My Sexy Saturday blog hop–Lone Star Angel

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My selection as part of the My Sexy Saturday blog hop is seven paragraphs from the first chapter of Lone Star Angel, a western historical set in 1868 west Texas.

 

Carni’s gaze was pulled to the muscles straining the thighs of his muddy denims. The man obviously worked hard for a living. But, how dare a ranch hand question her? Rudeness was not to be tolerated. Grasping the reins with one hand, she reached under the cart seat to collect the velvet reticule lying at her feet. “I’m tired and I’m cold. As wonderful as our conversation has been, I need to get to the Bar-T ranch. I’ll pay you four bits to direct me to the ranch house.”

She dug out the coins and held them suspended over the side of the cart, staring with a narrowed gaze at the man’s shadowed face. When he sat as still as a statute with only his eyes tracking her movements, her temper simmered but discussing her personal business with a ranch hand was unthinkable. She shook her hand and raised an eyebrow in his direction. “Okay, six bits.” Another coin was added to her hand.

The wind teased her skirts, flipping back the hem to reveal several inches of a red petticoat.

His gaze flicked to the exposed lingerie and the right side of his mouth quirked for just a second.

But she saw his reaction and steamed even more. Taking advantage of the wind’s mischief instead of averting his gaze like a gentleman would. “A dollar for the directions. Take it now, I won’t be offering more.” Money well spent to remove herself from the belligerent company of this sullen man.

Several moments passed before he clucked out of the side of his mouth and urged the horse forward until abreast of the cart. “Whoa, Hades.” He held a cupped hand under her outstretched one, looked up from under the brim of his black hat and winked.

Heat flashed through her at his bold gesture. With a quick movement, she released her hand and let the clinking coins drop into his bare hand. “Your boss will be hearing about your surly attitude.”

BUY LINKS

The Wild Rose Press

KOBO Books

Barnes & Noble

Amazon

All Romance ebooks

Here is a list of the other participating authors.

A Valentine’s Title Featuring Mature Characters

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Tagline

Can online dating entice a divorced woman and a rancher to reveal the secrets of their lonely hearts?

As I’ve grown and developed along my writing path, I’ve also matured in years. Funny, how that happens. When I started plotting When Lonely Hearts Meet, I was aiming at a specific publisher call for submissions that dealt with the topic of online dating. Having a couple in their twenties involved in the plot seemed too easy. Going online, establishing a profile, and providing clever and intriguing answers would be normal for the tech-savvy generation.

But add twenty years to their ages and the characters are from a different generation. Individuals who are more hesitant about being open and accessible online. Ta, da–may I introduce Clover Damone and Wade Pallaton? Adults in their forties who have lived through contentious divorces and are a bit wary this time when they recognize they’re attracted to each other.

I loved writing this short novella set in Dorado, Texas as a companion to Gingerbread Wishes, the launch book in the Sugar & Spice Bakery series. If you’d like to add this story to your Want To Read list on Goodreads, here’s the link

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/20927146-when-lonely-hearts-meet?ac=1

BUY LINKS

All Romance ebooks

Amazon

Barnes & Noble

KOBO Books

GIVEAWAY

I’m giving away one ecopy of this story with the name chosen from those who leave comments on the following question by Sunday, February 5. For a small town romance, do you prefer a graphic cover (like the one above) or one containing a couple?

EXCERPT

The older woman’s voice was pitched low but the throaty tone carried. What caught his eye was the sight of shapely calves encased in skinny jeans. The trio of brass bracelets and the long sweater that almost reached her knees clued him in that the lady was new in town. Not normal attire for this rural Texas town. He’d automatically registered that her left hand was ring-free.

The sight of the key making station meant he’d walked halfway down the aisle in his perusal of the interesting stranger. Wade glanced up and jerked when he spotted a narrowed gaze shooting daggers from the thin face of a woman close to his younger son’s age. Busted.

“Eavesdrop much?” The younger woman jammed a hand onto her angled hip.

Tread lightly around this suspicious one. “Beg pardon, miss.” Wade tipped a forefinger against the brim of his Stetson as he dipped his chin. “Ma’am, I heard the call for assistance and thought I’d see if I could answer a question.”

“You work here?” Eyebrow raised, she gave him the once-over. “Dressed like that?”

“Hayley.” The older woman gave a sharp wave, glanced at his length then stepped closer. “Do you know about paints?”

“Done my share of painting. And I’m a fair-to-middlin’ handyman.” He gazed at her, recording the details of her easy smile, her hazel eyes, and the waves of light brown hair framing her face. The combination piqued his interest, something that hadn’t happened in a very long time. “I’m not an employee here…” he shifted his gaze to the young lady and again, dipped his chin, “but I can be neighborly and try to answer your questions.”

“I’m clearing out my great-aunt’s house and it needs a bit of work.”

Just visiting. A niggle of disappointment ran through him. But he still intended to see if he could offer assistance, and maybe even volunteer to help. “First things first. Name’s Wade Pallaton, ma’am.” He extended his hand in a friendly greeting.

A moment passed as she glanced at his hand and then back at his face before sliding hers into his. The edges of her lips flashed a brief smile. “Of course, I’m sorry.”

Warmth built between their palms and he tightened his fingers. Ten years had passed since his divorce, and this was the first honest-to-goodness spark of attraction he’d felt. Her skin was soft and her bones delicate within his grasp.

“I-I’m Clover Damone.” She stared down at their clasped hands, sucked in her lower lip and then jerked her gaze back to his, eyes widening.

A raspy throat clearing sounded from just a few feet away.

“Oh.” Clover broke the connection, wiggled her fingers and then pointed over her shoulder. “And this is my daughter, Hayley.”

“Do you live around here?” Hayley tilted her head and a ponytail a shade darker than her mother’s hair swung to the side.

“Sure do. Got a ranch twenty miles outside of Dorado.”

“So, you’d know if mold is a problem in ancient houses. Cuz the smell that rolled out of that old farmhouse made me wonder about that ugly black stuff.” She shuddered and moved her hands through the air as she talked. “Like maybe we’ll get sick if we stay there.”

Shaking her head, Clover frowned and pressed her lips into a straight line. “I told you, the house just needs airing. We’re staying.”

“Fine.” Hayley jerked her head and pushed an ear bud into each ear, tapping the screen of her phone. “Pick me up in the magazine section when you’re done.” She flashed a glare his way, then spun and headed toward the front of the store.

Unsure of the conversation’s undercurrent, Wade just waited, giving him a few more moments to enjoy the sight of this intriguing woman. Not having raised a daughter, he’d always admired people who maintained a rational tone around sassy attitudes.

“I apologize. She’s really not a rude person. Hayley’s between terms at college, at least I hope she is, and I convinced her this Texas trip would be a fun getaway.” Clover braced her hands on her hips and stared at the floor for a second before meeting his gaze again and crinkling her nose. “I might have exaggerated the “fun” part of packing up family heirlooms, especially to my ultra-modern, social media-fixated child.” She let out a sigh then ran a hand through her hair. “And I have no idea why I’m revealing all this to a complete stranger. This is twice I’ve acted like this in two days. Just ignore me.”

Impossible. Seemed that from the moment he heard her voice, Wade wanted to hear everything she could tell him. He let his gaze follow the flow of her wheat-colored hair as it spilled between her splayed fingers. “Don’t know that I’ve heard the name Damone in these parts.”

Guest Interview–Nicki Greenwood

Today I’m pleased to have an author who is also published by The Wild Rose Press, Nicki Greenwood.

Tell us a bit about you and your background.

My writing career began a lot like most authors’ did: I was never without a book or a pen in my hand. Stories were my life. Things really took off when I discovered the Central New York Romance Writers. In between two fabulous years as an editor and a sideline as a web designer, I have since published five books and counting. I have a day job, but my first love will always be the power of the pen (or, these days, the keyboard). I’m still rarely without a book.

Do you start a new story with the plot or characters first?

Usually, it’s the plot. Once in a great and very welcome while, a character will start talking to me, and refuse to stop until I write down what he says. Those are the best kind of stories, and the easiest to write!

Is your writing style planned or freestyle?

I used to “pants” it entirely. If I knew the ending, it wasn’t worth writing the story. These days, I’ve had to work out a balance between plotting and pantsing. I keep the plot deliberately vague so that I leave myself room for surprises, but there’s a general idea of where the whole circus is going.

Can you share a tip about what you do when you get stuck in creating a story?

I’ve discovered that, even five-plus books in, I’m always going to hate my first draft. No matter what I do, I’m just not going to be happy with what goes into that initial round of writing, and it’s hard, slow going. The key is just to keep getting those words on the page, even if I think they’re terrible. Most of the time, the words are better than I think, and I need to remember that I can make them better when it’s time to revise. (That’s where I have my real fun!)

Do you use visual aids (storyboards, Pinterest, collages) when plotting or writing?

I generally pick an actor or actress that resembles my hero/heroine, and that sets a mental image in my head from which I can build a personality. I use Pinterest as a “visual aid” for my novels, where people can “see” inside my books and find locations, professions, or special items highlighted in the stories (see the link for my Pinterest page).

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BLURB for Flashpoint:

Faith Markham knows her place in life—paranormal expert and world-traveling archaeologist. She also knows she’ll never fall in love again. How can she, when the only man she’s ever wanted is a long-dead Viking warrior? She has resigned herself to loneliness, but fate has other ideas.

Hakon Ivarsson has had enough of women. His ex-wife left his life in ruins, and only Australia’s Blue Mountains can soothe his empty soul. When Faith shows up needing a trail guide, he regards her with instant suspicion. This enigmatic beauty pulls at him in ways he can’t explain. Trusting her is out of the question, but protecting her is absolute.

When they stumble on an artifact-smuggling ring, led by a man poised to bend the world’s paranormal power to his own terrible purposes, they must join forces. Will it tear them apart, or has fate finally delivered a second chance?

2nd Place, 2006 Golden Pen Contest

EXCERPT:

Just who was guiding who?

Hakon growled and pulled his own backpack from the Land Rover, locked the vehicle, then stalked down the trail after her.

It took him all of two seconds to decide he should have been the one walking in front. Faith strode ahead of him, dodging ruts and potholes with sure feet. Her hips swayed with each step in a compelling rhythm that drove his body into a riot. He imagined drawing her back against him, kissing that spot behind her ear where tendrils of golden hair had fallen loose….

She stopped dead and turned around with wide eyes. Damn, had he said something out loud? He thought he’d seen a flash in her eyes just before they saw the truck. There it was again, though before, he could have sworn her eyes had been silver…

“Aren’t you supposed to be in front of me?” she asked.

Desire and doubt vanished. “I would have been, if you hadn’t bolted off in the first place.” He stepped around her and went on without pausing. “Next time, let me go first. Clear?”

“Get up on the wrong side of the bed?”

He didn’t bother telling her he hadn’t slept at all. Her presence had echoed through the walls of the inn like a resonating bell, one moment consuming him with the need to go to her, and the next, driving him away in a fit of resentment.

She was money. His ticket to freedom, nothing more.

Maybe if he kept telling himself that, he might start to believe it.

BUY LINKS

The Wild Rose Press

Barnes & Noble

Amazon

Nicki Greenwood graduated SUNY Morrisville with a degree in Natural Resources. She found her passion in writing stories of romanticnickibiolg-s adventure, and combines that with her love of the environment. Her works have won several awards, including the Rebecca Eddy Memorial Contest. Her first book, Earth, debuted in 2010 through The Wild Rose Press. Her latest book is Flashpoint.

Nicki lives in upstate New York with her husband, son, and assorted pets. When she’s not writing, she enjoys the arts, gardening, interior decorating, and trips to the local Renaissance Faire.

WEB CONTACTS

Website: http://www.nickigreenwood.com

Blog: http://nickigreenwood.blogspot.com/

Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/nickigreenwood

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/Nicki.Greenwood.Author

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

Pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/greenwood0798/

 

Guest promotion–Whatever It Takes by JM Stewart

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She’s been dying to hear the words…

Walking away from her husband was the hardest thing Becca Morgan has ever done, even if it was the only way to save her heart from being broken by a loveless marriage. Still, when a terrible accident forces her to stay at her ex Jackson’s house for a few days, emotions she thought she’d buried long ago start coming to the surface—and, to her surprise, seem to be reciprocated…

…he just doesn’t know how to say.

Jackson Kade has never known love like he knew with Becca, but his cold upbringing left him unable to show her how deeply he feels. When Becca winds up under his roof once more, he knows it’s his only opportunity to prove his devotion—and passion. But old habits die hard, and even one mistake could shatter their last chance at love…

EXCERPT

“What are you afraid of, Jack?” She stiffened her spine and stood straighter. “That you might actually feel something?”

 As quickly as he’d shut her out, he pivoted and stalked across the deck toward her. She took a step back, but in a few long strides, he reached her, seized her waist, and dragged her against him. As her body hit his, a gasp escaped, but she could only stare at him, stunned. A war raged in the depths of his eyes. More emotion than she remembered seeing there in a long time. Desire, anger, pain, frustration, all fighting for supremacy.

 She braced her hands on his chest, to push him away, but his head dipped down, his lips brushing over hers, the barest of kisses.

 “Or else I may do something I’m pretty sure you’ll hate me for in the mornin’.” The low huskiness of his voice washed over her like a heated caress, sending shivers down her spine, and obliterating whatever defenses she’d manage to build against him. “The feel of your hands on me about drove me mad. Do you have any idea how aroused I am right now? I’m two seconds from picking you up and carrying you upstairs.”

BUY LINKS

Penguin

Amazon

Barnes and Noble

iTunes

Books-a-Million

Kobo

Google Play

JM Stewawrt

JM writes passionate, heartfelt contemporary romance. She’s a wife, a mother, a spiritualist, and lover of puppies, and happily addicted to coffee and chocolate. She lives in the rainy Pacific Northwest with her husband and two sons. She’s a hopeless romantic who believes everybody should have their happily-ever-after and has been devouring romance novels for as long as she can remember. Writing them has become her obsession.

You can find out more about JM or her books here: Website /Blog /Twitter /Facebook

RELEASE DAY–COWBOY KISSES

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What could be better on a cold Valentine’s Day than to sit down with a book chock full of stories about special cowboys and their ladies? COWBOY KISSES has just what you’re looking for! Eight stories by some fabulous authors who share with you their love stories of the old west!

In Lorrie Farrelly’s tale of love and fate, a tattered old diary sends a young woman into the arms of a long-ago Texas Ranger for A Kiss in Time.

Linda Carroll-Bradd’s When My Heart Knew is the story of young Maisie Treadwell, who has never been in love before, and handsome Dylan MacInnes, who might or might not be the one.

A Westward Adventure by Kristy McCaffrey is a story of aspiring novelist Amelia Mercer, who travels to Colorado, determined to find her own adventure to write about. When Bounty hunter Ned Waymire comes to her aid, the true adventure begins!

Valentine Angel by Gail L. Jenner is a poignant story of a determined young woman who rescues a wounded lawman and then must help him fight off his nemesis.

In Gil McDonald’s story, Hearts and Red Ribbons, a feisty young woman who dresses in men’s clothes and a drifter looking for—something—are thrown together by Fate on a wet February day.

Hunter’s Gamble, by C. Marie Bowen, is a gripping tale of lost love and determination. Life is a gamble, and Hunter knows he can’t always win. With true love in the mix, the odds are stacked in Hunter’s favor!

Her Thief of Hearts by Tanya Hanson is the tale of an outlaw, an orphan, and a socialite—is this a recipe for disaster or true love?

Beverly Wells will steal your heart in her story, Hopes and Dreams. A woman on the run, a sheriff sworn to uphold the law, and one little girl’s pleas to Mr. Cupid for a new daddy!

Settle in for some mighty fine Valentine’s Day reading from your favorite western romance authors!

From today through January 28th at 11:59PM, enter the rafflecopter giveaway below for a chance to win an electronic copy of this anthology. 2nd place winner chooses a title from my backlist.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Or enter the giveaway through this link

Guest post–What A Disaster! by Bonnie McCune

· In my first published novel, the heroine faces a major crisis—a malfunctioning hot water heater that floods her apartment and threatens explosion.

· In my second novel (really a novella), the heroine and her family are caught in an extreme winter blizzard with no heat or lights.

· In my third novel, a massive wildfire threatens not only the heroine but also the entire forest.

· Now, in my work-in-progress, the heroine, hero, and coworkers on a corporate retreat must escape a flash flood.

As the writer, I have to ask myself why I’m obsessed with disasters. I didn’t realize I relied heavily on terrible events occurring in my books until the fourth manuscript. That’s when I began wondering if something deeper than simply action for the plot underlay my manuscripts.

Two reasons occur to me. The first was writing itself. A disaster allows me, the writer, to compress action into a short time to keep the story moving. It encourages characters to act their best, or worst, to reveal their personalities. The manner in which they occur–random and uncontrolled crises–provide challenges readers can relate to as well as experiences characters learn from. And like humans, fictional characters learn waaaay more from struggles and failures than they do easy successes.

Still in many novels, characters don’t struggle to meet physical challenges. They may fall in or out of love, seek jobs or get fired, have misunderstandings with families or boyfriends. But they don’t walk a tightrope over death. What does my obsession with disaster reveal about me?

That I’m a fraidy-cat. Anything and everything scares me. Example: in the middle of the night yesterday, I woke when the furnace turned on. A strange new noise accompanied the forced air. I immediately thought the equipment was going to explode.

When I take road trips, I worry not only about the car breaking down but also over the possible appearance of a murderer. (By the way, this scene appears in my third book along with the wildfire.) A rash on my kid’s arm is probably Lyme disease. A recently discovered error on my taxes means the IRS will charge me with fraud.

So I have a whole load of fears. What do I do about them? I write about people who take steps to control their anxiety. I’ve learned that doing something, almost anything, positive enables me to restrain real as well as imaginary fears. Witness the recent terrorist attacks in Paris. Thousands, millions around the globe helped settle their souls by carrying “Je suis Charlie” signs, a positive action in the face of terrible possibilities.

Including disasters in my work also provides an excuse for me to burrow for information on fascinating topics. What other reason could justify spending hours delving into transcripts from people who have battled fires or floods? Or calling up total strangers to ask personal questions?

I don’t carry a list of disasters to wrap into forthcoming books. I’ve never been near a hurricane, a tsunami, or a bank holdup. So I don’t know how long I’ll be including crises like these in my work. But for now, they enable me to grow as a person as well as a writer.

Falling Like A rock

Bonnie McCune’s most recent novel is Falling Like a Rock, Prism Book Group, 2014, in which a mountain town and its rugged mayor captivate a woman in search of a new life and love. Learn more about her and her work at www.BonnieMcCune.com

Bonnie McCune

Bonnie McCune has been writing since age ten, when she submitted a poem to the Saturday Evening Post (it was immediately rejected). This interest facilitated her career in public relations and freelance writing. But her true passion is fiction, and her pieces have won several awards.

Upcoming release–Cowboy Kisses

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In Lorrie Farrelly’s tale of love and fate, a tattered old diary sends a young woman into the arms of a long-ago Texas Ranger for A Kiss in Time.

Linda Carroll-Bradd’s When My Heart Knew is the story of young Maisie Treadwell, who has never been in love before, and handsome Dylan MacInnes, who might or might not be the one.

A Westward Adventure by Kristy McCaffrey is a story of aspiring novelist Amelia Mercer, who travels to Colorado, determined to find her own adventure to write about. When Bounty hunter Ned Waymire comes to her aid, the true adventure begins!

Valentine Angel by Gail L. Jenner is a poignant story of a determined young woman who rescues a wounded lawman and then must help him fight off his nemesis.

In Gil McDonald’s story, Hearts and Red Ribbons, a feisty young woman who dresses in men’s clothes and a drifter looking for—something—are thrown together by Fate on a wet February day.

Hunter’s Gamble, by C. Marie Bowen, is a gripping tale of lost love and determination. Life is a gamble, and Hunter knows he can’t always win. With true love in the mix, the odds are stacked in Hunter’s favor!

Her Thief of Hearts by Tanya Hanson is the tale of an outlaw, an orphan, and a socialite—is this a recipe for disaster or true love?

Beverly Wells will steal your heart in her story, Hopes and Dreams. A woman on the run, a sheriff sworn to uphold the law, and one little girl’s pleas to Mr. Cupid for a new daddy!

Settle in for some mighty fine Valentine’s Day reading from your favorite western romance authors!

Available now for pre-order in advance of a January 22, 2015 release.

BUY LINK

Amazon

BLURB for When My Heart Knew

Tomboy Maisie Treadwell meets her match in cowboy Dylan MacInnes. From the moment they meet, the sparks and words fly. Of course, if she hadn’t knocked him down and caused an ankle sprain, their relationship might have gone more smoothly. To avoid damaging the reputation of the family’s boarding house, Maisie is ordered to be at the mercy of meeting Dylan’s demands. When they discover a shared interest in adventure stories, a bond is struck. Soon, Maisie can’t wait to spend time reading aloud to the virile man confined to a bed. Until the afternoon she overhears him explaining that his demands were meant to teach her a lesson. Can Dylan find a way to gain her trust again?

Guest release–The Last Detail by Lisa J. Lickel

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BLURB

Hope, love, and loss meld two polar opposite personalities. How long can they keep passion for their ministry and each other after the wedding?

Medical missionary and avowed bachelor Merit Campbell is wounded during a skirmish at his Mideast clinic and sent home to recover. Restlessness propels him to explore the happier moments of his childhood in Illinois where he meets Amalia Kennedy, owner of The Last Detail, who enjoys helping people prepare for their final years. Merit ushers in new life; Amalia ushers it out. Love? Obviously. Marriage? Check. Dealing with the family closet? Step back…

EXCERPT

Seven seconds. Merit counted silently from the time the last missile whined past his ear. Senna’s goon needed seven seconds to reload. Merit ignored the flash on his right and kept his eyes on the child who sat in the dirt about a dozen long steps in front of him, waving her tiny fists.

After the next barrage of fire went silent, Merit took off in a crouching run, grabbed Tangra’s youngest granddaughter, Mardra, and rushed toward the nearest pile of rocks. The punch and stabbing sensation in his left shoulder, followed by a thud, let him know he had almost made it. As he was lifted off his feet, he thrust the child he’d delivered last spring into her father’s outstretched arms. As gravity reclaimed him his left foot plunged between stones. His ankle twisted viciously as strong hands pulled him to relative safety amongst the band of defenders.

The child began to scream when her uncle fired his weapon close to her little ears. Merit felt like doing the same as his ankle thrummed and ground with his every movement. Broken, at least. No competition for the shoulder wound. He took Mardra back into his arms so her father could aim his US-made hunting rifle, meant for small game—not humans—back toward Senna’s position.

Merit hunched over the little girl as a brilliant flame arced overhead. A ground-shaking explosion followed, then smoke and men’s shouts and the acrid scent of the rocket’s accelerant. He hoped he wouldn’t have to run, because he couldn’t. Nothing he could do but pray between the throbs of searing pain and deep anger at Senna.

The baby wiggled, tugging Merit’s heartstrings away from his fury. It wasn’t her fault her grandfather’s rival destroyed Merit’s life work. Both factions were going to miss the little missionary medical clinic Merit ran in the mountains of Nehrangestan, a tiny spot on National Geographic’s map of Asia.

Something tickled. Wha—oh, right—blood from the shoulder wound. He touched the front of his blue shirt then looked at the growing red stain flowing like a waterfall. Tentatively, he reached behind his collarbone and hissed at the gouge. Not serious. He’d probably get a nice scar out of it. Senna’s pound of flesh. Merit shifted the baby and tried to flex his ankle. He bit back a scream and panted while sparkles pulsed in the fringe of his vision. Yeah, broken.

Well, that answered that question. If he got out of here alive, the mission board would make him go home for treatment. Question was, how soon could he get back to rebuild the clinic?

BUY LINKS

All Romance ebooks

Amazon

Barnes & Noble

Smashwords

Lisa Lickel D (3) 46 KBLisa Lickel is a Wisconsin writer who lives in a hundred and sixty-year-old house built by a Great Lakes ship captain. A multi-published, best-selling and award-winning novelist, she also writes short stories and radio theater, is an avid book reviewer, blogger, a freelance editor, and magazine editor.

WEB CONTACTS

Website

Blog

Facebook

Goodreads

Twitter: @lisajlickel

Guest Interview–Lynda Coker

Say hello to an author friend from The Wild Rose Press, Lynda Coker.

What’s the logline that describes your writing?

Writing Timeless Romance You’ll Read Again and Again.

What are your hobbies away from the computer?

I’ve always had a love affair with fabric. I sewed clothing in the beginning, then tried my hand at traditional quilting. I’m not one for structure, so I soon switched to art quilts, mostly wall-hangings. I found I could use my imagination in design and execution. I was hooked.  A photo of one of my pieces is below.

fabric art_Coker giveaway

Is your writing style planned or freestyle?

My writing style is definitely, and sometimes deplorably, freestyle. :) As I said earlier, I detest anything that looks like an outline or schedule. So I fly by-the-seat-of-my-pants, better known in the writing world as a ‘Pantser’. Once in a while, when I’m having trouble deciding on which plot path to take next, I will break down and outline a couple of thoughts.

Have you traveled to any locations that appear in your books?

I recently spent two weeks in Galveston, Texas where I did research for a book that is now in progress. It’s the first time I’ve combined a vacation with a book research site. It was both enjoyable and interesting. I can still hear the surf and taste the salty air.

What was your biggest surprise in the editing/revision process?

It has to be my editor’s favorite phrase – Dangling Participles. I’ve come to dread that phrase… I’m a constant grammar student, but sad to say, I don’t think I’ll ever graduate. I think part of the problem is being ‘Southern’. Being born in Texas and living here most of my life, I think my brain is hardwired to speak and write Texany. I’m not sure how to describe that, but you can be sure, it’s not completely normal. (*Winks)

Do you use visual aids (storyboards, Pintrest, collages) when plotting or writing?

Pintrest is an absolute treasure chest of visual aids. I create a board for each book I’m writing and pin things that reflect elements of that book. Followers can get a feel for a story before it’s ever released. I use the boards to keep followers up to date on the progress of each book and when it is contracted and released.

What resources do you use for picking character names?

I don’t use any name resources. When I’ve gotten an in depth understanding for my characters, appropriate names seem to just pop in my head. I’ve sometimes played a mental game when waiting for an appointment or sitting in my favorite book store. I study people and then give them a name that reflects their perceived personality. This whole process probably doesn’t make any sense to anyone but me, but I never have a problem naming my characters.

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Dirk Savage never fails to acquire what he wants until he encounters Stormee Waters and a backwash of trouble…

Stormee Waters knows about hard times. Needing to care for her aging grandmother and teenage brother, she moves to Houston, Texas and takes a writing job for a popular magazine. Her first assignment is to interview a successful business man for a series of articles entitled, Make My Man Texas-Sized. Her target, Dirk Savage, appears to have the right criteria. He’s adventurous with the air of a conqueror. Admired by his peers and coveted by beauty queens and debutantes, he’s just the type of man that Stormee needs to make her first article sizzle and sell. But can she handle the heat when she catches his attention?

Dirk Savage is used to acquiring what he wants, except in the illusive quest for the one woman who can fill his heart. The shock of discovering her in the naive young woman assigned to interview him sets his jaded emotions on high alert. Can he convince her that his pursuit is genuine?

EXCERPT

He studied her in silence before making a blunt reply. “I’ll pick you up at 7:30 this evening.”

Had he extended an invitation or a command?  “Well—ah.” She shrugged to hide her confusion.

“Surely, you eat dinner?” he quizzed through lips curved with humor.

“I suppose it’s okay.” She fiddled with the edge of her collar and contemplated the hint of challenge underlying his playful smile.

“Dress casually but bring a wrap. We’ll be dining by the river.” He dismissed her with a short command to leave her phone number and address with the receptionist.

Why do I feel as though I’ve been ordered to show up for duty call? Did alpha males assume that women in general deferred to their decisions, or was she just a simple-minded exception?

BUY LINKS

The Wild Rose Press

Amazon

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Lynda Coker

Lynda is an author of contemporary romance that lingers in a reader’s mind long after they’ve closed the book. She lives in Northeast Texas with her husband of fifty years. They enjoy traveling, trying new foods, spending time with family and friends, and doing community service work together. When she feels the need to take a break from writing, she enjoys creating fabric art.  She offers an open invitation to view both her writing and fabric art on her blog.

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Guest Release–Legitimate Lies

Legitimate Lies

LEGITIMATE LIES

 A Contemporary Suspense Romance, #2 in Hushed in the Storm saga

Jen has a new identity and life, until someone discovers her secret. However, that’s not the one which may destroy her one chance of happiness. When she unravels the family scandal within the walls of an English country manor, will she have to reveal the truth she’s hidden for so long as well?  Or will she choose to live the lie in order to keep the man she loves?

EXCERPT

As I peered into the baby’s face, I shared Marisol’s sorrow. She should be holding this child, not me. Had Marisol chosen to give this sweet thing up? Or had she been snatched moments after birth? I didn’t want to know. I ached inside—for this baby, for her mother, and for me. All naive victims tossed in the treacherous waves of deceit generated in the wake of my husband’s ambition and cruelty.

I drew her to me. “Oh, why on earth did your daddy have Tom bring you to me?”

The infant’s soft eyes blinked the answer straight into my soul. This little girl needed love, no matter how she came into this world. All babies deserved that much. But, was I the one to give that to her?

My little finger stroked her chubby cheek as I cradled her. The scents of baby powder and formula filled my nose. Her shiny eyes twinkled unabashed-trust as they focused upon my face.

Some innate motherhood gene awoke from deep inside me. A tingly, warm sensation spread from my chest to my eye ducts. My heart double-knotted with hers.

A grin crept across to my cheeks as I gently swayed her in my arms. She seemed so innocent. No one had hurt her yet. No one had stomped on her feelings, or lied to her face, or cheated on her. And now, in this new life the government had given me, I had to pretend that none of that had happened to me either.

Maybe, this baby symbolized my fresh start. I’d protect her. Ensure she had a normal, safe life. No one would be the wiser, right? Surely lots of kids grow up in WITSEC protection.

But would I be able to keep all the hurt she’d dredged up hidden? What if somehow, someday, she discovered her past…and mine? Could we love each other, then? Oh, how I hated living a lie.

With a swallow of my now-cold cup of Earl Grey tea, I washed down the tightness in my throat. I traced her forehead with my little finger. The impact of her presence tangled the words in my throat. I swallowed hard to release the question from my vocal chords. It came out louder than I wanted. “What do I do with you?”

“I guess what anyone should do under the circumstances, Mrs. Williams.”

I looked up to see the Bonita Springs’ deputy sheriff, Jorge Hernandez, gaze down at me and the newborn. “Josh told me you two found her on the steps outside. So, that means you have no idea who she belongs to, right?”

One of his thick black eyebrows raised in a tight arch.

I gulped.

BUY LINKS

Prism Book Group

Amazon

Julie’s website

Julie B cosgrove

Novelist, freelance writer and professional speaker, Julie B Cosgrove, writes for several inspirational publications and websites, as well as leading workshops and retreats. Her characters are strong, determined, and face danger head on with a prayer and a deep, cleansing breath. Follow her inspirational blog Where Did You Find God Today or visit her website at www.juliebcosgrove.com.

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by author Linda Carroll-Bradd