Sometimes there’s power in rejections. I’d written a Christmas novella for a submission’s call from Carina Press. I wrote like a fool to meet the deadline. When my agent called to tell me it had been rejected, I was bummed. I told her to send it back and I’d work on it some more.
“I knew you’d say that. It’s fine the way it is. I like it. I’ve already sent it off to the big guys.”
I narrowed my eyes at the phone. “You did not.” I could almost see her fingers flying over the keyboard, getting the submission emails ready while she talked to me.
“Yes, I did,” she replied in a sing-song voice.
To make a long story short, HarperImpulse picked up the novella. The editor there loved it. I’ve already been asked by her to write a full-length novel involving some of the guys from the fire station where Wolf is both a fireman and head of the Marine Rescue Unit.
An editor at Random House loved the novella, too, but they’d already contracted their holiday stories for the year. She wanted to see anything else I’d written. My agent told her about a paranormal I was working on and the editor requested the first three chapters. I nearly had a coronary since I was only 23,000 words into a projected 80,000 word book. Three days later, the editor wanted to know how soon I could have this book finished. Can we spell panic? Book one of the series comes out in August. I’m writing book two now. All of this happened because of a rejection. A rejection isn’t always the end…sometimes, it’s the beginning of something better.
There’s only one thing on Becca Sinclair’s Christmas list this holiday season – her very own column in the local paper. And if she can build a huge blog following, her wish just might come true.
Enter Dan “Wolf” Wolford aka the man-whore next door and the new star of Becca’s popular, post-divorce blog about men. A Navy SEAL turned commander of the Florida Marine Rescue Unit, Wolf’s the very definition of the word alpha – and with an endless rotation of women on his doorstep, this hunk on a Harley has Becca and her female followers all hot and bothered!
All Becca wants for Christmas is her newspaper column, right? But when she finds herself the target of Wolf’s irresistible attentions, her snarky comebacks become less and less convincing and, suddenly, she’s not so sure anymore…
EXCERPT FROM SANTA WORE LEATHERS:
Wolf strode to her townhouse, rang the doorbell and waited.
Finally, her door opened, and he was greeted with a scowl.
“What?” She tugged the lapels of her short white silky robe together.
“I…ah…” His gaze snagged on all those ample curves showcased by the slinky material. I…ah…”
“You said that already.” She fisted a hand on her hip.
Einstein cannonballed around Becca with something red clamped in his jaws. He streaked across the grass, his strong muscles propelling him as he circled both of their yards.
“Get back in here!” Becca pointed into her house.
Einstein loped across the grass and shrubbery, ignoring his owner’s command.
Maybe if he acted the hero and returned the pet to its owner, he’d gain a few brownie points. “Stay here. I’ll get him.” Wolf took off after the dog. Seeing he was being chased only made Einstein run faster. Wolf followed him twice around the yard in front of Becca’s house. The dog leapt over a flowerbed and stopped, his head lowered, shaking his prize, his hind end elevated, wiggling in excitement.
“Give me that.” Wolf stepped to the right around the flowerbed. The dog trotted to the left. In a quick move, he sprinted to the left and the dog dashed to the right. “Think you’re smart, don’t you?” He could have sworn the dog smiled. Wolf leapt across the blooms, hoping to grab the smartass canine. Once he’d grabbed the collar, they rolled, and Einstein yelped. Wolf grimaced as he, too, rolled across a low-growing cactus and into the trunk of a palm tree. “Dammit.”
The dog whined and dropped the fabric to lick and bite at the prickly thorns in his groin.
“Easy now, Einstein.” Wolf cooed as he slipped his Swiss army knife from the front pocket of his jeans.
“What’s wrong? What’s going on? What are you doing with that knife?” Becca tugged on the hem of her short robe and glanced up and down the street as if she thought to run out into the yard.
“Stay where you are. He’ll be fine. He’s got some thorns in his hide.” Wolf removed the tweezers stored in a slot of the knife and began extracting the offending needles. “We can’t have an awesome fella like you in pain now, can we?” He worked as quickly as he could. “One more, big guy, and then you’ll be fine.” The dog licked him several times. “Yeah, I like you too. Let’s keep what I’m about to do just between us, shall we?” He ran his fingers over the affected groin area, keeping his attentions on the dog’s reactions. “Looks like we got them all.”
“What in blue blazes are you doing to that dog? Are you performing some kind of ‘beasty-wildy’ on him?” Mrs. Minelli, his neighbor, punctured the air with her cane, her white eyebrows arched in question.
He fought the urge to laugh. “No, Mrs. Minelli. I was taking out thorns.”
She cocked her head to the side, her cataract-clouded eyes widened. “In his penis?”
AMAZON ~ http://bit.ly/SantaLeathers
BARNES & NOBLE ~ http://bit.ly/1846Aau
Please visit me at my blog: http://www.vintagevonnie.blogspot.com
Or follow me on Facebook: Vonnie Davis.
I tweet under VonnieWrites, if you care to follow me in the twitterverse.
Thanks very much for having me here today, Linda. I like taking time out to muse about this writing life!
Tell us a bit about you and your background
Well, I know most people find this strange for someone who writes predominantly about the west, but I've spent most of my life in the UK. I went over to get my MA and ended up marrying and staying. We did, however, have many of our vacations in the west on ranches, and I continue to go out there as much as possible, at least twice a year. Although I now live in New York, or maybe because I now live in new York!, I like the space and love the scenery, the landscape. I get a great sense of AMERICA out there.
What are your hobbies away from the computer?
As you might imagine for someone who loves the west, riding comes first. I really love taking a horse through terrific scenery, enjoying the freedom that entails. I used to be a great theatre-goer in London but the price of tickets in New York has cut that down somewhat. I guess traveling is my big splurge—I enjoy meeting people from different backgrounds, seeing the way different nationalities live, tasting different foods. I've been lucky enough to travel pretty extensively.
Have you traveled to any locations that appear in your books?
Absolutely, it's part of research. Or research is a good excuse to travel! I stayed up in Loveland, Colorado for several days and got to Cheyenne, Wyoming as well when I was writing Loveland. Lawless Love didn't require traveling as I know that part of Wyoming very well and have used it in another novella coming out next year, Dearest Darling. I have a second book coming out in 2014, a contemporary, and I spent several days down in Texas for that.
Do you write in a genre other than the one of this release?
As I mentioned above, I have a contemporary Women's Lit coming out next year, Dances of the Heart. As soon as I finish edits on that and Dearest Darling, I'll be working on another contemporary/historical mix with a touch of literary and paranormal!
What’s your dream vacation destination?
I have to tell you, Linda, I no longer know what my dream vacation is! I don't particularly like spending time in cities as I live in one most of the year, and a beach vacation to me is good for a few days but then I get incredibly bored. I've been lucky enough to travel through most of Europe and a lot of Africa and South America, which leaves Australasia. But I do like my riding, so maybe doing stations/ranches in Australia and New Zealand would be fun combined with a short spell on the Great Barrier Reef. The thing is, I'd probably end up regretting I wasn't spending my $ on a road trip in the US and going to a few more ranches here.
What do you hope readers gain from your stories?
I think reading should take you out of yourself, take you to a different time and place, introduce you to people you may not normally know and, on occasion, give you a sense of history, of what another life might be like. If readers get any one thing of that lot from my writing, I'm happy. And, of course, I hope they're entertained and lose their worries or whatever as they read. I'd like to think they enjoyed the journey to elsewhere…
Lacey Everhart has carved out a tough existence in the wilds of 1880s Wyoming, working hard to build a secure life for herself and her younger brother, Luke. She will stop at nothing to protect what’s hers and keep them safe. Even if it means keeping a secret that could destroy their lives.
Marshal Dylan J. Kane is a man who considers everything as black and white, right or wrong. He's never seen life any other way until he sets eyes on Lacey. Suddenly the straight and narrow that he's followed has a few twists and turns. Loving Lacey offers the home life for which he hankers...but can he really love a woman who seems to be plain lawless?
Lacey thought of fluttering her eyelashes, but it was such a silly thing to do. How could women act like that? She just looked up at the marshal and waited, the possibilities turning over in her mind, flitting through her head but never settling.
“You wanna tell me what really happened now so we can try to sort this matter? All I can do is promise I’ll do everything in my power to sort it for you, but I cain’t help you less’n you tell the truth. You tell me lies and make me look a dang fool, there’s nothin’ I can do. You understand that?”
Along with the tiniest nod, she clasped her hands together. She looked up at Dylan Kane and saw kindness in that face, a face she could so easily have loved had things been different. She could sense the heat radiating from his body and knew if she touched his chest, a strength would exist where his heart beat. If she ran her hand down his arms, she would find that same strength in his muscle. How she wanted those arms around her! All her life, it seemed, she had looked after herself, cared for her brother, struggled to make a home for the two of them. What would it have been like if Morgan had not...
“Lacey?” Dylan’s soft voice brought her back from her reveries. “You ready to tell the truth?” With one gentle finger, he lifted her chin so their gazes met for a moment before they each stepped back from the brink of something neither could control. “Lacey?” he repeated.
Andrea Downing likes to say that when she decided to do a Masters Degree, she made the mistake of turning left out of New York instead of right to the west, and ended up in the UK. She eventually married there, raising a beautiful daughter and staying for longer than she cares to admit. Teaching, editing a poetry magazine, writing travel articles, and a short stint in Nigeria filled those years until in 2008 she returned to NYC. She now divides her time between the city and the shore and often trades the canyons of New York for the wide open spaces of Wyoming. Loveland, her first book, was a finalist for Best American Historical at the 2013 RONE Awards. Lawless Love, a short story, came out Sept. 4th as part of The Wild Rose Press ‘Lawmen and Outlaws’ series. Three more books are in various stages of progress! LINKS AND CONTACTS WEBSITE AND BLOG: http://andreadowning.com Email: email@example.com Linkedin: www.linkedin.com/profile/view?id=124888740&trk=nav_responsive_tab_profile_pic
a>style="FONT-SIZE: 12pt">AMAZON AUTHOR PAGE: http://www.amazon.com/Andrea-Downing/e/B008MQ0NXS/ref=ntt_dp_epwbk_0
LINKS AND CONTACTS
WEBSITE AND BLOG: http://andreadowning.com
Thrust into a world of Native American legends about Skinwalkers and Ancient Ones, Emma Hunter finds herself in the middle of a battle for a heart holding great powers – A heart hidden within her.
Seventeen-year-old Emma wants what every teenage girl wants: a life that revolves around school, her friends, and a boyfriend who only has eyes for her. Little does she know that in order to get one, she must sacrifice the other two. After a series of events put into motion by Luke, the boy she thought loved her, Emma is kicked out of her group home and her school. Her best friend mysteriously vanishes and now she’s forced to move to a secluded coastal town, where she hopes to escape Luke’s obsessive control. Instead, she finds her dreams invaded not only by Luke, but Solomon, a mysterious Native American warrior sent to protect her.
But when Solomon shows up in her reality to explain he’s her protector, she soon learns that he’s so much more. As Emma struggles to understand what’s happening to her, she must also deal with her undeniable attraction to Solomon. Their connection is stronger than anything Emma has ever experienced before and now she must decide: can she trust him with her heart? And just how far will she go to protect it?
I closed my eyes. I couldn’t look at him and say what I needed to say. I wanted to accept his help, I wanted so badly not to be alone but I was afraid. “I was told not to trust you. I need more time but he’ll come. He’ll eliminate you. That’s what he does.”
He leaned toward me, his tone stern. “You have to live the life you have been given. You did not cause nor deserve what has happened. Don’t force yourself to shut people out before you give them a chance. I’m stronger than you think.” His voice hovered over me. “You can trust me. I’ll never hurt you. And I’m not asking to be your friend. You have no choice in my involvement. Accept my help or not, I’m here to stay.”
My eyes were drawn to his. The pull toward him was overwhelming. I was losing my resolve.
“Why are you afraid of me?” His words turned soft and I wondered if I had heard them at all. “When I come…why are you afraid?”
“I don’t know who to believe.” I sighed. “My mind is being told too many things. I don’t know what I am. What you are. I am afraid for you. I don’t want to be responsible for another life.”
He took my hand and rubbed it against his cheek. So soft, I thought. No stubble. Flashes of Luke’s rough skin against my cheek when he’d finally kissed me slithered through my thoughts. My breath caught. I closed my eyes, trying to regain my own thoughts, to push the hard kiss from my mind. Luke’s words echoed through me. I was your first kiss.
Solomon leaned forward and touched his lips to my cheek, lingering briefly before moving away.
You can add Entrusted to your to-read list on Goodreads:
Here are the buy links for Entrusted by Connie Ann Michael.:
- Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00GR2SV7E/ref=cm_sw_r_tw_dp_hQ0Isb0W84JNQ
- Smashwords: http://www.smashwords.com/books/view/379422
About the Author:
Connie Ann Michael was raised a city girl, but was converted to a country girl after college and now resides in a speck of a town in Central Washington State. She is married to her former boss as she worked at the local Pizza place and has two college age boys that provide endless material for her books. She loves the outdoors and can be found mountain biking, kayaking, or camping with her family. Being a busy family, she can be found working on her newest novel while on long road trips.
You can find and contact Connie Ann Michael here:
- Website: http://www.connie-avidreader.blogspot.com/
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/connieannmichael
- Twitter: https://twitter.com/connieamichael
There is a tour wide giveaway for the blog tour of Entrusted.
- 10$ amazon gift card
- 2 e-copies Entrusted
- 2 swag packs, which contain Entrusted stickers and bookmarks and an Entrusted charm necklace
- 2 swag packs, which contain Entrusted stickers and bookmarks and an Entrusted Ghost Bead Bracelet
My guest author this Wednesday is Barbara Bettis, who writes historical romance for The Wild Rose Press. Welcome, Barbara.
Thanks so much for having me here today, Linda. I’m still celebrating the wide release of SILVERHAWK, and I’d like to offer a giveaway of a lovely, hand-made bookmark and chocolate for one commenter.
What’s the logline that describes your writing?
Will she triumph over the insidious urge to edit and edit and edit as she goes? Or will she continue to polish that first chapter until it’s threadbare?
Do you start a new story with the plot or characters first?
So far, I’ve started with the characters. Usually, something I’ve read or seen triggers an image of either a hero or a heroine. That person’s significant other comes next and the story develops after that. Although I must admit, in a recent start the hero and heroine were getting pretty impatient with me. I’d stranded them because their plot refused to come! Thank goodness for a wonderful critique group. They brainstormed with me until I got a handle on it. Frankly, I’m still working on the middle of that plot. I knew the beginning and the end, but getting to the end has been a real challenge. That’s Henry and Kate’s story.
Is your writing style planned or freestyle?
As you might be able to tell, it’s a bit of combination. Before I begin, I have a rough outline, and I write a general two or three page summary of the story, including some high points. But the actual progression from point to point and to the end (already plotted) is rather freestyle.
How do you research your storylines or locations?
Read, read, read. J I have a variety of histories, biographies, books of costumes and castle designs, reports on customs, holidays. And, of course, online sources. I recently discovered a site that computes nautical miles between ports and gives estimated travel times for sailing ships at different speeds. Invaluable for the book now in edits. In addition, I belong to some groups whose members are absolute treasures about sharing their vast knowledge. My local college librarians love to help me locate hard-to-find research books. It also helps that my college minor was history, and I got a lot of history in conjunction with my literature and philosophy courses.
Have you traveled to any locations that appear in your books?
Sad to say, I haven’t yet. I did get to spend ten days in Scotland several years ago, with a day and night stopover in London each way. Fantastic experience. Loved Scotland. As we traveled through the countryside, the four others with me teasingly set up a ‘Castle Watch.’ My books are set in England, however. I’m hoping to schedule a trip there in the not-to-distant future. In fact, if any blog visitors know of research tours being planned, I’d love it if they could let me know.
Do you write in a genre other than the one of this release?
Other genres? No, historical is my ‘home.’ Within historical, however, I hope to try a different direction. Although I do enjoy writing medieval, I’ve started a Regency. Yes, that’s a popular period for historicals now, but it’s one I’ve always been interested in. I love to read stories set in all eras of history, but I don’t plan to write in any but ‘my’ two J
Sir Giles has come to England to kill his father, who seduced and betrayed his mother. First, however, he’ll seek sweet revenge—kidnap the old lord’s new betrothed. But when Giles uncovers a plot against King Richard, he faces a dilemma: take the lady or track the traitors. What’s a good mercenary to do? Both, of course.
Lady Emelin has had enough. Abandoned in a convent by her brother, she finally has a chance for home and family. Yet now she’s been abducted. Her kidnapper may be the image of her dream knight, but she won’t allow him to spoil this betrothal. Her only solution: escape
Rescuing the intrepid lady—while hunting traitors—is a challenge Giles couldn’t anticipate. But the greatest challenge to Giles and Emelin is the fire blazing between them. For he’s everything a proper lady should never want, and she’s everything a bastard mercenary can never have.
In this excerpt, Giles has caught up with the three outlaws who kidnapped Emelin. He’d killed one and cut down a second before the last one, the leader, attacked from behind. Immersed in the battle, he failed to notice the second man drag himself to his knees:
Giles felt a sharp pain in his left side. Peering down, he saw the knife wedged between the rusty links of his mail jack. “Get back,” he roared to Emelin.
"Look out.” She screamed and pointed.
His focus slammed in place as he dodged the leader’s swing. Giles angled, catching the blade flatsided on his lighter but stronger sword.
The impact sent him to the ground in a squealed grate of metal. He sucked a breath and reached to his side, fingers grasping the hilt of the dagger. It fell into his hand. Not in so tightly after all.
Pig-eyes loomed, sword poised above Giles’ throat for the final thrust. He paused. Mouth curved in a leer, he said, “Maybe I don’t need your head. I’ll just cut me out one of them silver eyes for proof.”
Giles clutched the dagger, ducked to the side and brought the tip up between the other man’s legs. Fury of battle gave him added strength as he shoved the now dulled blade deep into the crease between groin and thigh. It hit bone. A bellow of pain bounced off the trees as the man fell. Blood spurted in throbs from the severed vein, soaking the ground, spraying Giles.
He pulled himself over to the assassin. “Who hired you?”
Bloodshot eyes tried to focus. White spittle dripped from the open mouth.
He lifted the man’s head and tried again. “Why? What were you after? Who do you work for? Tell me now.”
On a rattled sigh, the man muttered, “Tell you in Hell.”
Emelin! Giles’ mind dragged away from the last throes of battle, struggled through the stench of metal and fresh blood. A drift of breeze dried the perspiration clotted on his forehead.
“Emelin,” he shouted. “Answer me.” His gaze searched the clearing dotted with bodies. If the outlaws had harmed her, he would track down their lord no matter how long it took.
Award-winning author Barbara Bettis has always loved history and English. As a college freshman, she briefly considered becoming an archeologist until she realized there likely would be bugs and snakes involved. And math.
She now lives in Missouri, where by day she’s a mild-mannered English teacher, and by night she’s an intrepid plotter of tales featuring heroines to die for—and heroes to live for.
Today is the release day for this anthology of Christmas short stories set in 1895 Montana written by eleven award-winning western historical authors. If you haven't already joined, come visit our Facebook official launch party and be eligible for hourly prizes. Making a single comment during the day (until 6PM PST) makes you eligible for a Kindle Fire.
Richelle looked around the residential block of the quiet Montana town of Sweetwater Springs. Modest clapboard homes, some with low wooden fences edging the yards and fallow flowerbeds lined the street, awaiting the warmth of spring several months away. "But, I never realized how small your town truly was."
"I love my town." Lettie's chin came up. "There are lots of activities to do."
"Right." If the various social calls, church services, and sewing circles that had occupied the majority of December were examples, then she'd be glad to pass. From the day of her arrival, Richelle's free time had been commandeered by Aunt Iola with activities of what a young woman should do. Her stomach clenched. Was she truly being punished? No, couldn't be.
Richelle righted the bicycle, lifted a leg over the middle, and settled herself on the bicycle seat. Her cycling costume with the loose-legged bloomers preserved her modesty but allowed her the freedom to ride. The front wheel wiggled side to side, digging a trough in the dirt, before she pushed hard enough on the pedal to roll forward. Lettie would never agree to another excursion if Richelle dumped the bicycle and had to be rescued. "And one of those things to do is exercise. You know, Senda Berenson of Smith College says a woman must—"
"Stop." Lettie held up her hand, looking all around and over her shoulder as she took tiny steps forward. "No more quotes from your suffragette heroines. Have you forgotten this particular interest is what got you kicked out of Miss Penleigh's Finishing School? And probably Lansing Women's Academy, too?"
Richelle set down her foot at the edge of the dirt street and looked over her shoulder. "The very idea of a finishing school rankles my senses. Table settings, tea services, insipid conversation gambits, and pinkies held up in the air. Tell me, how would staying at either of those establishments have benefited a woman like me—a woman with modern views?"
"Shhh, someone will hear you." Lettie tugged at her skirts. "Are you sure we won't be arrested?"
"For riding a bicycle and taking a walk?" Richelle scoffed and shook her head at her cousin's timid nature. "Absurd. Be bold, Lettie. Embrace the new fashions."
"I'm not sure Sweetwater Springs is ready for our attire. Richelle, my ankles are exposed."
"They most certainly are not. You are wearing leather boots. Besides, walking suits are all the rage in Chicago and are the latest fashion in the Rational Dress movement. I declare, don't you read the newspaper? You couldn't possibly hope to gain the benefits of clean air and vigorous movement in your long skirts." Richelle pedaled into the hard-packed dirt street so she could turn around and face her cousin. "I'm just glad we're close enough in size for you to borrow my outfit. I call that lucky."
"Hmm. I cannot tell you how lucky I feel." With a stiff finger, Lettie pushed her spectacles up her nose.