Guest Promotion–Hidden Storms by Nancy Shew Bolton

Hidden Storms

 

BLURB

Lilli Clarke. They call her the marked girl. Beginning at her left shoulder, a pink birthmark tracks up her throat just past her jaw, like a finger pointing to her brain. Abandoned by her family, she is ostracized by everyone but her grandmother and cousin Bert, Six years of dust storms have left sixteen-year-old Lilli close to death with dust pneumonia. Now she must leave the only real home she’s ever had, or risk death when the next storm hits.

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EXCERPT

Southwestern Kansas, 1938

My time grows short, while my fevered brain wonders if I’d ever existed to begin with. The inevitable stands before me. The world consists of nothing more than wind and dust, endless storms swallowing all life with their voracious appetites.

If I want to, I can rise from my bed and struggle outdoors in my threadbare, flour-sack dress to stand and release the spark of life within me. To let mind, body, everything, disappear into the whirlwind. Its ceaseless roar can consume me at last and perform the final conclusion left to my imagination. My sixteen years of life at its end. Six years of dust storms had almost done the job anyway. Might as well let them finish it.

But I can’t go. I won’t. I don’t know why.

One more breath. A rattle and rasp scrape in my chest while I fight to draw in air through the wet cloth covering my face. I’ve lost the remembrance of the former blessing of easy breathing. Now, my entire will bends toward the intake of air that will feed the tiny flame of life inside me.
My grandmother’s hands adjust the cloth. I know she sits by my bed and wills me to breathe while the duster pummels our home. She and I, the only ones left in the howling world, are cut off from everyone else as though we lived alone on the moon.

Is Cousin Gerald’s house really down the road, he and Bert hunkered inside? Is the town still there somewhere, standing against the shrieking monster clawing at it? Perhaps, once the sounds cease, anything left alive will creep out to view an endless brown world of dust, all signs of human habitation wiped away. Why do I try so hard to stay alive? Let me go, Gram. Ask me to give up.

But her fingers smooth back wisps of my hair, and the low sound of her murmured prayers gives me something to focus on, along with my labored breaths. Anything but the sound of the wind and the dust scouring the house, trying to destroy our tiny lives and meager possessions.
Gram’s voice rises when she takes my hand. “When you’re better, Lilli, I’ll send you somewhere pretty. Somewhere with trees and grass. Until the land comes back. Then you’ll come back to me, too. And I’ll be here and we’ll plant a garden again.”

Another lifetime ago. Our garden. Greens, corn, and potatoes to have with side meat. Cucumbers for pickling. Berries for dessert.
Oh, Gram, those days are long gone. Swallowed in the dust. I don’t care if there are trees or grass somewhere. I can’t leave you. The only one who ever loved me. I’ll die here, with the sound of your prayers disappearing into the wind, along with my last breath. I’m sorry, Gram.

* * *
Maybe the silence woke me. Had I finally died? My eyes blink open and the ever-present grit hurts my eyeballs while I survey the room. The weathered clapboard walls and roof still stand. I lift a pale hand and study it. I’m still here, too.

The front door yawns open, and the two windows on either side are un-shuttered. A portion of cloudless blue sky shines above the flat, brown landscape. I draw in a shaky breath, relieved that only a slight rattle sounds in my chest. Voices flutter in from somewhere on the porch.

Gram says, “I decided. When she’s strong enough, I’ll send her to my sister.”

“What if Aunt Margaret don’t want her?” Cousin Gerald clears his throat. “Lilli’s bad luck. Cursed. Everybody knows that. She’s marked.”

If I had enough damp in my eyes, I might cry. How unfair people are. It always surprises me, though by now I should have wised up.

Gram’s sweet voice calms my flush of anger. “It’s wrong to blame her for things that happened. It’s not her fault. And I don’t believe in luck.”

“Aunt Helen, open your eyes. When bad things happen, you got to ask why. Cousin Sally lost her wits after she birthed Lilli. She was fine after she had Frank and Jasper. Then, after Lilli, there goes her right mind.”

“It’s not Lilli’s doing. I’ll never believe that.”

“Well, you’re the only one who don’t. This family’ll never live down what happened.” A chair leg scrapes and Cousin Gerald’s boots sound on the porch steps. “I’m glad she’ll be going, though, for your sake. You ain’t had a moment’s peace the years you’ve had her.”

My heart breaks for Gram. Maybe he’s right. Nothing has gone well for her since I came. The few pleasures she did enjoy have been stripped away. Invitations to social gatherings and friendly drop-by visits have dried up like the creek in our back yard. People avoid her, even at church, because she brings me there. They say God marked me, like Cain, though I never murdered anyone like he did. But murder followed me anyway, so they say.
God can smile on her once I leave. The slight, rhythmic thump of her rocker punctuates her humming of “His Eye is on the Sparrow.”

His eye is on you, Gram. But He doesn’t care a lick about me. Why do I have to go live with Great-Aunt Margaret? I hardly know her, but she’ll hate me like everyone else does. Everyone except Gram and Bert. I heave out as big a sigh as I can manage and drift back to sleep.

nancy Bolton

Nancy Shew Bolton is a wife, mother of five grown sons, and grandmother to a boy and girl. Ever since she learned to write, she would jot down her thoughts and impressions, and now expresses herself through novels. Nancy loves to write character-driven stories about relationships of love and faith.

WEB CONTACTS

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Summer Begins Blog Hop

Summer Begins blog hop

Seasons are a bit behind the norm because of where I live at 6,800 feet in the southern California mountains. Just a couple of weeks ago, we had two inches of snowfall! I forced myself to haul my T-shirts and lightweight pants from the under-the-stairs closet because I looked at the calendar and saw May. But on overcast days like today, I’m eyeballing my sweat pants and wondering why they are not on my body.

We have evidence of spring, wildflowers in the meadow and new growth on the evergreens, plus the ground squirrels and chipmunks are scampering around. But the temperatures still dip into the 30s every night.

But, when the warm weather does occur and settles in, I look forward to week-long camps at the camp and conference center where I live (hubby does the maintenance on the 10 buildings and 1 lodge on the 17-acre site in a US national forest). With the coming of summer camps, I only have to cook from Saturday lunch through Sunday lunch. All the other meals we eat with the campers.  Imagine that!

After our move here 3 years ago, I quickly appreciated all the free time I had because of this great benefit. More time for writing, editing, researching BUT also for reading. I look forward to early afternoons when I come back to the cabin after lunch and sit on the front deck, reading amidst the chirping of birds, the buzz of insects, and the laughter of kids barely heard from the swimming pool.

Now, if only the weather would soon cooperate!

Leave a comment here about what you’re looking forward to with summer and/or enter the rafflecopter below for a chance at print copies (US only; int’l winner receives ebook) of Present For A Cowboy or Cowboy Kisses or an ebook from my backlist.

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Then hop over to other authors and see what they have to say about the coming warm weather. Or start here at the sponsoring site for this blog hop, Candlelight Reads.

 


Author Interview–Susan Baganz

Today I’m pleased to host an author friend from Prism Book Group, Susan Baganz. Let’s get chatting.

Tell us a bit about you and your background.

I’m a stay-at-home mom raising three kids, a dog and a parrot. I have a Master’s degree in Counseling Psychology from Trinity Evangelical Divinity School and have worked in the field of mental health for years, as well as worked in church ministry (paid and unpaid) for the past 26 years.

What are your hobbies away from the computer?

Reading, rubber stamping homemade cards, and sometimes I pretend to play the guitar.

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

I start with characters and most likely an inciting incident. I might have a vague plot but no details. I write romance so I know at the end there will be a “happily ever after.”

Is your writing style planned or freestyle?

I’m freestyle all the way. I call myself a “panster.” I write like I drive – by the seat of my pants! (thankful for cruise control on my van!). I sometimes do research beforehand but even with my novel due out at the end of April, I was looking up and following the Green Bay Packer’s schedule as I went along as my timelines was linked to that season’s games.

If you use music while writing, name your favorite types.

If I’m writing historical (Regency era) then it’s classical. But for my contemporary series I’ve got a shuffle of songs by Burlap to Cashmere and Steven Delopolous.  Love the sound of their music so that’s been my most recent soundtrack. It used to be I wrote to nothing and sometimes I still do. Depends on my mood.

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

My contemporary series starting with Pesto and Potholes, takes place in the northwest suburbs of Milwaukee and I used to live and work in that area I write about. I can imagine myself driving on those roads. My historicals take place in Great Britain and while I have traveled there, it was long before I started writing so I do long to return. I have to watch great movies (BBC’s Pride and Prejudice anyone?) to absorb the culture and traditions. I don’t think my husband wants me to return there though as he fears I may never return (he might be right!).

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

How terrible I writer I am. I type fast and I think my fingers struggle to keep up with my brain so the spelling errors and tense irregularities startle me when I read them later. I’m often shaking my head saying “What was I thinking?”

Describe a normal writing day (or period, if you have other employment obligations).

Up at 5 a.m. and get ready for the day. Make a cup of spiced chai and sit in my favorite spot for some time with God. Sometimes I read for a little after that. Or go and check my email and Facebook. 6:55 I get my kids up and make lunches and get them off to school by 8. Recently I’ve had therapy appointments so off I go to that, maybe grocery shop and then home to write or work on novels I’m editing. 2:30 pm my alarm goes off to remind me to wind things up. I go get the mail and pick up the kids from school and come home by 3:15. Then it’s often back to editing or writing until my kids complain that they are hungry. Because writing is so isolating, I do try to be intentional in planning a few hours away from my desk every so often to meet with a friend over coffee or lunch. Sometimes great ideas are born out of those times!

Do you write in a genre other than the one of this release?

My novel is contemporary but I also write historical romantic suspense (Regency period). I also have some contemporary romantic suspense novels that are awaiting attention.

Are you a pet person? If so, what do you have?

I have a cranky Quaker parrot named Quincy who is about twenty years old now. We also adopted a Maltese mix two years ago. His name is Spatzle and he’s so unique with one brown eye and one blue eye. He’s my buddy.

What do you hope readers gain from your stories?

I hope they gain encouragement in their struggles. That they can see God at work in the lives of my characters and recognize the work He is doing in their own lives. Most of all I want them to see that the greatest romance is with Jesus Christ. His love, devotion and sacrifice as modeled, in the instance of Pesto and Potholes, in my hero, Antonio.

This series is also set against the backdrop of a church. I want to help show people the value and importance of being involved in a community of believers and how central that can before God’s work in growing us up in Christ.

PestoandPotholes2BLURB:

Renata tries escape her past and runs straight into . . . love.

Renata Blake has moved to the Milwaukee area to leave behind a painful past as a victim of abuse. She discovers a family like she’s never had before, at Orchard Hill Church and is drawn to handsome Packer fanatic, Antonio. After all she’s suffered through, could she ever trust a man again?

Antonio DeLuca has a full life with his family, church and his job as chef and manager at DeLuca’s Cucina. Having been betrayed in love, he is afraid to trust a woman again. How would he fit her into his already full life anyway?

As circumstances draw them together and attempt to tear them apart, life becomes a combination of savory pesto and painful potholes as both Tony and Renata learn that with God’s help, and the support of a faith community, they can both learn to love again.

And maybe fight a few ninjas along the way.

BUY LINK

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EXCERPT

Sunday was cold. The sun shined brightly, and Renata sat at church surrounded by more of the De Luca clan. Tony winked at her, and they worshipped together. She experienced such joy and freedom in the music and lyrics. This was the new Renata. Free. Joyful. Loved. What a difference from a year ago.

After church, she raced home to change into jeans, sneakers, a sweater and coat. She pulled on knit gloves to keep her hands warm and found a matching knit cap to put on her head.

Tony arrived to pick her up in his car and they went through the drive-thru at Taco Bell for something to eat. Renata laughed when part of Tony’s burrito dribbled onto his sweatshirt.

They arrived at Brown Deer Park early, and Tony suggested they take a walk over by a small pond.

“This is such a peaceful place.” Reverent awe filled her voice as she gazed about.

“Sure is, but watch out for the goose doo doo.”

“Doo doo? Is that an Italian term for poop?”

Tony laughed, “No, that’s me trying to be more delicate since I am with a gorgeous woman in a beautiful place.”

“Awww, Tony, you are sweet.” They walked side by side, not touching. Renata could see their breath in the air.

“Edith agrees with you.”

“Edith? My neighbor?” Renata stopped to stare at him.

“Yeah, the other night she gave me a kiss because you had neglected to do it for her.”

Renata laughed. “Is she my competition for your affections?”

“Are you seeking my affections?” He looked at her with one eyebrow raised.

Renata looked away. Her entire neck and head grew warm.

“You have no competition. No one can compare to you.” His voice was seductive to her ears when he used those words.

“Now you go too far, Tony. I’m not as perfect as you think I am.” She had to reign this in. She didn’t want to lead him on.

“Who said you were perfect? Surely not I.” He placed his hand flat on his chest.

Renata laughed and gave Tony a playful punch in the arm, but was quickly distracted. She pointed to the pond. “Look at the geese coming in to land. They look like they are waterskiing when they put their feet down.”

“Waterskiing geese. Now I’ve seen everything. What will you think of next, Ren?”

“I don’t know. I thought it was your turn to be absurd for a while.”

Tony reached out and tickled Renata. “Stop!” She laughed and started tickling him back and took off running into the grass. Tony ran after her and with his longer legs managed to catch her causing them both to fall on the leaf-covered lawn. Renata grabbed a handful of leaves and tossed them at Tony, and he returned the favor. Soon they lay there in the leaves giggling and gasping for a breath.

“It is beautiful out here.” Renata said. “It’s hard to believe this is Milwaukee.”

“It’s hard for me to believe my good fortune to be sharing this with you.” Tony looked over to Renata and reached to grab her hand to give it a squeeze.

Renata’s shoulder muscles seized at his touch. The touching, the laughter, and the sense they were alone in the world without any past or present or future to worry about, shook her. She needed him too much. No. She wanted him. She desired him. She looked at his face, so close to hers and imagined what it would feel like to kiss him. Stop. This has to stop. No man will ever love you. No man will ever see you as more than a plaything. The messages bombarded her.

The monsters were back.

Baganz 0524 Edited colorSusan M. Baganz chases after three Hobbits and is a native of Wisconsin. She is an Acquisitions Editor with Prism Book Group specializing in bringing great romance novels and novellas to publication. Susan writes adventurous historical and contemporary romances with a biblical world-view.

She has been published in Splickety Magazine and in the I Choose You anthology with OakTara Press. Pesto and Potholes is her first contemporary romance novel in the Orchard Hill Series. The second, Salsa and Speedbumps, will follow hopefully in December. She is represented by Mary Sue Seymour for her adventurous Regency Romances.

You can learn more by following her blog www.susanbaganz.com, her twitter feed @susanbaganz or her fan page, www.facebook.com/susanmbaganz. She is on pinterest at www.pinterest.com/silygoos/

 

 

 

Author Interview with Susan M. Baganz

Today I’m pleased to host an author friend from Prism Book Group, Susan Baganz

Tell us a bit about you and your background.

I’m a stay-at-home mom raising three kids, a dog and a parrot. I have a Master’s degree in Counseling Psychology from Trinity Evangelical Divinity School and have worked in the field of mental health for years, as well as worked in church ministry (paid and unpaid) for the past 26 years.

What are your hobbies away from the computer?

Reading, rubber stamping homemade cards, and sometimes I pretend to play the guitar.

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

I start with characters and most likely an inciting incident. I might have a vague plot but no details. I write romance so I know at the end there will be a “happily ever after.”

Is your writing style planned or freestyle?

I’m freestyle all the way. I call myself a “panster.” I write like I drive – by the seat of my pants! (thankful for cruise control on my van!). I sometimes do research beforehand but even with my novel due out at the end of April, I was looking up and following the Green Bay Packer’s schedule as I went along as my timelines was linked to that season’s games.

If you use music while writing, name your favorite types.

If I’m writing historical (Regency era) then it’s classical. But for my contemporary series I’ve got a shuffle of songs by Burlap to Cashmere and Steven Delopolous.  Love the sound of their music so that’s been my most recent soundtrack. It used to be I wrote to nothing and sometimes I still do. Depends on my mood.

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

My contemporary series starting with Pesto and Potholes, takes place in the northwest suburbs of Milwaukee and I used to live and work in that area I write about. I can imagine myself driving on those roads. My historicals take place in Great Britain and while I have traveled there, it was long before I started writing so I do long to return. I have to watch great movies (BBC’s Pride and Prejudice anyone?) to absorb the culture and traditions. I don’t think my husband wants me to return there though as he fears I may never return (he might be right!).

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

How terrible I writer I am. I type fast and I think my fingers struggle to keep up with my brain so the spelling errors and tense irregularities startle me when I read them later. I’m often shaking my head saying “What was I thinking?”

Describe a normal writing day (or period, if you have other employment obligations).

Up at 5 a.m. and get ready for the day. Make a cup of spiced chai and sit in my favorite spot for some time with God. Sometimes I read for a little after that. Or go and check my email and Facebook. 6:55 I get my kids up and make lunches and get them off to school by 8. Recently I’ve had therapy appointments so off I go to that, maybe grocery shop and then home to write or work on novels I’m editing. 2:30 pm my alarm goes off to remind me to wind things up. I go get the mail and pick up the kids from school and come home by 3:15. Then it’s often back to editing or writing until my kids complain that they are hungry. Because writing is so isolating, I do try to be intentional in planning a few hours away from my desk every so often to meet with a friend over coffee or lunch. Sometimes great ideas are born out of those times!

Do you write in a genre other than the one of this release?

My novel is contemporary but I also write historical romantic suspense (Regency period). I also have some contemporary romantic suspense novels that are awaiting attention.

Are you a pet person? If so, what do you have?

I have a cranky Quaker parrot named Quincy who is about twenty years old now. We also adopted a Maltese mix two years ago. His name is Spatzle and he’s so unique with one brown eye and one blue eye. He’s my buddy.

What do you hope readers gain from your stories?

I hope they gain encouragement in their struggles. That they can see God at work in the lives of my characters and recognize the work He is doing in their own lives. Most of all I want them to see that the greatest romance is with Jesus Christ. His love, devotion and sacrifice as modeled, in the instance of Pesto and Potholes, in my hero, Antonio.

This series is also set against the backdrop of a church. I want to help show people the value and importance of being involved in a community of believers and how central that can before God’s work in growing us up in Christ.

Guest Post on Doing Research for RUINED by Alicia Dean

 

When I learned I’d be writing a story set in the 1920’s, I knew I’d have to do a ton of research. I’d only ever written contemporary stories, so I expected the research to be a challenge. What I didn’t expect was how much fun it would be. I learned all sorts of interesting facts about the time period, and while some of them made it into my story, not all of them did.

One of the most intriguing tidbits I ran across was when I researched Bellevue. I needed a scene in a morgue, and I learned that there was a morgue in Bellevue, so I wanted to learn all I could about it. In 1919, German spy Fritz Joubert Duquesne escaped from the prison ward after faking paralysis for two years. Can you imagine how determined and sly you’d have to be to pull off something like that? Since my story was set in 1924, I couldn’t really use the event, at least not in ‘real time’ but I was so fascinated by it, that I had to mention it, so I had my hero think about the news item from a few years prior as he pulled up to the hospital.

I also had a blast with the terminology. The 1920’s lingo was pretty creative and colorful. Some of my favorites were: panther piss and coffin varnish (both are terms for rotgut bootleg alcohol), palooka (a below-average boxer), kisser (mouth), flat tire (boring person), short skirt (lady of the evening), Sheba (a good looking ‘dame’) and of course, bee’s knees, which I’m sure everyone has heard, maybe even used a few times. J

We’d already decided to set our stories in 1924 before we realized it was an election year. We managed to touch on the election, briefly, and one fun thing I discovered was that one of the slogans for Republican nominee Calvin Coolidge was ‘Keep cool with Coolidge’ and I just had to work that in. I also found out that 1924 was the first year for the Macy’s Day Parade, although I’m afraid that didn’t end up in my novella. After all, there are only so many non-related facts one can cram into a story, regardless of how fascinating they are. J

What are some interesting historical facts you’ve learned that have stuck with you?

Ruined - Cover

 

Ruined (Martini Club 4 – The 1920’s)
by Alicia Dean
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She vowed she’d be no man’s doxy, but fate had other plans…

After the Earl of Goodwin attempts to force himself on her, housemaid Eliza Gilbert flees England for New York, hoping to build a better life. But the land of opportunity proves as harsh as the London docks, and she finds herself in a situation more dreadful than the one she escaped.

When Vince Taggart’s childhood friend disappears, he heads to New York in search of her and meets Eliza, a woman with a less than honorable reputation. Inexplicably captivated, Vince can’t force himself to stay away, especially when he learns Eliza may be the key to finding his missing friend.

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Author Picture - Alicia Dean

Award-winning, multi-published author Alicia Dean began writing stories as a child. At age 11, she wrote her first ever romance (featuring a hero who looked just like Elvis Presley, and who happened to share the name of Elvis’ character in the movie, Tickle Me), and she still has the tattered, pencil-written copy. Alicia is from Moore, Oklahoma and now lives in Edmond. She has three grown children and a huge network of supportive friends and family. She writes mostly contemporary suspense and paranormal, but has also written in other genres, including a few vintage historicals. She is a freelance editor in addition to being an editor for The Wild Rose Press.

Other than reading and writing, her passions are Elvis Presley, MLB, NFL (she usually works in a mention of one or all three into her stories) and watching her favorite televisions shows like Vampire Diaries, Justified, Sons of Anarchy, Haven, New Girl, The Mindy Project, and Dexter (even though it has sadly ended, she will forever be a fan). Some of her favorite authors are Michael Connelly, Dennis Lehane, Lee Child, Lisa Gardner, Sharon Sala, Jordan Dane, Ridley Pearson, Joseph Finder, and Jonathan Kellerman…to name a few.

About Alicia Dean
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Guest promotion–Beneath The Stones by Susan Coryell

beneath the stones cover

BLURB

Ashby Overton has everything to look forward to, including a promising writing career and her wedding at summer’s end. But, Overhome, her beloved historic family estate in Southern Virginia, is in financial peril and it is up to Ashby to find a solution.

Interfering with Ashby’s plans is a dark paranormal force that thwarts her every effort to save Overhome.  Supernatural attacks emanate from an old stone cottage on the property rumored to be a slave overseer’s abode, prior to the Civil War. As the violence escalates, Ashby begins to fear for her life. Who is this angry spirit and why is his fury focused on Ashby?

Mystery, suspense and romance flourish against a backdrop of Civil War turmoil and ancestral strife–where immortality infiltrates the ancient air breathed by all who inhabit Overhome Estate.

BUY LINKS

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Amazon print

Barnes & Noble

The Wild Rose Press

EXCERPT

Luke climbed down cautiously, the old boards of the steps groaning and creaking under his weight. When he reached the bottom, he turned, held out his arms and said, “Come on down, Ashby. Just go slow.”

“Not to worry. I’ve done this before,” I told him, reaching for the first step with my foot. Carefully, I moved toward the bottom, one step at a time, leaning against the wall for support. I was half-way there when it happened—so suddenly that I had no time to react. Frigid air swooshed down on me from behind, freezing my face so that I screwed my eyes tight shut at the same time something strong and determined pushed against my back violently—so violently that I stumbled, then tumbled forward, to be caught in Luke’s outstretched arms from several stairs below.

“Whoa!” Luke exhaled from the impact of my body on his. “My God, Ashby. What happened?”

I slumped against him, unable to utter a single word, my breathing shallow and rapid. At last I found my voice. “Something pushed me, Luke. I don’t know what—or who—but it was powerful and deliberate.”

Luke glanced up to the top of the stairs. “Nothing there. I’m going back to the loft to look.”

I stopped him. “I doubt you’ll find anything.” I sniffed the air, expecting a new infusion of foul odor. “And what would you do if you did find anything?”

Just then we both heard it. Hollow, chilling, trailing away from us with every syllable: “Go away. He’s dead. He’s dead. He’s dead….”

small pro photo of SusanSusan has long been interested in Southern concerns about culture and society, as hard-felt, long-held feelings battle with modern ideas. She was able to explore these themes in her cozy mystery/Southern Gothic A Red, Red Rose, whose fictional setting is based on Smith Mountain Lake, Virginia. Beneath the Stones is a stand-alone sequel to A Red, Red Rose. Susan is also the author of the award-winning young adult novel, Eaglebait.

When she is not writing, Susan enjoys boating, kayaking, golf and yoga at Smith Mountain Lake, Virginia. She and her husband love to travel, especially when grandchildren are involved.

 

Web contacts:

website: www.susancoryellauthor.com

Blog: susancoryellauthor.blogspot.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/susan.coryell.7

Facebook: Author Page: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Susan-Coryell-Author/149075331807592

 

Character Interview from The Dream Jumper’s Promise

Today I’m hosting an interview with the hero from Kim Hornsby’s The Dream Jumper’s Promise.

The Dream Jumper's Promise-Kindle cover2 Jeannine

How about you introduce yourself by providing the basics?

My name is Jamey Dunn. I’m a former Seattle cop and current Special Forces soldier, stationed in Afghanistan, now on extended leave. I can’t tell you what I do over there and I know people joke about saying because then I’d have to kill you, but in my case it’s true. Or almost. If you knew there’d be hell to pay on my end and maybe some deprogramming from a guy called Milton, so let’s just leave it at that. Moving on.

Where were you raised?

I was born and raised in Carnation, Washington, a small town on the Tolt River east of Seattle. It’s really pretty there with snow-capped mountains in the distance on a clear day. Mostly farming there. Lots of red barns, miles of crops, winding roads, friendly people. I lived in the same house my whole life and my Pops still lives there on the river on ten acres. It’s kind of a rundown house now but when anyone drives up they’re invited inside for a cup of coffee at our big kitchen table. Pops will chew your ear off with questions about yourself. (He smiles) He might even get out the Scrabble board so don’t go if you don’t have time for a long visit.

Did you attend college?

I tried. See I have this ability to read people way beyond what others can do. I call it hyper-intuition. I’m different. My life has been a wild ride trying to deal with knowing what people are going to say before they say it. Same with school. I knew test answers, most times, before I thought about what the question meant. I dropped out of college after one semester and went to the Seattle Police Academy where I thought my ‘gift’ would be put to better use than if I became a communications major. It was a good place to land for a long time.

Jamey 051115Are you athletic?

Well (he laughs) I guess you could say I’m athletic. When I’m over in the Sandbox I train obsessively in the gym because it’s good to be in shape over there, you know. There isn’t that much to do when you’re waiting for a mission. But, I could never really play team sports for the same reason college didn’t work. I had this unfair advantage of knowing what was going to happen half the time. It isn’t exact, but still. It was a matter of ethics. Even when I was decorated as a policeman, I felt shitty, like I’d used skills other people didn’t have. Back to athletics–I like to challenge myself, work on personal best times. It takes the place of sex. (he laughs) Not much of that over in Afghanistan.

Did you always want to be a cop?

No. I had dreams of wanting to be an astronaut and stuff but you have to remember that I had this intuition and these visions early. Since I was five, I guess. Five or six. And it was scary. I always knew I was different. My Uncle Don had it too and he was a cop, so by the time I was a teenager, I thought I’d follow in his footsteps. And before you ask if I’d always wanted to be a soldier, I never wanted to be a soldier. I still don’t. They drafted me sort of forcibly if you can call guilt forcibly. They have me by the short hairs to work for them. After my divorce it seemed like I should do something with my life rather than hang around Carnation and stare at my ex-wife and daughters, so I put everything I had into finding…Hey, tricky! I almost told you what I do over there in Afghanistan. You are very good, you know that. And I don’t mind telling you that I see a chunk of money coming your way in the next year to two years. See how handy that intuition is? I’m like a walking fortune cookie. (He laughs)

Talk about your favorite setting for a date.

Probably my favorite date ever was with a dive instructor who certified me on Maui, ten years ago. We went diving in the morning, then flirted all through lunch, laughed a lot and when I picked her up to see if she weighed 115 and told her she was more like 114, something just happened between us. At the time I was staying at the Hyatt on Maui and let’s just say that we didn’t come out of that room until she had to dive the next morning. That was a perfect, unofficial date. Maui, a girl who was crazy cute and a hotel room that overlooked the ocean.

What attracts you first to a woman?

Geez, it’s been so long since I’ve been really attracted to a woman. That’s not to say I swing the other way. I like women. Let me see. I think you’re cute. Does that count? I guess I’d say that sweetness and confidence is an initial turn on. I like the chase, like any man. I enjoy being the predator. Don’t get me wrong though. I’m not a weirdo like that. As a matter of fact, aside from a few one night stands at Ramstein Air Base in Germany on leave, I haven’t had a real relationship since my wife and that was almost ten years ago. And before that, it was Tina, the cutest dive instructor a horny guy like me could ask for on a Maui vacation. But don’t get me started on Tina Greene because it ended badly. See, a guy like me with all this inside information, has to watch what he does. I have to be really careful. I knew too much about Tina and… Well, let’s just say, she was really something. If I’ve ever been truly in love in my life, it was her. The way her nose kind of turned up at the end, the little freckles on the bridge of her nose, the way she walked all over Lahaina in a bikini, like she owned the place. She looked like a naughty girl next door, you know. And she was so incredibly funny. Man, could she make me laugh! Even in bed, she was a crack up. Wonder what ever happened to her. Well, I guess I already know that answer because of my intuition. Next question.

Where did you go for your most recent vacation?

I’m here. Maui. I’m on leave after this incident I can’t talk about in Afghanistan and after playing soccer with my twin daughters and helping them with fifth grade math for three weeks, I decided to fly over here. My Pops has a nice condo he rents up in Kapalua so I just chill up there, walk the beach, drink beer, think about what I’m going to do with the rest of my life. My niece, Katie, who is Gavin’s oldest kid, works for a dive shop and I think I’ll jump on a few dive charters, try to use my scuba skills while I’m here. Matter of fact, I’m headed in to the place she works tomorrow to see if I can jump on a boat. Guess I shouldn’t say the word jump these days but I can’t talk about that aspect of my life. Sorry.

Amazon Buy Link

BLURB:

Tina Green’s husband is presumed dead from a Maui surfing accident and now she’s being haunted by otherwordly dreams. When former boyfriend, Jamey Dunn, turns up at her Lahaina dive shop and offers to help, she can’t believe his preposterous claim — he can enter dreams. Along with her friend, Noble, they piece together clues to her husband’s disappearance, but secrets, lies, and heartbreak rise to the ugly surface to reveal that one person is an impostor, one a traitor, and one is flirting with insanity.

Kim is an award winning Seattle writer of fiction. Two of her published novels are Amazon Bestsellers, having reached the #1 spot in Romantic Suspense and Paranormal Romance. She writes daily, blogs weekly, publishes bi-yearly for Top Ten Press, Cajun Flair Publishing and the Wild Rose Press. Suspense, Romance and the Supernatural are themes threaded throughout most of her work.
A mother, a wife, a messy housekeeper, a dog lover, and a voracious reader, Kim was born in Belleville, Canada, then lived in Vancouver, Maui, Whistler, Taipei and now makes Seattle her home. Travel is extremely important to her and plane tickets are usually found on her desk.

Kim loves to hear from readers!

www.kimhornsbyauthor.net

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http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6763851.Kim_Hornsby

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Merry May Blog Hop

Merry May Blog Hop

In celebration of the warm weather, (today is sunny and warm, but on May 8 we had almost 2″ of snow) join in this blog hop for a chance at a variety of prizes offered by lots of authors. Be sure to click on over to the Roane Publishing site for the grand prize of three e-books.

http://www.roanepublishing.com/merry-may-blog-hop.html

_Present for a Cowboy_tn   Cowboys,Creatures,andCalico_th ????????????????????????????

I’m giving away to three lucky winners, their choice of print copies of the western historical anthologies  from Prairie Rose (in which I contributed a story) titled Cowboy KissesPresent for a Cowboy OR Cowboys, Creatures and Calico, Vol. 1. (US only for print copies. International winners have choice of ecopy format) I’m sticking with the lucky number 3 and offering three choices of entries in the rafflecopter contest, or you can simply leave a comment about  how the weather is where you live. a Rafflecopter giveaway

Romancing The 8 blog hop–Lone Star Angel

LoneStarAngel_med

Here are eight paragraphs that form the initial meeting of the hero, Luc Tarrant, and heroine, Carnelian Wendell, of my western historical set in 1868 west Texas titled Lone Star Angel.

“Take a wrong turn, lady?”

The broad-shouldered man’s voice was deep and full of suspicion.

“Easy, Star.” With effort, she pulled the prancing horse back to an uneasy stand and turned her attention to the stranger. His hat shaded his eyes, but couldn’t hide a strong jaw covered with beard stubble and a tight mouth pulled down at the edges.

A loose tendril of hair tickled her forehead. With a gloved hand, she tucked it under the knitted scarf wrapped over her ears and neck to fight off the chilly air. “I’m looking for the Bar-T Ranch. Would you know if I’m on the right lane? Can’t really call this uneven, pot-holed path a road.” She paused, expecting the silent stranger to answer.

Leather creaked at his shift in position, and he rested a forearm across the pommel and stared.

“The stable master in Wayside Gap told me to turn south at the double fencepost. Not that I’m too good with directions, but those were the only double posts I saw.”

“Thought I recognized Einhardt’s mare.”

What? The man commented on ownership of a horse, not about the boundaries for a cattle ranch? She waited for his confirmation she was headed in the right direction. “So, I did take the correct turn?”

5 stars from Brenda at Readers’ Favorite

“Lone Star Angel” is a short but very satisfying historical fiction read. The author packs plenty of detail providing an in-depth story with more than a few twists that kept me quite interested!

Click here to read the entire review onsite.

BLURB

Mischief comes to Wayside Gap, Texas

A repentant ex-outlaw, Carnelian Wendell, visits her sister Amethyst, the cook on a Texas cattle ranch. The deaths of the bandit gang straighten out Carni’s reckless ways and she’s looking for a new life. Solitary rancher, Luc Tarrant, hesitates about adding this spoiled lady to his struggling ranch but soon discovers he can’t resist her irrepressible spirit. A trip to town exposes Carni to the sheriff’s curious eye and she is jailed for suspicion of train robbery. Luc develops a plan to spring her, but when the sheriff calls his bluff, Luc’s plan backfires, leaving the couple with a decision that will change both their futures.

BUY LINKS

All Romance ebooks

Amazon

Barnes & Noble

KOBO Books

The Wild Rose Press

New registrants for my quarterly newsletter will earn a chance at winning an ebook of this title. Sign-up for newsletter here. If you’re already on my mailing list, then add this title to your Goodreads Want To Read list and let me know with a comment here.

Winner will be announced and contacted on May 11th.

Links to other authors on the Romancing The 8 are below.

Darlene Fredette – http://www.findingthewritewords.blogspot.ca/

Gini Rifkin – http://ginirifkin.blogspot.com/

Lori Power – https://www.marinerwrites.com/blog

by author Linda Carroll-Bradd