Friday, June 29, 2012

#ThursThreads - Week 28 - Winners


Week 28 of #ThursThreads had some great tales! Thanks to all who entered this week. I'm honored to see all of you and read your stories. And it was great to have some new "faces" join us along with our returning regulars. Great thanks also goes to judge CR Moss for reading all the tales.

Entries:
  • Angelique Rider | @Angelique_Rider
  • Toni Wyatt | @Toni1777
  • Jeffrey Hollar | @Klingorengi
  • Siobhan Muir | @SiobhanMuir
  • Rafe B. | @etcet
  • Bethany Lopez | @BethanyLopez2
  • Lisa McCourt Hollar | @jezri1
  • Stacy Bennett-Hoyt | @Rowanwolf66
  • Rebecca Kovar | @RRKovar
  • Goran Zidar | @GZidar
  • Sheilagh Lee | @SweetSheil
  • Cara Michaels | @caramichaels
  • Nellie Batz | @solimond
  • David Ludwig | @DavidALudwig
  • Kay Phoenix | @KayPhoenix_
  • Rebekah Postupak | @postupak
CR says: Siobhan, thank you for allowing me to judge this week. I feel privileged to have read all these great pieces of flash fiction. Wow. So many good short stories! It made choosing a winner difficult.

Winners Announcement:

Honorable Mentions

Rafe B. | @etcet
  CR says: Time-slip -- The piece read like poetry, evoked feelings. Loved the last line. It reminded me of the literary works I enjoyed reading in and out of college.

Rebecca Kovar | @RRKovar
CR says: Origins -- Before I fell in love with the romance genre (no pun intended), I was into horror stories and dark fiction. I liked the characterization of the man and the background of the witches and children. The pacing at the end of the story was done well too. This short piece pulled me in and kept my interest.

Sheilagh Lee | @SweetSheil
CR says: Princess Emmeline's baby -- This, too, was a darker piece. I loved the fast pace of this story, the type of pregnancy, delivery and baby she had and what the other woman found in the way of food. I especially enjoyed the last couple of lines, which made my quirky sense of humor sit up and take notice.

Week 28 Winner

  CR says: Sacrifice -- This piece fed my love of dark fiction as well. I chose this as the winner because the writer did a wonderful job, packing in so much description and depth into such a short space. There was some good world building done in the limited time as well. At the end I wanted to know more. I wouldn't mind seeing this made into a longer story. :)

Sacrifice
The body lay in perfect repose, the gauzy red fabric draping over top. Whoever had placed the body made sure the make-up and hair was perfect, manicured fingers folded atop each other on her stomach. Incense burners worked at pushing out the scented smoke, giving the room a hazy look. There were gifts around the alter. Flowers, fruit, bits of silver coin.

"They take this seriously." Marvin muttered to his companion, watching as an elderly man stepped through the doorway, holding out a platter that held a golden cup, liquid sloshing back and forth against the sides. "Wine?"

"Blood." Jenkins folded his arms, watching. The light reflected off his lenses as he lowered his chin. "To entice the senses for when she wakes up. They found out she was pregnant. Did they tell you that?"
Marvin gave him a startled look as his head shook side to side. "But…why did they do it then?"

Supposedly, the child will come back blessed. It was the sacrifice."

The other man gave another shake of his head. "How can a mother allow that to happen. That's just-just horrible."

"Different culture. They see some of ours as the same."

The old man put the cup down and bowed to the form before going out, nodding to them as the door was closed, sealing them in with the deceased woman.

"Now what, sir?"

"Now we wait and see if she wakes up at all and that she doesn't dine on the people in the village."

Congratulations Nellie, Sheilagh, Rebecca, and Rafe! Claim your badges and display them with pride. You certainly earned it! :)

Pass on the great news on Twitter, Facebook, Google Plus, shiny mirrors, Morse Code, and signal flags. Check out all the stories here and I hope to see you all back next week for #ThursThreads. :)
All stories written herein are the property (both intellectual and physical) of the authors. Thank you.

Thursday, June 28, 2012

#ThursThreads - The Challenge That Ties Tales Together - Week 28


Welcome back to the Weird, the Wild, & the Wicked. Did you miss it? Well, it's Thursday again, so what should you be doing? Writing #FlashFiction, that's what! Welcome to Week 28 of #ThursThreads, the challenge that ties tales together. Need the rules? Read on!

Here's how it works:
  • The prompt is a line from the previous week's winning tale.
  • The prompt can appear ANYWHERE in your story and is included in your word count.
Rules to the Game:
  • This is a Flash Fiction challenge, which means your story must be a minimum of 100 words, maximum of 250.
  • Incorporate the prompt anywhere into your story (included in your word count).
  • Post your story in the comments section of this post
  • Include your word count (or be excluded from judging)
  • Include your Twitter handle or email (so we know how to find you)
  • The challenge is open 7 AM to 7 PM Pacific Time
  • The winner will be announced on Friday, depending on how early the judge gets up. ;)
How it benefits you:
  • You get a nifty cool badge to display on your blog or site (because we're all about promotion - you know you are!)
  • You get instant recognition of your writing prowess on this blog!
  • Your writing colleagues shall announce and proclaim your greatness on Facebook, Twitter, and Google Plus

Our Judge for Week 28:


The multi-published, paranormal and romantic suspense author, CR Moss.
 
And now your #ThursThreads Challenge, tying tales together.

The Prompt:

"She was pregnant."

All stories written herein are the property (both intellectual and physical) of the authors. Now, away with you, Flash Fiction Fanatics, and show us your #ThursThreads. Good luck! :)

Monday, June 25, 2012

Lucky Seven and the MNBH Winner!

Good morning, readers! I want to announce the winner of the Midsummer Night's Blog Hop giveaway.

Rebecca Hamilton

Congratulations, Rebecca! Thanks for coming by and commenting. And thanks to everyone else who commented, too. :)

I also wanted to share that I've been nominated for the Lucky Seven, the meme going around where authors showcase their WIPs. Eep. I've been tagged before, but this time Goran Zidar tapped me on the shoulder and told me to get to it. So here I am.

I'm supposed to post seven lines from an unpublished work of fiction by following these rules:
  • Go to page 7 or 77 in your current manuscript (fiction or non-fiction)
  • Go to line 7
  • Post the next 7 lines or sentences on your blog as they are (no cheating, please!)
  • Tag 7 other authors to do the same
I found 7 lines from line 7 on page 77 (because it was more fun than page 7) of my current WIP tentatively entitled The Navy's Ghost, a Navy SEAL M/F/M romance. This scene is of Lt. Christiana Brickman's Teammates on their way to rescue her after she and some of the other SEALs' wives were kidnapped. Lt. "Magic" Hunter and Lt. "Retro" Waters are her lovers, though Retro is resisting the sharing. They haven't heard from her in days and they've just caught a lucky break. :)

“God damn, Ghost. I love you!”
“What?” Retro looked like he was ready to go ten rounds.
“That woman is nothing short of amazing.” Magic punched Retro in the arm with excitement. “She sent us a message. I know where we’re going.” He began to unbuckle his harness. “I gotta go brief the Captain.”
“Where are we going, Hunter?”
“Lilliwaup Dam.”

So, who are the Lucky Seven I'm spotlighting? Bwahahaha! Ahem. :D
  1. Emerald
  2. Katie Salidas
  3. CR Moss
  4. Tom Keller
  5. Gem Sivad
  6. Cara Bristol
  7. Cara Michaels
Thanks, Goran for the nomination, and thanks so much for stopping by to read my Lucky Seven. Happy reading! :)

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Six Sentence Sunday - Queen Bitch of the Callowwood Pack - Entrance Interview



Welcome back, Sixers! It's Sunday again and I have a little piece of my recent release to share. Thank you so much for coming to visit my snippet. I really appreciate it.



In this snippet of Queen Bitch of the Callowwood Pack, Julianna has arrived at the "garden party" and is talking with Jeff and his family. They ask her all sorts of weird questions and she's starting to think she's being interviewed. She just said she didn't think she wanted to get married again.

“I hope that won’t become a permanent condition,” Jeff remarked offhandedly then smiled his heart-stopping smile. Julianna wanted to smile back, but her keen sense of loss torpedoed her attempt.
Think of what it would be like to have lots and lots of erotic and energetic sex every day from this day forward, her Sister pointed out at her from the back of her mind. He’d keep you well satisfied and too damn tired to even walk!
Yeah, if he didn’t mind that I might gnaw off his face when I can’t find my favorite chew toy on those full moon nights.
      “Time will tell.”


Julianna is still convinced she's the only fuzzy one in the room. Won't she be surprised? :D Thanks so much for stopping by. There several very good authors on the Six Sentence Sunday list and a few of my favorites are Cara Bristol, Dianne Hartsock, Goran Zidar, Zee Monodee, Karla Doyle, Gem Sivad, and Sarah Ballance. Happy reading! :)

Thursday, June 21, 2012

A Midsummer Night's Blog Hop and Giveaway


Welcome to A Midsummer Night's Blog Hop! Today I have a treat for you, dear readers. Not only do you get to meet several wonderful authors and their main characters, but you get a bonus scene from Queen Bitch of the Callowwood Pack and a giveaway.

Even better, you get to meet Kellyn O'Brien, the heroine from Louann Carroll's upcoming July 2nd release, A Shadow of Time.

 I'm offering a signed cover of Queen Bitch of the Callowwood Pack to one lucky commentator stopping by on the hop. The giveaway is open internationally (please void where prohibited) and I will announce the winner here on the blog on Monday, June 25th 2012. All you have to do is leave a valid email address or Twitter handle so I can let you know you won. :)

So let's get on with the bonus scene. This happened during the training Julianna Morris experiences as she learns to be a true leader of the Callowwood Pack.

Julianna sat on one of the bar stools at the coffee shop and tried to let the tension slide out with her sigh. It had been a long day with Sebrina, trying to learn the intricacies of pack hierarchy, and she still hadn’t seen Jeff Lightfoot at all.

“What can I get for you, honey?” The waitress had the same careworn look as the coffee shop’s d├ęcor, but her smile was friendly.

“Do you serve Chai?” Not all the coffee places in BFE Nowhere did.

“Sure thing, honey. Comin’ right up.”

A steaming mug slid across the bar into her waiting hands and Julianna inhaled the delightfully spicy scent. She closed her eyes and strove for the calm she knew she had to show the world. The Luna of the pack has to be unflappable, ready for anything, and willing to help those in need. Goddess, she just wished someone could help her.

Julianna’s thoughts splintered as an old bent and battered car pulled into the gravel lot outside, disgorging a young woman and a little boy. The woman’s motions suggested she had a lot on her mind, but she helped the boy into the coffee shop with protective gentleness.

Julianna scented the woman’s fear and contrasting relief as soon as she stepped in the door, but she kept her attention on the Chai in her hands. To her great surprise, the woman sat down beside her at the bar as if she needed the company of others to soothe some of her worries. She smiled as the waitress approached.

“What can I get you, honey?”

“Same thing she has.” The woman pointed at Julianna’s Chai. “Is it good?” She turned to Julianna.

“It’s my favorite.” Julianna eyed the frazzled woman, scenting fear, frustration, and desperation. What could have set her off so badly? She offered an encouraging smile. "My name’s Julianna. This is Chai.” She raised the mug. “Do you like cardamom?"

“What’s that? Some kind of spice?” The woman looked dubious. “Oh, and I’m Kellyn.”

“Nice to meet you.” Julianna grinned. “The cardamom gives the tea a smoky flavor. Some folks find it a little bitter, though.” She proffered the cup. “You're welcome to try a little of mine before you order, if you like.”

“Ah, no thanks.” Kellyn glanced at the waitress. “Some coffee? Black please – no sugar or cream. And make that decaf.” She turned toward Julianna. “I'm pregnant.”

“Congratulations.” Jullianna scented a mixture of pride and despair on the woman, and tried to change the subject. “Is this your son? He’s a good looking kid.”

She relaxed her shoulders and wrapped both hands around her mug to appear non-threatening. Good thing the woman had no idea of the difference in species between them. A very good thing considering the moon is full outside. Her Sister self prowled close to the surface tonight.

“This is Scott.” The boy yawned. “I know it’s late, but I had to leave home in a hurry.”

A warning skittered down Julianna's spine and she straightened. “Oh? I'm sorry to hear that. Not to be too much of a busy-body, but are you in some kind of trouble?”

Kellyn tipped her head and studied Julianna with brown eyes as dark as her own. Though she had a slight build, almost thin, she seemed to have a core of strength that belied her fragile appearance. Kellyn took her time as if weighing some hidden options Julianna didn’t know.

“My house is haunted.” She waited for Julianna’s response as if expecting laughter in ridicule.

“Haunted? As in ghosts or, um, something else?” Julianna decided if she could be part of a whole town made of werewolves, a supernatural critter infesting a house wasn’t too much of a stretch.

“I dunno. Some say it's a portal guardian, others some kind of djinn. Whatever it is it can influence time. And I'm having these nightmares.” Kellyn appeared surprised at Julianna's acceptance. “Do you believe me?”

Julianna cocked her head and inhaled slowly, taking in the scents of residual fear and honesty. Then she nodded. “Yes. I think I do. Or I believe you believe what you're telling me.” She bit her bottom lip in consideration. “What kind of nightmares are you having?”

“Well, in one I'm an Aleut. We've crossed the Bering Strait looking for the land without snow. I know it sounds crazy, but sometimes I think I lived before. This coming from Catholic girl is a bit much.” When Julianna frowned in confusion, Kellyn backpedaled a little. “I’m taking up too much of your time.”

“No, not at all. Are you in a hurry?”

Scott squirmed on her lap. “My son is getting restless. Are you running away, too? Sometimes I get these feelings...”

Julianna laughed, but her worries over the tests and at the new aspects of werewolf life crashed over her again. “Not running away, per se. More like trying to find a quiet spot to sort everything out. It helps to be distracted with someone else’s worries. My dad just died and I'm trying to adjust to being back in my hometown again.”

Plus being a werewolf and figuring out how to be a werewolf. Ugh.

She waved her hand to brush away her frustration. “I’m still processing all the changes. I won’t keep you, but you should find someone to talk to who can help you with your nightmares. Maybe they’re clues to things that have happened to you before or help you deal with things to come.” She winked. “That sounds pretty ‘Sarah Conner from Terminator’, doesn’t it?”

Kellyn laughed. “Yeah, it does. Oh, I'm not in a hurry if you need to talk.” She sipped her coffee. “I’m a pretty good listener.” Waving at the waitress, she said, “Do you have any cookies?”

Scott beamed. “Any chocolate?”

“Coming right up.”

“You look a little frazzled yourself. I'm sorry to hear about your dad,” she said to Julianna.

“Thanks.” Julianna grimaced. “I didn’t get to come home until just before he died. And then the whole town wanted to know what had gone on in my life since I’d been gone. You know how small towns are.”

“I sure do. I moved up here from San Jose and what a change. I mean everyone knows you.”

Julianna sniffed at Kellyn. Her scent had changed to frustration and annoyance of the busybodies found in little towns. Julianna wrinkled her nose at her own frustration with the gossips in Callowwood.

“Do you have a cold?”

Kellyn’s question stopped Julianna cold. Oh Goddess, have I been so obvious? Fear surged, but she grimaced to hide it. “Oh, um, no. Allergies. The weather changes always mess up my nose.”

Dammit, I have to be more careful! A growl escaped before she could stop it and she glanced furtively around the coffee shop to make sure no one else heard. There were no other werewolves in the coffee shop and her tension dissipated.

“Sorry to hear that.” The waitress arrived with Scott's cookie. He grabbed the treat and wolfed it down. Julianna hid a grin. “I suppose I should get going.” Kellyn glanced out the window, the gibbous moon shined golden. “I just wish I had somewhere to go.”

Julianna’s gut tightened. This was not a night for a woman and child to be out and about. “You don't have a place to stay? There’s a little motel just up the road in the next town that’s not very expensive and clean.” She swallowed the last of her Chai and set the mug down. “Plus the proprietors are nice folks. Not too...”

The scent of someone familiar and full of excitement cut her off. Julianna turned her head toward the windows of the shop, listening to the ringing footsteps of a woman approaching across the gravel. She scented the werewolf and the rising call of the Lady Moon in the intruder’s advance. Julianna clenched her jaw and waited.

“Is everything okay?” Kellyn’s apprehension returned to her scent.

Before Julianna could answer another woman stepped into the coffee shop. Tall, statuesque, with tawny blonde hair and wild gold eyes, she looked more like a fashion model than a real woman. Go, Tawny. I wish I could pull of that image.

“Mistress Julianna. You're needed back in Callowwood.” Tawny’s face held muted excitement. She must have run here in her Sister form.

A short growl erupted from Julianna’s throat, but she tightened her lips around the sound and offered Kellyn a quick smile. Good job, just scare the crap out her. Grabbing a pen, she scribbled an address and phone number on a napkin and handed it to Kellyn.

“This is the motel’s address and number. I'm sure they'll have space for you. Just tell them Julianna Morris sent you. They should give you a discount.”

Kellyn took the note. “Thanks, I appreciate it. Maybe we’ll meet again sometime.”

“I hope so. If you're ever in Callowwood, look me up.” She winked, squeezed Kellyn's elbow gently, and strode out of the coffee shop with a controlled bound.

Once outside in the safety of the warm, velvet darkness, Julianna focused her gaze on Tawny. “What’s going on?”

The evening air erupted with howls of the pack and Julianna shivered with the urge to throw back her head and howl with the rest. Patience, Sister. We’ll have our chance.

“I came to get you and take you away from the pack while the tests are going on.” Tawny’s attention remained on the howls in the distance. Julianna knew Tawny wanted to join them as much as she did.

Julianna growled and Tawny jerked her attention back to her. “Fine. Let’s go then. Any particular destination you had in mind? Reno perhaps?”

Tawny laughed. “How about Battle Mountain? There’s a great greasy spoon there that serves breakfast late.”

“Sounds good.” Julianna launched into a run, shifting into her Sister form after three strides. A tawny golden wolf joined her as they headed north.

As they loped out of sight of the coffee shop, Julianna fervently hoped the Kellyn and her son would go to the motel she’d recommended. It was never good to be out the night of the full moon, especially in the home range of the Callowwood Pack.

I hope you enjoyed the scene between Julianna Morris and Kellyn O'Brien. Don't forget to visit the other blogs on the Hop where you can meet several other characters willing to tell their stories.

The Interviews!

Gregor Caine + Circe (Christine Ashworth & Claire Gillian)
Sydney + Poseidon (Cindy Young-Turner & Sasha Summers)
Caleb + Arland and Kate (Kinley Baker & Krystal Wade)
Leigh Baxton + Micah Fuller (Lindsay Loucks & Diane M. Haynes)
Shayla Dormyr + Kara Magari (Raven Bower & S.M. Boyce)
Kellyn O’Brien + Julianna (Louann Carroll & Siobhan Muir)
Ivory + Sara Wiley (Rebecca Hamilton & Sandra Bunino)
Xylia and Landon + Avant (Avery Olive & Kary Rader)
Asar + Matty Ducayn (Jean Murray & Wendy Russo)
Thanks again for stopping by, good luck on the hop, and happy reading! :)

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Author Spotlight: Sam Crescent, Erotic Romance Author

Good morning, dear readers. I have the great pleasure to introduce Sam Crescent, multipublished erotic romance author. Her new release, The Unbreakable Trio, is out from Siren Publishing, and she's generously offered a excerpt and a giveaway. This is M/F/M erotic romance, so if that's not your cup of tea or you're under 18, please skip to the bottom of this post and leave a comment for Sam.

Now, the BLURB for The Unbreakable Trio:

Claire Martin, Shane Cook, and Liam Turner had been best friends all of their lives. Nothing could separate them. When Claire starts looking for work outside of the comfy town of Long Mead, Shane and Liam know they have to act or they could risk losing her forever.

Giving her a job as a housekeeper at their ranch seems the only solution. They want to keep her close and try to seduce her.

Claire has a secret. Her feelings for Shane and Liam have changed. She doesn’t just want to be their friend, nor does she want only one of them. She wants them both.

A dark secret between Shane and Claire threatens to destroy any possible future between them.

Can these three friends overcome their fears and embrace a future with each other? Or will the unbreakable trio stumble at the first hurdle?

 EXCERPT

 Liam Turner stared at the full ass right in front of him. All he wanted to do was reach out and grab a handful of delicious curves and never let go. Claire Martin always did this to him. She made him yearn for her body, for her love.
He shook his head and tried to force his gaze elsewhere. Nothing was happening. Her ass was the best thing to look at in all of Long Mead state, which was a small town in the middle of nowhere with nothing to look forward to. Long Mead was surrounded by a massive amount of desert, and their water supply came from a reserve on the edge of town. Most of the young folk hated living in a town cut off from most all the city life. Liam loved the quiet. Yes, they got the tourists in from the history surrounding the town, but nothing ever went wrong. A lot of the men were ranchers. He and his best friend, Shane Cook, owned a ranch about a thirty-minute drive outside of town. They raised cattle. The work was hard and tiring. At least it paid for the rent and the cozy lifestyle they’d enjoyed lately.
“Could you pass me those tins of paint?” Claire asked from the ladder where she stood. Her coworkers had gone out to lunch, leaving Claire to handle the restocking of the shelves. Although it was a  small town, they were always busy.
Liam grabbed a tin and handed it up to her. As he brought his arm down, he brushed the curve of her thigh.
“Do you like working here?” Liam asked, curious about the woman who had held his attention for as long as he could remember.
“It pays the bills,” she said on her way down the ladder. She looked a little unsteady, and he grabbed her hips to keep her standing.
Big mistake.
His cock jerked in reaction. Her hips were around and full. Liam dug his fingers into the flesh, feeling the firmness. She wasn't like skinny girls, where men were afraid with one had fuck they'd break in two. Claire had more about her.
She could take a fucking from him.
She could take Shane as well. Liam cut the thought off. For years he and his friend had held a torch for this delightful female. Neither wanted to back down from the claiming of her or ruin their friendship, so—by mutual agreement—they decided to leave it.
They had watched as she dated a few of the other guys in town. Liam and Shane had never been allowed to intervene because they’d given up their shot with her. Liam, Shane, and Claire had been the best of friends as young children, and the friendship had cemented in adulthood. At twenty-three, they were still close.
“You can let go now,” she whispered.
Liam paused. He didn’t want to let her go. Instead of letting her go, he brought her closer to his body. Their closeness was not enough for her to feel his hard cock.
“You smell good,” he said with a moan as he scented her skin.
Claire giggled and pulled out of his hold. “Have you started on the beer already, cowboy?”
He wished he had.
“Nope. Just making a woman know she’s wanted.”
This was another thing. No matter how many times he or Shane teased her or made suggestive remarks, she never took the bait.
“Well, go and find another woman to add to your bedpost. I’m not interested.” Claire walked away. Liam followed with enough space to watch her ass swing in the tight pinstripe skirt. Fuck. What would she look like spread across his desk with his cock inside her cunt? For years he’d thought of what she’d taste like, look like ready to be fucked. If he was honest, he was getting tired of waiting for his friend to wake up and smell the honey. Either Shane got over his problems or Liam would make the first move.
Another year had gone by, and Liam had grown tired of the useless sex he’d been getting from women he didn’t like. Many times while he’d been inside another woman, he would close his eyes and think of Claire, imagine her response. When he came and opened his eyes, the disappointment had been too hard to bear.
The only woman he wanted was Claire. The only woman he needed was Claire.
He wasn’t going to wait for a loser who didn’t deserve her to snatch her up.
Claire was going to be his.

Sam is offering one lucky commenter a PDF copy of The Unbreakable Trio. Just leave a valid email address or Twitter handle for us to contact you should you win. Contest ends Thursday, June 21st at 8:00pm PDT.

If you can't wait until then, The Unbreakable Trio is available now from:

Bookstrand

If you'd like to connect with Sam, you can find her:
Blog
Facebook
Twitter

Thanks for stopping by and happy reading! :)

Monday, June 18, 2012

Guest post from Author Lorraine Nelson with a New Release and a Giveaway

Good morning, dear readers. Today, I'm over at the Vampire Book Realm's V-Blog, but I didn't want to leave you without something to read, so fellow Evernight Publishing author Lorraine Nelson graciously stepped in to give you a guest blog post. Not only that, but she's offering a giveaway at the end. So join me in welcoming Lorraine, and when you're done reading hers, you're welcome to come see what I'm doing. :)

Some people (I refuse to name names) have commented on the fact that I’ve left it too late to be a success as an author. After all, my children are all grown up and (gasp!) I have grandchildren.
Do you want to know what I think? It’s never too late to dream and to actively pursue a goal!
Anyone who persists in achieving their dream is a success in my book.
Even if I’d never been published, writing fills a need, a restlessness inside me. I can’t remember a time when I didn’t write, jotting down short stories (back then only a page or two or six) or poetry. I love rhyming, making thoughts connect, telling a simple story through words.
When my children were small, I enjoyed reading to them, imparting my love of the written word. I even wrote and published a couple of books and posters aimed at their age group. The learning experience involved in that was unreal…challenging and rewarding in equal measure.
I’d tried to write what I enjoy reading, but with a full-time job and kids at home, I rarely had a spare minute to myself. I applaud anyone who can write with children under foot. I certainly can’t. J
Peace and quiet is the rule of thumb for me.
Writing involves a continual learning curve. I learn something new with each manuscript I write. I’ve also learned that you can’t always ‘write what you know’, especially when your characters take you in the opposite direction. I’ve had to research oodles of stuff, but it’s all good.
Zakia and the Cowboy was rejected seven times before being picked up by Evernight Publishing. To date, I’ve suffered more rejections than I care to count, but each one served its purpose by making me more determined than ever to succeed. “I can do this” became my mantra. The thought of giving up never crossed my mind. I love writing! Positive thinking is the key. Don’t let the negatives bog you down. Learn from those rejections and keep striving to craft the best story possible.
The day I received the contract offer from Evernight, I couldn’t believe it. It took a few days for it to sink in, but once I received that gorgeous cover, designed by the fabulous Dara England, I knew it was very real indeed.
Since the release of my debut novel in October, Zakia and the Cowboy has been a phenomenal success, appearing on several Bestseller lists and becoming a Featured Title at All Romance Ebooks for three weeks. Better than that were the reader reviews. They’d enjoyed it and wanted more. Luckily, I had more planned. J
Covert Mission: Undercover Cop, Trouble Brewing in Thunder Creek, and A Cowgirl's Pride all followed. I am currently working on Book 5 in my Thunder Creek Ranch series, Cameron's Quest, and have had reader requests for Michael's story next.
Through Evernight, my short western historical, Hawk's Woman, was released as part of the Virgins Behaving Badly anthology released in March.
Today marks the release of Her Unlikely Bodyguard, the first of four books contracted with Breathless Press. Blessed Homecoming, Love on the Rocks, and Finding Baby J will release in July, August, and September, respectively.
Then starts my releases with Ruby Lioness Press…Bad Boy Blake in November, and the Husdon Trilogy, releasing in January, March, and May, 2013.
At this point, I also have three other titles being considered by two other publishers.
Have I left it too late to become a successful author? No, I don’t think so, and according to reader reviews, they don’t either. J

I so love hearing from my readers! It’s important to know what works and doesn’t work for them as I continue to craft stories of love and mystery. You can find me at:

Website
Facebook
Twitter
Goodreads
Amazon

Thank you for having me here today, Siobhan. It’s been fun.

One lucky commenter will receive a free download of Her Unlikely Bodyguard at the end of the blog tour. Winner to be announced on June 30th. So leave your email address (so we can let you know if you win), comments and/or questions, and I’ll do my best to answer. :)

BLURB for Her Unlikely Bodyguard

Jemma-Leigh Harding has drawn the attention of an unknown stalker and returns to her hometown of Somerville, a safe haven on the east coast of Canada. Theodore Garrity is the last person Jemma-Leigh expects to see, having walked out on her after graduation to join the army. Their past history involves secrets she is not ready or willing to share. When it becomes clear the stalker has followed her home, Teddy becomes her unlikely protector. Will the terror and past hurts separate them forever? Or will love blaze a fresh path for their future?

EXCERPT

Jemma Leigh woke to a high-pitched wailing sound and tried to sit up but couldn't, only then realizing she was strapped down in a moving vehicle. Before she could panic or even give voice to the questions floating around in her head, there was a flurry of movement in her peripheral vision.
One of the paramedics kneeled beside her in an instant. "Don't be alarmed, Miss Harding. The straps are for your own protection. You can't be expected to hold on in a moving vehicle when you're unconscious."
"Unconscious?"
"Yes. That truck knocked you unconscious when it hit you. Don't you remember?"
"I remember hearing the truck and jumping back to the sidewalk. I was standing there, watching the approach of a rather irate driver when everything became foggy. I don't remember anything after that."
"We couldn't find any signs of a head injury. Is it possible you just fainted?"
"I've never fainted in my life!" she exclaimed.
"Shock does strange things to people, especially when there's personal injury involved."
"Shock I can understand, after seeing that monster of a truck coming directly at me, but I jumped clear. How could there be personal injury?"
"You have a nasty abrasion on your left ankle. It's going to require stitches, at the very least."
"What? How?" she asked, confused, finally becoming aware of a gentle throbbing in her foot.
"The driver found blood on his front fender. Your ankle got a good clip before he managed to stop."
At mention of the driver, Jemma Leigh's thoughts returned to Theodore Garrity. The moments they'd shared during high school and summer vacations were still mighty precious, turning her dreams into an erotic oasis on more than one occasion over the years. Why did she have to have a close encounter with him of all people…and on her first day back, too? What was he doing in town? Her mother told her he'd married and lived out west somewhere.
The cessation of movement brought her back to the present predicament and she gave the paramedic a questioning look.
"We're at the hospital. The staff here will have you stitched up good as new in no time. You'll soon be on your way as long as there are no internal injuries."
"Hopefully sooner. I don't have time for this."
"Some things you have to make time for and having that ankle tended to is one of them," he answered. Another paramedic opened the rear doors, helped roll the stretcher out of the ambulance and into the emergency department. The smell of antiseptic and disinfectant assaulted her nostrils as they wheeled her over to the nurses' station.
When the nurse came out to greet them, Jemma Leigh stated, "Hi, I need to make a phone call."
"I'll bring you a phone just as soon as we have you settled in an examining room," the nurse assured her.
As luck would have it, emergency wasn't busy that day and the doctor arrived as they transferred her from the stretcher to a bed. He was tall, with short blonde hair and electric blue eyes, and extremely good-looking. "Good afternoon, Miss Harding. I'm Dr. Harrison. Heard you had a run-in with a truck and the truck won," he stated, turning a megawatt smile in her direction.
Wow! She wondered what had happened to draw so many handsome men to this backwater town. This guy seemed almost too perfect…good looks, a sense of humor and a secure, good paying job at that. Clueing in to the silence surrounding her, she shot a shaky smile at the doctor and said, "I prefer being called Jemma Leigh. The truck was much bigger than I was and all it got was a bit of skin off my ankle. I think the fact that I'm still here means I won that round."
"Either that, or God isn't ready for you yet," Ted quipped sarcastically from where he stood in the doorway listening to the exchange. "Maybe it was just my excellent reflexes that saved your hide."
"You always did have a strange sense of humor, Teddy. You should pay more attention when you're behind the wheel of that brute. What are you doing here?"
"Just checking on the invalid. I was worried when you didn't immediately regain consciousness."
"As you can see, I'm fine. No insurance claims pending, so now you can go."
"Consider me gone."
Surprisingly, he left without a good-bye or a backward glance, just as he'd done...no, she wasn't going there.

Thank you for stopping by, good luck in the giveaway, and happy reading! :)

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Six Sentence Sunday - Queen Bitch of the Callowwood Pack - Jeff's Dilemma


Welcome back, Sixers! It's Sunday again and I have a little piece of my new release to share. Thank you so much for coming to visit my snippet. I really appreciate it.


In this snippet of Queen Bitch of the Callowwood Pack, Jeff Lightfoot had to let Julianna leave from the funeral reception, but he knows she's his True Mate and he's finding it difficult to calm down after his revelation. Worse, he has to pretend he doesn't care. The scene is written in Jeff's POV.

Jeff had never felt the mating bond before, but the moment he touched Julianna, it roared into his awareness as clearly as the neon lights of Vegas. There’d been no doubt in his mind, and he’d been unable to leave her side from that moment on.
It killed him to let her drive away now.
His hormones sang like a rabid rock concert crowd, demanding he go find her and seal the bond now, but he held onto himself like a drowning man to a rope. No, I have to go back inside and socialize as the next packleader. I have to make it look like I’m considering all of them as potential mates.
 

Sounds like his mind is arguing with his heart, which might lead to blue balls. ;) Thanks so much for stopping by. There several very good authors on the Six Sentence Sunday list and a few of my favorites are Cara Bristol, Dianne Hartsock, Goran Zidar, Zee Monodee, Karla Doyle, Gem Sivad, and Sarah Ballance. Happy reading! :)