Pike’s Run Series

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Please help me welcome author friend Kara O’Neal with the moments that changed her life, and her new release, The Cowboy’s Embrace, Book 10, Pike’s Run Series…

10 Moments That Changed My Life by Kara O’Neal

  1. When I was in second grade, I read “Little Women”. The story enthralled me. I loved the close relationship between the sisters. But this is when I learned that “happily ever after” doesn’t always mean that everyone stays together. It was a sobering moment for a second grader!
  2. Let’s jump a decade to my senior year in high school. One of the many books I read that year had an ending that was highly disappointing. This had happened before, of course, but I was especially irritated by the way this story wrapped up. My sister told me to make up a better ending. Seemed like a good idea. I followed her orders, and thus began my love affair with crafting my own “happily ever afters”! (I credit my sister with my writing career. Alice in The Sheriff’s Gift is based off of her.)
  3. August 22, 1994 – This is the day I met my husband. I knew as soon as I saw him that he was my “happily ever after” guy. (He didn’t think I was his “happily ever after” girl until the next day.)
  4. July 18, 1998 – We got married! We will be married 20 years in a little over a week. Even though I knew he was the one for me right off the bat, I still can’t believe it’s been 20 years. Marriage is hard, but I’ve discovered that as long as you work to grow together, it absolutely can feel like a “happily ever after”.
  5. The summer of 2000 – I sat down and wrote my first book. The writing was pretty horrible. But, I didn’t let go of it. I couldn’t. I had found the work of my heart, and even if I never saw words of mine published, I was going to keep writing.
  6. November 14, 2000 – Our first child, a daughter, was born on this day. She is going to be a senior in high school this year. My heart can’t take it. Even so, I’m extremely excited to see what she does with her adult life. She is talented, bright, and a sweetheart. She NEVER gives up on anything. She is one of the bravest people I know, which has made her one of my heroes.
  7. November 17, 2002 – Our second child, a son, was born on this day. He is a carbon copy of his father – quiet, kind, talented, and as calm as the day is long. He’s a sturdy rock who is a friend to all. He will be a sophomore this year, and the world is absolutely his oyster. He can draw and sing and act. He does all of this with a kind smile and never a boastful attitude.
  8. September 16, 2006 – Our last child, a son, was born on this day and now our house is filled with laughter because of it. He’ll be in sixth grade this year. He is also very talented – he is a wonderful artist, but he has this sense of humor that keeps us in stitches. I don’t know where he gets it. Here’s a joke he made up when he was in the second grade: “Do you know why there are no male teachers? Because it’s teacher not teachim.”
  9. May of 2013 – I received the communication all writers want to hear. Resplendence Publishing wanted to publish my book. It had taken 13 years, but I finally got it right. Welcome Home, book 1 in the Pike’s Run Series, had been through many revisions. But all that sweat, blood, tears, tears and more tears paid off. And now I can’t stop!!! The Cowboy’s Embrace, book 10, will be released tomorrow, Destiny’s Secrets, book 11, is going through the critique process, and Pierce’s Hero, book 12, is finished and waiting its turn with my critique partners.
  10. November 22, 1998 – My grandpa gave me the best advice on this day. He told me that marriage is 100/100. Not 50/50. He asked me why I would ever only give half of myself to the person who would be my partner in life. It made so much sense. So, ever since then, regardless of what my husband does for me, I give him as much as I possibly can. Is it working? I think so. Am I always successful? NO. It’s hard, of course, but I don’t believe I’m here just to see what others can do for me. My helping hands and loving heart shouldn’t be contingent on what others do for me. I’m so grateful I got to spend time with my grandpa on that day. It was the Sunday before Thanksgiving of 1998. He died on Thanksgiving Day that year. His entire family was there. He’d been diagnosed with cancer in January. He was given 6 months. He lived for 11. I think of him every day.

 

Blurb:

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

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

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

Excerpt:

“I thought you were dead.”

Deacon paused in restacking the woodpile outside his home. Lily.

His hand hovered over the cut tree, and it took every ounce of strength he had to remain upright. He swallowed. He should have realized she’d have enough courage to face him. She’d always been like her mother.

When her friend hadn’t shown this morning for her cowboy education, he’d thought the pair had gone home. He’d thought he’d been saved from confronting the worst moment of his life. But here she was. Lily.

He couldn’t tell her to go. And he wouldn’t pretend not to know who she was. Slowly, muscle by muscle, he straightened to full height.

“Or captured,” she continued.

He closed his eyes.

“I thought…no…I tortured myself with images of the ghost coming to get you.”

Ah, God. Pain tightened his chest. He couldn’t turn around.

Some beats passed, accompanied only by the noise of cicadas. “But…now…I fear you abandoned me of your own volition.” Tears thickened her tone. “Did you choose to leave me?”

He had. And the action had haunted him every day.

A groan of frustration came from her. “Are you going to stand there and say nothing? After all these years, after what we went through, you won’t talk to me? You can’t even look at me.” Her voice broke. “Was I that much of a problem? Did I cause you so much trouble I’d become a burden?”

Her questions lashed his skin, making past wounds crack open and run down his flesh. God, how he wished he’d been able to stop the villain on the white horse.

Another sob from her had him clenching his hands into fists. He could face her. He could. With slow movements, he turned.

And the beautiful creature before him proved that sixteen years had passed. His heart constricted that he had caused this beauty so much suffering. Guilt pressed on him, and he couldn’t move, couldn’t make his mouth work to speak.

She was Lily. He could see it. But she’d transformed into a picture of grace and strength he had no business being around. He’d added to her grief and owed her an explanation. If he could find his courage, he would apologize.

Her watery gaze glittered with gut-wrenching pain. Disbelief.

“God,” she choked out. “You’ve changed so much.”

He was a rough cowboy now. One who chose to avoid the sweeter side of life for reasons he refused to explore.

“I should know your face,” she accused, lifting her chin. “You should be as familiar to me as the backs of my hands. We were supposed to be together…to be each other’s family. You promised.”

 

Buy Links:

Barnes and Noble: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-cowboys-embrace-kara-oneal/1128974490?ean=2940161996683

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Cowboys-Embrace-Pikes-Run-Book-ebook/dp/B07F2NHCJB/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1530393747&sr=8-2&keywords=kara+o%27neal

Google Play: https://play.google.com/store/books/details/Kara_O_Neal_The_Cowboy_s_Embrace?id=MTJiDwAAQBAJ

 

Contact Links and Social Media:

My website: www.karaoneal.com

My facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/KaraONeal84/

Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/karaoneal7/

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

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7278350.Kara_O_Neal

Twitter: https://twitter.com/KaraONealAuthor

 

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

Interview with Author Cj Fosdick ~ New Release: “The Accidental Stranger”

I am pleased to welcome Cj Fosdick who is sharing an interview and her latest release.


*** Cj’s first book was a Golden Quill Finalist and a Top 10 Finisher for Best Romance Novel in Preditors & Editors.

And…

The Accidental Stranger received an ‘excellence’ rating from InD’Tale Magazine and a fabulous review. Here is an excerpt from the review: (Only 23 out of 89 books in May earned that rating.)
“With fascinating twists and turns, leading up to a wonderful surprising ending the reader is kept well engaged by the deep and interesting characters that make up this unusual story. Well written and skillfully done. “The Accidental Stranger” is a page turner. Well worth reading!” Gwenellen Tarbet of InD’Tale Magazine, May issue

Give-away!!!! A Free eBook of The Accidental Stranger with comment and FB friend at https://www.facebook.com/cjfosdickauthor/

Please tell us about you and your book…

1. Novel Intentions? Who knew when I wrote a short story for a Writer’s Conference that it would lead to a book trilogy? My future publisher from WildRose Press was in the audience when the Laura Awards were distributed at the Women Writing the West Conference in Kansas City in 2013. The competition judge had submitted a page-long letter begging me to turn “The Teacup” into a novel. Seventeen months later, the story, now named “THE ACCIDENTAL WIFE,” was released in print and eBook by WRP, Amazon and several other distributors. Book two in the series, “THE ACCIDENTAL STRANGER” was released in January and book three in the Accidental Series is now a work in progress.
There was no question about the series genre. I was a fanatic reader of historical romance, suspense and family sagas and drew inspiration from the way Diana Gabaldon combined all in her time-travel “Outlander” series. (A heroine placed in a time-travel scenario is automatically conflicted as she is pulled into the emotional force of two worlds to discover the power of love.)

2. Any habits you use when creating a story? Long showers and water aerobics at a health club seem to lubricate the muse as I daydream about “what if “scenarios.

3. What book have you read that you wish you had written? Besides “Outlander” for obvious reasons, I also loved “To Kill A Mockingbird” by Harper Lee.

4. What do you dislike that most people wouldn’t understand? Eggs. I was born hating the sight, taste, texture and smell of fried or scrambled eggs.

5. What’s the main thing you could get rid of in your life that would give you more writing time? The easy answer would be television. More complicated would be the necessity for social media. (I’d love to have a clone or a PA who could put marketing on autopilot for me.)

6. What is the one word you would use to describe yourself? Emotional. What would others use to describe you? Curious or Talented?

7. Favorite book of all time? Like children, hard to choose favorites. Besides the two already mentioned, I loved “Gone With The Wind”—book and movie for history, romance, drama, and characters you loved…and loved to hate.

8. What do you want readers to come away with after reading your book? People in every era face the same conflicts and diversity and are empowered and changed by the forces of love.

9. Actors you would like in the main roles if your book was made into a movie? Aiden Turner (Poldark) and a red haired Jennifer Lawrence.

10. Would you rather have a bad review or no review? No Review would be less emotional.

11. Genre you’ve never written that you would like to tackle? More like an era—WWI or II.

12. Favorite quote? “Well-behaved women seldom make history.” (Same for book heroines.)

13. If you were stranded on a deserted island and you could have 3 objects, what would they be? A motorboat, GPS, and a case of Moscato.

14. What celebrity would you like to be stranded with? Actor Aiden Turner

15. Your most prized material possession? A bracelet of woven tail strands of my 3 favorite horses (now in horse heaven.) I raised and trained wild, domestic and rescue horses and gave summer riding lessons for years.

16. Favorites:
Movie—Last of the Mohicans
Music—Enya (Celtic)
Place you visited—Britain & Ireland
Place you’d like to visit—Scotland
TV show from childhood—Howdy Doody
TV show from adulthood—Survivor
Food—Fish/pizza/chocolate
Sports Team—Duo allegiance: Vikings & Packers
Which do you prefer: Board games/card games or TV? I love all three, but watch too much TV!

Thanks for joining us today, Cj! Ha, I also LOVE Gone with the Wind. And, I watch too much TV. AND, I love the Packers. Look at all we have in common! 😀

BLURB:

Jessica Brewster is being watched…and things go missing from the romote Wyoming home she shares with her toddler. In a freak accident, she shoots the bearded thief stalking her before she recognizes the mesmerizing green eyes that belong to the only man she ever loved.
Has Mitch bridged time to find her? In a race to save his life and change hers forever, she takes him into her home and heart. But his memory loss and puzzling clues curry doubt and expose mystery and danger. Is he truly her son’s father or an irresistible stranger in her arms?

EXCERPT:

I screamed as the gun exploded in my hand and fell to the ground. The bear moving toward Scout dropped, and I raced to scoop up my son before he toppled into the cold stream. Cradling my whimpering child, I ventured closer and could see at once that it was no bear I shot. A man in a bearskin poncho lay on his side. A mass of dark matted hair covered the side of his face that wasn’t blooming with blood, running down his cheek, pooling in his ear and staining his thick beard.
“Is he, is he dead?” I whispered.
Chuck fumbled for a pulse and we all started when he groaned and his eyes fluttered open.
Green! His eyes were green. The fear in them registered with me as he searched our faces. A flash of memories washed over me and my heart began to thump wildly. I set Scout down when my legs crumpled beneath me as I sagged in the snow and my bare fingers reached out to staunch the dripping blood.
So red against the white snow. His eyes, so…green. Every shade in a spectrum of emotion raced through me; joy, frustration…anger. I knew only one man who owned those eyes. Had he come back for me? Did I shoot the only man I ever loved?

BUY LINKS:

http://amazon.com/author/cjfosdick Amazon

http://bit.ly/2hbAuWN B&N Nook

http://catalog.thewildrosepress.com/1256_cj-fosdick WildRose Press

http://apple.co/2iKRozD Apple itunes

http://cjfosdick.com/buy-the-book Website

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Filed under Author Blog Post, giveaway, New Release

Author Interview with Kara O’Neal / New Release: The Editor’s Kisses

Please help me welcome Kara O’Neal, an author friend and fellow Authors Helping Authors member…

 

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

Hello there! My name is Kara O’Neal, and I was born and raised in Texas. I’ve put down roots here with my wonderful husband and three children. We’ve got a sweet – and very prissy – sheltie, named Stormy. She’s a doll.

I’m a middle school teacher, working with students who have special needs. I’ve been at the same campus for nineteen years, and I love it. The people I work with are dedicated and true servants to their profession.

Where did you get the idea for The Editor’s Kisses? Was there anything unusual, any anecdote about this book, the characters, title, process, etc, you’d like to share? What is the most difficult thing about writing a book? What was the most difficult thing about this one in particular?

When I was a girl, I loved – and still love – the Little House series. While I enjoyed the events surrounding the Ingalls the most, any story about the town and its citizens was fun, too. I was an avid reader from four years old. I read everything from Shel Silverstein to Rudyard Kipling. However, I never fancied myself a writer.

My sister, who is the inspiration for the fabulous heroine in my second book, was the one who first turned my thoughts in that direction. I was a senior in high school when she sparked my interest. But, I didn’t write my first scene until I was a senior in college. It took a long time for me to be published, but in that waiting period, I wrote. The Pikes Run Series was born, and I would have to say that any story I write comes from the characters. While I have two main families, I also tell stories about a town and its citizens.

The Editor’s Kisses came to life because Stephen Dawson wanted to start Pikes Run’s first newspaper and Constance Forrester wanted to get women the vote and saw his paper as a way to help the process along. Their love story evolved as they worked through that.

The most difficult thing, for me, when writing a book is making sure the character comes across to the reader. I want each one to be different, to have different faults and quirks. I want them to be their own person. And sometimes that is hard to do.

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

Oh, heavens. Probably Anne of Green Gables.

Do you collect anything?

Castles and crosses! I love them. And my husband’s aunt makes the most gorgeous crosses from stained glass. They’re amazing.

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

Pride and Prejudice is my favorite book of all time because Mr. Darcy and Lizzie Bennett are the most complex characters ever written. I was so caught up in the story that I can honestly say I was shocked beyond everything when Mr. Darcy…well…let me not spoil it in case someone hasn’t read it and wants to!

What’s your favorite childhood book?

Anne of Green Gables.

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

Colin O’Donoghue and Jennifer Morrison. They could play any characters they want from any of my books.

Would you rather have a bad review or no review?

A bad one.

What is your favorite quote?

From the movie Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves – “There are no perfect men in this world, only those with perfect intentions.”

Your most prized material possession?

I have a Texas flag that flew over the state capitol the day I graduated from high school. It’s a symbol of home for me.

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

Four of my heroines, and one of my heroes, are based off people I know. Emma (Welcome Home) is based off my baby sister, Alice (The Sheriff’s Gift) is based off my middle sister, Angelique (The Cowboy’s Charms) is based off one of my best friends, Willa (Love’s Redemption) is based off another best friend, and last, Lonnie (Love’s Redemption) is based off my husband.

What is your favorite…

Movie – Pride and Prejudice

Music – Texas country or Red Dirt music

Place you’ve visited — England

Place you’d like to visit — Ireland

TV show from childhood – Little House and Golden Girls

TV show from adulthood – The Closer and Once Upon A Time

Food – Brisket and chips/salsa

Sports team – Texans and Astros

Which do you prefer: Board games/card games or television? Card games

 

Thank you, Kara. I enjoyed getting to know more about you. Please tell us about your book.

Blurb:

Constance Forrester has no intention of getting married. She is a suffragette and determined to change society. When Stephen Dawson, her school chum, starts a newspaper in their sleepy little town, Constance discovers an opportunity. With confidence and an unflinching will, she asks Stephen to take a risk and employ her as a journalist.

Stephen is stunned by Constance’s impossible proposal and immediately turns her down. But the small moments he’s spent with Constance have peeked someone’s curiosity, and Stephen finds himself sought after by the town princess, Madeline Talbut. Stephen has loved Madeline for years, and when the young lady finally shows an interest in him, he concocts a plan: enter into a fake courtship with Constance in order to make Madeline love him, and in return, Constance can be a journalist for his newspaper. Anonymously, of course.

It’s a chance Constance can’t pass up. So what if she has to attend parties and withstand Stephen’s heart-melting kisses? A suffragette must forge through barriers, break down walls and risk all for the sake of freedom. But Stephen changes the game, and Constance finds herself the object of the editor’s desire…

Excerpt:

“Constance,” he uttered. “I’m gonna kiss you.”

She flinched again.

“I won’t hurt you, I swear it. But if I don’t kiss you…they’ll all question us and our…attachment.” He was an ass. He was using their agreement to coax her into acquiescence, and while he knew it, and was ashamed of it, he continued. “It will only be for a second. I’ll just brush my lips with yours.”

In the darkness, he felt her slight nod against his chin. His heart pounded at her quiet surrender.

When she pulled back as far as the space would allow, and lifted her head to his, heat slashed through him. He’d never needed a kiss as much as he needed hers.

Madeline had kissed him. Once. Behind the schoolhouse when they were sixteen. And that moment hadn’t caused near the anticipation this one was.

He lowered his head and swallowed her gasp. It wasn’t a brush even though he only set his lips on hers. It was a fire. A shot of whiskey that whipped through him and pooled in his gut. He deepened the connection, and she let him, sighing and sinking into him despite already being as close to him as he could get her.

But there was a melting. A need to move to the ground and cover her, press her down and make her his. He used his tongue, tasting her. She capitulated instantly and opened her mouth under his. He took what she allowed without hesitation as his free hand came up to grip her waist.

The damn closet was too small. His left hand was wedged between her side and the slender door. But though he couldn’t get his arms around her, he didn’t stop the kiss. It went on and on, stealing his breath, tightening his chest, and making him doubt everything he’d ever known about his heart.

Bio:

I was born and raised in Texas. It is the fire in my blood that inspires me, and I had to make it the setting of my first series. 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 fell in love with their words and characters. From the bottom of my heart, thank you.

Buy link for The Editor’s Kisses: http://amzn.to/2nDLp04

Contact links:

My website: www.karaoneal.com.

My facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/KaraONeal84/

Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/karaoneal7/

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

Twitter: https://twitter.com/KaraONealAuthor

 

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Filed under Author Blog Post, New Release

New Release ~ The Son of a Gambling Man by Jordan Meryl – ONLY 99¢ for a Limited Time!!

Please help me welcome Jordyn Meryl, who is sharing her latest release…

I am one of those old aspiring authors who started late in life on a lifelong dream. The Son of a Gambling Man is my tenth published book. I decided to indie publish because I wanted to get in the game. Being a genre jumper, I just believe there is always a love story. I do write with a bit of spice. Check out my author page on Amazon- http://amzn.to/1KVNXrM Give me a try and leave an honest review. I really would like to know what you, the readers think.

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1800 New Orleans was a time of change for the city on the Mississippi River. August Decoudreau and Isabella Greenwood grew up in the shadow of the very prestige and legal prostitute establishment of The House of the Crescent Moon.

Isabelle’s mother, Stella, was one of the girls of the house. The Madame of the House treated her girls well and protected them. But it only took one despicable customer and a bad judgement call to turn the lives of everyone in a different direction.

Isabelle is sent off to an all girl’s school and August joins his father, a gambler, to travel on the riverboats of the Mississippi River.

Will the two lovers find a way back to each other or be forever separated?

1927-New Orleans

 “Earth and Water, Fire and Air,
            Carry us, carry us, carry us there.” 

In a small opening in the middle of the dense forest, a woman with shadowy black eyes, her arms lifted to the star-filled sky, danced under the full moon. Her body jerked in rhythm to the ceremonial music in her head. As she chanted words in a foreign tongue, a small fire in the rock pit fought for its life. Suddenly it busted into a blazing inferno, its flame licked at the sky.

Lucinda, as the people called her, smiled as the heat hit her face. She had come because a friend of hers had just given birth to a son.

August was his given name, August Reynaud Decoudreau, such a big name for such a small being.

The Voodoo queen was known the city over as the one to safeguard a child’s destiny. For August, the son of a gambler, was cursed already from the abandonment of his father and the battles for survival of his mother.

The mother had shown up at Lucinda’s door three months ago, sick and already heavy with child.

Suddenly the midnight sky turned dark from the rapidly rolling clouds, flashes of lightning lit up the night. Lucinda understood. This child would face many struggles and complications. Being a child born under the sign of Leo, the lion, who was ruled by the Sun and fed by the element of fire, he would overcome them, fight to right them and carry on.

To help him she bestowed upon his inner self a boldness to always walk strong and confident. A fearlessness to believe that good overcomes evil and sensitivity to love completely and honestly.

“Hear me night sky. This child is blessed among men to follow the path of righteousness. Do not forsake him as he was sent by the gods and will live in the realm of light and good.”

The thunder rolled over the valley. Lucinda went to her knees, letting the soft, gentle rain cleanse the core of her existent. She believed in this child.

August was sent here for a reason and she would see that he was protected.

Thanking the spirits of the night, she rose and went back to the city.

The city of sin and ruin.

New Orleans.

And the House of the Crescent Moon.

I am extending the sale of $0.99 until Sunday October 9th for the ebook in all formats. http://amzn.to/2clZlZH

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JORDYN MERYL

Once living under the guise of a passive, quiet, school librarian, books and kids were the passions which kept her mind fresh.  One day she decided to spread her wings and live the dream of her heart. As she sits in front of her computer, her fingers bring to life the voices in her head. But it is when the night muses visit Jordyn, her spirit rises up to wrap around the stories that float in her dreams.  Land locked in the mid-west she envisions days on a white sandy beach with a laptop to write all her tales.  Crossing many genres she spins chronicles of love in Romance, Contemporary, Paranormal, Sci-Fi, Futuristic, Historical and Fantasy, for they are stories worth telling, even at the risk of revealing true feelings.

Facebook-https://www.facebook.com/jmdragonfly/

Website-www.jordynmeryl.com

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Filed under Author Blog Post, New Release