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Character Interview from Dearest Darling

Sit on down and enjoy meeting Daniel Saunders, the hero of Dearest Darling, the latest western historical by Andrea Downing.

How about you introduce yourself by providing the basics?

Howdy, Miz Carroll-Bradd, and thank you so much for inviting me here today—or for asking Andrea to send me on over.  My name’s Daniel Saunders and I appear in Miz Downing’s new book, Dearest Darling.  I’m not quite sure what other basics you might be wantin’—and I don’t want to be rude, but I have a ranch to run so am gonna have to be brief here.  Left my stock and have my neighbor, Jamie Jenkins, looking after it…

Where were you raised? 

In New York City, believe it or not.  But I came west to Wyoming when I was just over age twenty.

Did you attend college? 

Ha! Well.  No, I didn’t and I’m not goin’ to say much more on that subject for fear of givin’ too much of Andrea’s story away.  I would’ve liked to attend college but…you’ll have to read the book to find out why I didn’t go.

Are you athletic? 

Ma’am, you work cattle and run a ranch some eighteen hours a day, you’ve got to be more than what y’all call ‘athletic.’   What the hell’s ‘athletic’ mean anyway?  Muscular?  It takes more than ‘athletic’ to sit a horse and swing a loop, believe me.

Did you always want to be a rancher?

No, ma’am.  The thought never even crossed my mind until…well, if I tell y’all Andrea will string me up, so I better stay hushed on the matter.  I actually thought at one stage I might be a lawyer and go into practice with my friend.  That would’ve been a mistake.

What do you like most about ranching? 

Being my own boss and not having to deal with the liars, cheats and scoundrels of this world.  Then again, I also appreciate being outside most of the day in the beautiful scenery of the Tetons.  Have you been? 

What are your reading tastes? 

Quite honestly, I read just about anything I can lay my hands on.  Most nights I’m too damn tired to read and haven’t got much time the rest of the day,’cept of course in the winter months.  Hated Hawthorne in school but I do like that Mark Twain as he calls himself.  Funny man.

What’s the craziest thing that’s ever happened to you? 

Shoot, come on now, Miz Carroll-Bradd.  You’re asking that of a man whose story is built ‘round the fact he sent tickets to one mail order bride and another woman shows up in her place?  Can anything crazier than that happen to a person?  I ask you…

Look, I’ve enjoyed this little chat of ours, and I do greatly appreciate you havin’ me here and tryin’ to get all these good folks to read my story, but I really do have to get back to the ranch.  I’ll stop in every so often to say howdy to all your kind guests.  Y’all come by and visit now, ya hear!

DearestDarling_w8647_750

BLURB:

Stuck in a life of servitude to her penny-pinching brother, Emily Darling longs for a more exciting existence. When a packet with travel tickets, meant for one Ethel Darton, accidentally lands on her doormat, Emily sees a chance for escape. Having turned down the dreary suitors that have come her way, is it possible a new existence also offers a different kind of man?

Daniel Saunders has carved out a life for himself in Wyoming—a life missing one thing: a wife. Having scrimped and saved to bring his mail-order bride from New York, he is outraged to find in her stead a runaway fraud. Even worse, the impostor is the sister of his old enemy.

But people are not always as they seem, and sometimes the heart knows more than the head.

BUY LINKS

The Wild Rose Press

Amazon

©nathandehartphotography-andreadowning copy

BIO:

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, where she was born,  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.  Family vacations are often out west and, to date, she and her daughter have been to some 20 ranches throughout the west.

Loveland, her first book, was a finalist for Best American Historical at the 2013 RONE Awards.  Lawless Love, a short story, part of The Wild Rose Press ‘Lawmen and Outlaws’ series, was a finalist for Best Historical Novella at the 2014 RONE Awards.   Dearest Darling, a novella, is part of The Wild Rose Press ‘Love Letters’ series, and comes out Oct. 8th and Dances of the Heart, another full length novel, comes out in the next few months.

Links to Social Media:  WEBSITE AND BLOG:  http://andreadowning.com

Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/writerAndreaDowning

Twitter:  @andidowning  https://twitter.com/AndiDowning

Goodreads:  http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6446229.Andrea_Downing

Linkedin:  http://www.linkedin.com/profile/view?id=124888740&trk=nav_responsive_tab_profile_pic

AMAZON AUTHOR PAGE:  http://www.amazon.com/Andrea-Downing/e/B008MQ0NXS/ref=ntt_dp_epwbk_0

Release Day–Cowboys, Creatures and Calico anthology

CowboysCreaturesCalico_blog

 

COWBOYS, CREATURES AND CALICO, Vol 1–Six haunting and romantic tales from the Old West releases TODAY from Prairie Rose Productions.

My story is Wanderer, Come Home.

A recent widow on an 1874 Texas ranch, Vevina Bernhard lives with her 4-year-old son and a few hands. In charge for the first time in her life, she is frustrated she can’t get anyone to believe her land is haunted. The sight of mysterious lights at night arouses her Irish superstitious nature and she wants to learn the truth.

Kell Hawksen is a wandering cowboy just released from the Texas Rangers who is tracking a stage robber. They meet in town after her failed attempt to get the sheriff to investigate, and Vevina hires him. Over the week before Halloween, they grow close. During the Samhain celebration, fire breaks out on the ranch, and Vevina and Kell battle both the danger and the depth of their true feelings. Will a justice-seeking wanderer find solace on a ranch with a widow determined to protect her land?

BUY LINKS

Amazon ebook

Amazon print

The other stories are:

The Sheriff of Hel’n Gone by Lorrie Farrelly
The Bridesmaid by Tanya Hanson
The Legend of Venture Canyon by Shayna Matthews
The Beast of Hazard by Sarah McNeal
Wild Injuns, Wicked Trail and Cerulean Blue by Cher’ley Grogg

Character Interview-Rachel from Wish List Addiction

Today I have Prism Book Group friend, Lindsey Paley, here with an interview of the heroine from her August release, The Wish List Addiction.

How about you introduce yourself?

Hi, I’m Rebecca Mathews, thirty-two-year old, stressed out ex-lawyer and harassed mother of Max, my fabulous four-year-old son. I have copper-coloured hair, which I hated as I went through school but grew to love when at college, and emerald green eyes. I live in a dingy one-bedroomed apartment in Hammersmith, London and have a full-time job as a para-legal at Baringer & Co. Oh, and I’m a listoholic!

The worst part of my life is the daily struggle to get Max off to the day care he loathes in order to battle my ( single, childless) boss, Lucinda to be able to pay our exorbitant rent as Max’s dead beat father, Bradley, refuses to contribute child maintenance – it eats into his personal grooming and entertainment allowance. The best part of my life, of course, is Max. Oh, and my discovery of ‘The Little Green Book of Wishes’.  

 Where were you raised?

I was raised in the tiny village of Matfen in Northumberland, the largest and most rural county of England. I am an only child of George and Marianne who could not fathom the draw of the bright lights and fume-ridden atmosphere of London. It turned out they were both right as, when I became a mom, all I dreamed of was returning home to raise Max in the rural surroundings I was so happy in. But that dream was the catalyst to my downfall! Buying that rundown cottage was a stupid decision, despite the numerous lists I drafted of the pro’s and con’s of leaving London.

Did you always want to be a lawyer?

I did, yes. I enjoyed every moment of the study for my degree and I was fortunate enough to get a great job with a Top Ten law firm in London. I’d even started building up my reputation as a matrimonial litigation specialist until Brad dropped his bombshell that he was leaving me and Max and refused to provide any financial support. I couldn’t sell ‘Rosemary Cottage’ and the bank foreclosed. I lost my job and it was only the offer of a para-legal post that saved Max and I from destitution. I should have returned home, but I did hope that Brad would come round and see his son. He didn’t.

What’s the best thing that’s happened to you?

Well, that would be three things. Firstly, of course, Max. Then, the unearthing of ‘The Little Green Book of Wishes’. I truly believe that my colleagues, Deb and Nathan’s idea to challenge me to a bunch of off-the-wall activities, and their refusal to allow me to continue with my list-making obsession, turned my life around. I mean, who wouldn’t want to give kite-flying, dancing the Tango or learning to play golf a go? I’d urge any of your readers to grab a copy of ‘The Little Green Book’ – available on Amazon.com – and give it a try! It worked for me and led to the third best thing on my list (Ooops – sorry – here’s me telling you I’m cured!) the new man in my life, Josh Charlton – rugby-playing hunk extraordinaire!!

WishlistAddiction copy (1)

BLURB:

Rebecca Mathews is a Listoholic—you name it, she has a ‘To Do’ list for it. Coupled with her daily ‘Must Achieve’ List, she possesses a mid-term, creatively drawn ‘Wish List’ and an exhaustively-researched ‘Bucket List’. But so far, they have delivered nothing but spectacular failure.

With her much-loved career exploded in her face, her marriage terminated in an acrimonious divorce and her frail father’s pleas to return to her native Northumberland ignored, Rebecca concludes that if it wasn’t for her beloved four-year-old son, Max, she would be adding a trip to a Swiss clinic to her list.

A sparkle of light appears in Rebecca’s life wrapped in the guise of ‘The Little Green Book of Wishes’, which challenges the reader to ‘ditch the list’ and instead to use its gems of wisdom as a ‘dip in/dip out’ lucky bag of challenges from all areas of life.

Persuaded by her colleagues to relinquish her obsessive reliance on her multiple lists, cast adrift from their reassuring structure, she agrees to complete random tasks selected for her from the ‘little emerald book of miracles’.

Will it deliver the desired result and cure Rebecca of her Wish List Addiction?

 BUY LINKS

Barnes & Noble

Amazon

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Places to find Lindsey on the web:

Facebook

Twitter

 

Release Promotion–Without Mercy by Alicia Dean

Without Mercy  Large

BLURB:

When an apparently random bank robbery turns out to be a sinister plan, single mother China Beckett is thrust into a nightmare. A group of mercenaries take over her life, threatening her young daughter and everyone they love. She’ll fight to the last breath to protect her child, but that might not be enough.

With time running out and no one to turn to, China fears the worst for her daughter. But then, a startling truth is revealed, and she discovers that the only person who can save them might be a ghost from the past.

EXCERPT:

China gasped. “Are you insinuating I had something to do with Sophie’s murder?”

Detective Boyle turned an innocent look her way. “I’m insinuating nothing of the kind. Why would you think that?”

“I just thought…you sounded like…” She blew out a breath. “Never mind. Please, let’s just hurry and get this over with.”

“As I was saying, you were spared. The robbers called you by name. They seemed to almost defer to you in a way.”

“Defer to me?” Her laugh was short and devoid of humor. “I was nearly killed. They murdered my boss in front of my eyes. Pointed a gun at my best friend—”

“And didn’t shoot her when you told them not to,” he cut in.

“Dear God! You think they were following my orders?” She shot to her feet. “Do you think I’m glad they shot my boss? This is bullshit. Are you charging me with something? Do I need a lawyer?”

“Do you?” He didn’t wait for an answer. “Take it easy, Miss Beckett. Please sit. I’m not accusing you of anything. I’m simply trying to solve a crime. Trying to catch some bad guys. You want to help me with that, right?”

More than you could possibly know. She now wished she’d let Vanessa come with her, although the detective probably wouldn’t have let her sit in on the interview.

He stood and held a hand out toward the door. “Come with me. I’d like to show you something.”

China followed him into a large room that held a long table with chairs on either side. At one end of the table was a small television. Detective Boyle walked over to the television and pointed at the chair nearest it. “Sit, please.”

She did and he turned the power on the TV, then pushed a button on a remote. A grainy, black and white image appeared on the screen. The quality wasn’t state-of-the-art, but she recognized the scene. The bank. The robbery.

This time, she was able to see the shooting taking place, not just the end results. The guy who’d pointed the gun at Vanessa—and not the one who’d been China’s escort—had pulled the trigger. Had killed Sophie. Marcel, she was certain. She watched the glass shatter. Jerked when Sophie’s body jerked and blood blossomed on her blouse—dark gray now, not the vivid red she knew it to be.

There seemed to be no way the gunman could have missed her. She was standing there. Right there in front of Sophie’s desk, nearly blocking Sophie from the robber’s view, yet the bullets had gone straight past her and into Sophie’s body.

Her insides trembled with remembered terror. She stuck the knuckle of her index finger between her teeth and bit down. Tears filled her eyes, spilling down her cheeks, over her fingers. “Oh, God, Oh God, Oh God,” she whimpered over and over.

“You really should take it up,” Detective Boyle said.

“Huh?” She dropped her hand from her mouth and turned to him, seeing his face through a fog of horror and disbelief. This couldn’t be happening. The robbery, the men, the hell that her life had become. It couldn’t be happening. “Take it up?”

“Gambling. You should take it up. I mean, with your luck and all, you’d make a killing.” He studied her, his brows reaching for his hairline. “No pun intended.”

BUY LINK at AMAZON

Alicia Dean Tin Man Color

BIO:

Alicia Dean is the mother of three grown children, and she lives in Edmond, Oklahoma. She writes mostly suspense and paranormal, but has written in other genres, including a few vintage historicals. Other than reading and writing, her passions are Elvis Presley, MLB, NFL, and watching her favorite TV shows.

WEB CONTACTS:

Website: http://aliciadean.com/

Blog: http://aliciadean.com/alicias-blog/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100008364070487

Twitter:  https://twitter.com/Alicia_Dean_

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

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/468339.Alicia_Dean

Fall Into Books Blog Hop

Fall Into Books blog hop

BOOKS! I love this theme. No matter how many books I have on my To Be Read stack (translation: filling multiple shelves in a bookcase), I’m always on the lookout for more. For the past week or two, I’ve been alternating between contemporary suspense and historical romance. Switching back and forth helps clear my mind of the writing style of authors writing in the same genre so I’m less likely to compare them.

Because so many great books exist, I’m not one who goes back and re-reads often. But one author I return to is Jane Austen. My favorite book is Pride And Prejudice, which I have read more than once, and I’ve read most of her other novels. I have also enjoyed several novels that used the plot of P&P but updated it to contemporary settings (like Unleashing Mr Darcy by Teri Wilson or Pride, Prejudice and Jasmin Field by Melissa Nathan).

One of my favorite places to read is curled up in the corner of our comfy sofa that’s upstairs in our small forest cabin. Now as the fall sets in, I’ll get to haul out the fleece lap robes and snuggle in.

October is bountiful for new releases.

On October 20th, my contemporary novella set in Rhode Island and including bits of genealogy and pirate history titled Unlocked Treasure releases from the Wild Rose Press.

On October 31st, I have a story titled Bewitching Gypsy (western historical with a light paranormal touch) included in Spooktacular Seductions, a Halloween anthology from Roane Publishing.

And coming soon (date to be announced) is a Halloween anthology titled Cowboys, Creatures and Calico, Vol. 1 from Prairie Rose Publications. My story, Wanderer, Come Home, is a western historical featuring an ex-Texas Ranger and a widow on a small Texas ranch.

One lucky winner will win an ecopy of all three titles (as they become available). Three additional winners will be chosen to win one each of the titles. Enter the rafflecopter contest below for your chance to win an ecopy.
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Then hop on over to the blogs for the other participants listed below for even more chances at winning books and prizes.


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Release promotion–Stones

Here is information about Marilyn Baron’s latest release, Stones, from The Wild Rose Press.

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Blurb:

Books with Bling: A Coming-of-Middle-Age Novel

When Julie Paver’s husband Matt moves his business to Atlanta, she is forced to leave behind her thriving jewelry boutique, Stones. The move threatens their twenty-five year marriage, because now if Matt isn’t out of town negotiating a merger, he’s spending late hours on overseas phone calls with his sexy-sounding second-in-command.

Feeling neglected and unloved, Julie seeks closure by reconnecting with her first love, Manny, when he pursues her with his Internet innuendos. Manny is unaware he is the father of Julie’s son, and Julie contemplates revealing the secret to him on the eve of their son’s wedding. But would such a walk down memory lane be worth the cost?

Julie and Manny finally meet at her oceanfront condo—in the midst of a hurricane—and elements collide to create the perfect storm in this coming-of-middle-age crisis.

 Excerpt:

To go or not to go to Palm Coast is no longer the question. The question is what will I do once I get there? Will I really have the nerve to reconnect, or as my daughter Natalie likes to say, “hook up,” again with Manny Gellar? How will I feel tomorrow when I see him alone for the first time after 25 years? Will I finally reveal what I feel compelled—no, what I’m busting a gut—to tell him? That he has a beautiful son, that our son Josh is getting married in just three months? I’m probably rationalizing, but I think he finally has a right to know.

If I could, I’d fix what is wrong with my marriage and put it back the way it was before. Before Matt yanked me out of Miami by my roots as if I were a noxious weed he was tossing out of a flower garden and carelessly transplanted us to Atlanta. Before we moved a state away from my family and my best friend and a business I’d worked a lifetime to create. Before Matt sold his freight expediting business to a German conglomerate for mega-millions and agreed to run the company for them from Atlanta for the next two years, barely consulting me. Before the German occupation, or rather before he became preoccupied with his sexy-sounding German second-in-command, Gretchen. Before he stopped sleeping with me in the biblical sense. Before I turned fifty.

All I really want is closure. I’m convinced that meeting Manny Gellar again is the only way I will ever come full circle and reconnect with my life.

BUY LINKS:

TWRP Digital

TWRP Print

Amazon Kindle

Amazon Print

Marilyn Baron

BIO:

Marilyn Baron is a public relations consultant in Atlanta. She’s a member of Romance Writers of America and Georgia Romance Writers (GRW) and the recipient of the GRW 2009 Chapter Service Award. Marilyn writes humorous women’s fiction, romantic thrillers, historicals, and paranormal suspense for The Wild Rose Press. Today is the release date for her new humorous women’s fiction, novel, Stones. She has won writing awards in the Single Title, Suspense Romance, Paranormal/Fantasy Romance and Fiction With Strong Romantic Elements categories.

Web Contacts:

Website www.marilynbaron.com

Blog www.petitfoursandhottamales.com

Twitter https://twitter.com/MarilynBaron.

Facebook https://www.facebook.com/pages/Marilyn-Baron/286807714666748

Pinterest http://www.pinterest.com/marilynbaron5/

Goodreads https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/4722647.Marilyn_Baron

Amazon Author Page http://www.amazon.com/Marilyn-Baron/e/B008PJFQPC/ref=ntt_athr_dp_pel_pop_1

Linked-In http://www.linkedin.com/home?trk=nav_responsive_tab_home

 

Guest Interview–Nancy Bolton

Welcome to Nancy Bolton, author of both contemporary and historical stories. She’s sharing her writing life and a peek at her release from Prism Book Group, The Right Ingredients. (Details for the giveaway are at the end of the post)

Tell us a bit about you and your background.

I live in rural upstate New York. It’s humorous how most non-New Yorkers think if you say you’re from New York, that you’re from New York City, or another large metropolis. It’s funny because New York is a big state, and has tons of state parks, forests and long stretches of sparsely populated back roads. Like the dirt road I live on! I’m married for 41 years, have 5 sons and two grandchildren, a boy and a girl.

What are your hobbies away from the computer?

I like to cook, and am in the process of learning how to lacto-ferment instead of canning. Very interesting and much healthier! Plus I like to knit, crochet, garden, and listen to music.

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

Usually the characters.

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

Classical, especially Beethoven symphonies conducted by Leonard Bernstein. That’s my standard. Then, when writing historicals, I also listen to music of the time period. It really enhances the writing experience for me.

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

I usually have more than one story going, so if I hit a snag with one, I work on one of the other ones, until I’m refreshed. Also, during those times, I try to get caught up on household tasks like cleaning and organizing. I’m usually always behind on those. Really behind!

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

How many times I repeat words or phrases. Embarrassing! But I’m learning!

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

I also have historical romances, women’s fiction, a fantasy I’m working on, and a children’s book I’ve started.

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

When I write historicals, I do. I like to look at pictures or drawings of the people and objects during the time period.

In what genre do you read?

I read practically everything! I’ve got an extremely curious mind.

What do you hope readers gain from your stories?

I hope they gain an understanding of how faith and love are relationships that challenge everyone in different ways. I find the exploration of these vital relationships endlessly fascinating!

Thanks for interviewing me!

The Right Ingredients

BLURB:

Ann’s hectic work responsibilities demand all her time and effort, and what was once a useful, satisfactory life has become a burden. Her bakery partner Susan has lost none of her enthusiasm for their business, and Ann can’t understand her exuberance, or her friend’s Christian faith. So she trudges along, hiding her dissatisfaction from Susan, resigned to a life of work, sleep and problems.

Unexpected comments offered by two different people cause a crack in Ann’s armor and her thoughts careen into unexpected directions. Attention from a young widower with a son challenges Ann’s resolve to stay safe and uninvolved. Susan’s example of faith through trial furthers Ann’s curiosity about God. Ann must choose to step toward the unfamiliar freedom of giving and receiving love, or stay in the shadows, stuck in the grip of past hurt and long-standing barriers.

From a review:

“This debut novel reminds me of the early Mitford novels. A slice of life story with a gentler feeling to it. Some interesting plot twists surprised me, and I fell in love with the characters.” –Lena Nelson Dooley, multi-award winning author of the McKenna’s Daughters series–Maggie’s Journey, Mary’s Blessing, and Catherine’s Pursuit

EXCERPT:

Ann hoped the bakery stayed empty of customers. She needed every bit of concentration to decorate the cake the way she envisioned it. Her light blue eyes scrutinized the last patch of undecorated surface. Almost done. Shifting on the chair, elbows planted on the low icing table, she pressed her lips together and leaned closer. She calculated the perfect angle to hold the frosting bag.

A stray hair drifted into her line of vision and she blew out a quick upward breath to deflect it. How on earth could any strand escape her coiled braid? She should have worn the hairnet. But hairnets were old-womanish. Still, she preferred them to the flimsy paper hats she and Susan wore the first year they opened the bakery. They never fit well, and exasperated her by sailing off her head when she rushed past the ceiling fans.

The bell on the bakery’s front door tinkled. Ann sighed and wished Susan would return from deliveries. She glanced through the archway and out the picture window. Maybe she’d appear. No such luck. Oh, well.

“Be right there,” she called. Ann set down the icing bag, rose from the chair and angled her hips to slip past the table. As she stepped sideways, two bees zoomed in and flew toward her. She startled, brushed both hands to scare them away and lost her balance.

In helpless shock, her stomach fell as her forearms, palms and chin landed on the cake and sunk in. She groaned, lifted her head and stared in total horror. Loud moans erupted.. “No, no, no.”

As though a protest would change anything. Tears gathered. She drew away from the cake, and straightened up. One little wobble, and her handiwork was destroyed.

“Are you okay?”

Ann stared at a tall, sturdy man in jeans and a tee shirt. He stood in the archway between the front and back rooms and surveyed the scene. “I’d have stayed out there, but I heard you cry out and thought I’d better check on you.”

Ann’s lip trembled. She pushed against the tide of emotion. No tears in front of customers. The two bees danced on the frosting, poking around on her ruined cake. “It’s all their fault. I tried to do everything right, and see what happened?”

She pointed a frosted finger at them, while her tears overflowed. Through the blur, she glanced from the excited insects over to the man. She blinked to clear her vision. His eyes were sympathetic, and his mouth wore a suppressed grin. He stood in a firm stance, yet appeared poised to offer assistance. Ann searched for a clean part of her arm and brought it up to first brush the tears, then the frosting beard off her chin. She must look like some sort of clown.

The merriment left his face. “I’m sorry. I think maybe they flew in when I opened the door. Can I help?”

“That’s kind.” Ann attempted a smile. “But I don’t think you can fix this cake. And please don’t feel bad about the bees. They love to break in here with all this sugar.”

She strode to the sink and turned on the water to wash off the pastel colored mess. “I’ll be out front in a moment.”

“Okay.”

Ann finished her clean-up, wiped off her chin, hands and arms, and dabbed the towel on her eyes. She tied on a clean apron, straightened her shoulders and stepped to the front room of the bakery.

“Well, you look better.” He laughed. “I’m sorry, but that was pretty funny.”

Ann imagined her ridiculous appearance before she cleaned up and couldn’t help joining him. When their laughter subsided, he asked, “Feeling better?”

“Thank you, yes.” She needed a laugh.

“I’m glad. Must’ve been frustrating.” His obvious sympathy unlocked her natural reserve.

“I’ve decorated it for almost an hour, and now I’ve got to start the whole thing over from scratch. My business partner isn’t back from deliveries and I have more cakes to make.” She didn’t like to complain.

Take a breath. She shrugged. “… Anyway.”

He grinned. “You seem pretty young to run a bakery.”

“I don’t feel young today.” She grimaced and shook her head. “I guess it’s technically not a bakery, either. We only make cakes and cookies. Susan and I work here together, four years now, since college.” She blew out a breath. “Gets pretty crazy sometimes. Who knew the organic cake business would be so popular?”

He chuckled. “I’m not surprised, after all the raves I’ve heard. You know, I’ve had days like yours.” He stretched out his hand. “My name’s Tom Tillman. Sure hope your afternoon gets better.”

She clasped his offered hand and gave it a shake. “Ann Shaw. Around here most days are hectic, though I don’t usually fall on the cakes. I want to thank you for offering to help.”

“Wish I could have. I’m a capable farmer, handy with the livestock, but no good at cake fixing. Or baking, which is why I’m here.” He spread his hands out towards the display case.

“Hey, how ironic. A farmer with the last name Tillman. Till-man. Do you get teased?”

“Sure. Especially back in college. They loved to goof on me and make up nicknames. They also told me I had no choice in professions because of it.”

They shared a laugh.

“So, that’s why you’re a farmer?”

Tom shook his head. “No, I’d be one even if my name was… Ann Shaw.”

Ann’s cheeks grew warm at the way his tone dropped. She’d never connected to a customer so fast. He was easy to talk to.

BUY LINKS:

PRISM

AMAZON ebook

AMAZON print

Nancy Bolton

BIO:

Nancy Shew Bolton is a wife of 41 years, 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 in little snippets of inspiration in the form of poetry, song lyrics, or short essays. About six years ago, she decided to try her hand at writing a full length book. She’s since written five works of fiction, two non-fiction, and is working on an idea for a children’s book, as well as more fiction manuscripts. Writing a full-length work is much more challenging than she thought, and she has received so much valuable assistance from other writers, especially from the ACFW critique groups. Her husband has been supportive of her long hours spent at the keyboard. Many thanks to her beloved Johnny! And now she’s under contract with Prism Book Group with a novel set to be released in September 2014! What a journey! She thanks God and His Son for her life, her loved ones and the spark of creativity inside every person. She believes each person is a unique creation, with their own special voice and place in this amazing universe. God’s handiwork amazes her every day!

Contact links:

http://boltonnancy.com/

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The Diamond Mine group blog

Giveaway:

I’ll give away a free copy of The Right Ingredients to one lucky person who leaves a comment here.

My Sexy Saturday-Tie Down My Heart

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Here are 7 paragraphs that served to introduce the main characters in Tie Down My Heart, a contemporary western novella set in the rodeo world released by Decadent Publishing.

~~~

For an instant, her shoulders sagged until she pulled on the natural persistence that her daddy claimed was strengthened by years of beauty-pageant competition. “Now, don’t be hasty. A bit of press is always good for a rodeo-rider’s career. I saw those posters on my way in. The association spent a chunk of change to promote those riders.” She studied his face and thought she recognized him as a bronc rider. “A good story could boost ticket sales for the next event.”

“Those posters aren’t new. Do you even know who I am?” He settled his hat more firmly on his head, then squared his stance and crossed both arms over his muscled chest.

Which only pumped his biceps into rounded bulges that she fought to ignore. This man’s body was honed and chiseled with no sign of fat anywhere. “If I know, do I get the interview?”

“Depends.”

“On what?” Her gaze narrowed on the smirk that threatened his lips.

“Dunno.” A shoulder lifted in a shrug. “I leave my options open.”

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Leaving a comment makes you eligible to win a free copy of a backlist title (other than this one).

For 7 words or 7 sentences or 7 paragraphs of stories by other authors on the blog hop, click here:

Cover Reveal–Spooktacular Seductions

 

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Spooktacular Seductions
A Halloween Anthology
Romance
By Various Authors
Release Date: October 31, 2014
Where Angels Tread by Christy Thomas

Blurb: Loralei takes extreme measures to prove her cheating husband has forsaken their bows by seeking confirmation from a fortune-teller. The truth revealed is that she’s been unfaithful in a six hundred year old spiritual marriage.

Samael, the Angel of Death must assist a young girl’s soul in ascending to heaven. An unexpected encounter with his estranged wife distracts him and the precious soul is lost.

Working together to save the endangered soul, they find the price to reach her is higher than they both anticipate.

Do You Believe in Ghosts by Anne Higa

Blurb: Jeff Austin-LeGrange has been fleeing from the remnants of his dark and haunted childhood his entire life. The past always catches up to us, and his is no exception.

Alice Hopkins, Jeff’s high school sweetheart, has tried to forget him and tried to move on. You never forget your first love.

When Jeff’s mother dies and Alice’s father falls ill, the two are forced to confront their mutual history and their deepest desires. One thing is sure: neither of their lives will ever be the same again. Perhaps, the past can be overcome. Perhaps, it is not too late to believe in miracles. Perhaps, more than one couple will be reunited this Fall.

Who can say? With a little magic, anything is possible.

Bewitching Gypsy by Linda Carroll-Bradd

Blurb: Fiona Mikolas is an outcast, branded by her fiery red hair and a purple birth mark—both signs of the devil. Two years earlier, she survived an influenza outbreak that claimed her peddler husband, Gregos, and her baby son, Tito. Now she lives a solitary life, traveling a circuit of southern states in America and selling healing potions. Until the night of All Hallow’s Eve, when her lonely life is changed by the arrival of two strangers in her camp.

Beaten and robbed, rancher Hagan Fletcher stumbles toward the light of a campfire in south Texas, intent on finding a way to retrieve his stolen stallion. When he awakens, he’s forgotten his name and how he came to be in the company of an exotic beauty. Fiona’s ways are a mystery but when her quick-thinking saves his life again, he looks deeper beneath the surface to who she really is.

If This Be Madness by Echo Shea

Blurb: Don’t let me go…

Those are words that break her. When the person you love most is gone, how do you let go?

And, more importantly, who will you be once you do?

Encantado by Havva Murat

Blurb: Spending Friday night in an abandoned amusement park sounded like an awesome idea to motherless, teenage track star, Remy Bordeaux—empty rides with no queues, and time alone with his best friend’s alluring sister, Rafaela, was sure to make for a memorable night.

But Friday night at Six Flags became memorable for all the wrong reasons when the park turned out to not be so abandoned after all. Rafaela goes missing after getting cozy with Remy, and everyone thinks that Remy is responsible, even his best friend.

It will take another trespassing trip to Six Flags for the truth of Rafaela’s disappearance to be revealed and for the riddle of Remy’s birth to be unraveled.

Garden of Souls by Michelle Ziegler

Blurb: Something, or someone, pulled Miranda to purchase the old carriage house. It was a great deal, most likely because of the cemetery or the unexpected resident, Thomas. The ghost she finds within the sanctuary of her new home should have scared her. Instead she finds herself falling in love with him.

Now, a few days from Halloween, Thomas continues to push her to live her life. He wants one night though; the one night of magic for the dead. Torn by her love for Thomas and her need for reality and human contact, Miranda takes a chance with Sean. Someone who’s alive. The guilt is eating away at her. Sean’s nice and he hasn’t run off yet, pushed away by her craziness. Miranda knows she can’t split her herself.

Choosing her heart’s desire doesn’t seem possible, but living and loving another seems like a life riddled with pain.

Spooky Hollow Café by Lisa A. Adams

Blurb: Aggie Pierce owns a quaint little spot, the Spooky Hollow Cafe’. Tourist come from all over the nation to her confections diner for the entertainment. Real live interacting ghosts make appearances once a day, you just don’t know when.

But, when a ghost’s crush becomes an obsession, just how far will a hero have to go to save Aggie’s life?

Ghost of a Chance by Lily Carlyle

Blurb: After years of having her college boyfriend Sean as an ex with benefits, Julie believes he is finally, irrevocably out of her life. Forever. And it breaks her heart.

Until one night he shows up at the neighborhood hangout—with a mysterious job, luxurious car, and fabulous digs. Not to mention a new determination to woo Julie.

Even as her mind says no, her heart—and other parts of her body—is saying yes, yes, yes!

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Spooktacular Seductions blog tour is now scheduling!
If you’re interested in hosting our authors, please click on the tour button above.

Release Promotion–The Scarlet Cord

Here is a peek at The Scarlet Cord by Carlene Havel and Sharon Faucheux, a Prism Book Group release.

The Scarlet Cord

Blurb:  Rahab, a resourceful beauty, struggles to survive in the pagan culture of ancient Jericho. As years of harsh labor begin to lift her and her family from poverty, a foreign army threatens the well-fortified city. Stories of how the slaves escaped from Egypt have circulated for years, but few believe they are true. Rahab is forced to make an immediate decision. Will she put her faith in the fabled walls of Jericho or the powerful God of the Hebrews? Either choice may cost her life.

Excerpt:

“When Mother came with us we started for home much sooner,” Rondar murmured.

Yassib continued to scan the horizon. “Well she is not here and we did not do so. Now move along quickly, or I will tell Father you gave me trouble.”

“The rocks hurt my feet,” Sanda complained.

“Stop whining and I will let you hold the new baby while we prepare the evening meal,” Rondar said. “The faster you walk, the sooner we will be safe at home.”

Though the sun had not set, its light began to fade beneath gathering clouds. While Jericho’s walls rose higher and higher into the darkening sky, three women dressed in bright clothing walked past the family. Their ankle beads tinkled with every step. “They are going in the wrong direction,” Sanda said. Tugging at Rondar’s tunic, she persisted, “Do they not know the gate will close at sundown?”

“They are zonahs,” Kemil said.

“What does that mean?” Sanda turned to watch the women gliding away.

Rondar jerked her little sister forward by the hand. “May you never know.”

“Quiet!” Yassib hissed. “Your voices will attract attention.”

Rahab had taken only a few more steps when a hand clapped roughly over her mouth. She felt herself being dragged away, helpless even to cry out. Nearby, Sanda’s piercing scream split the evening air. The sounds of a struggle surrounded her, but clouds of dust obscured what little visibility remained. Managing to get her teeth around a finger, Rahab bit as hard as she could. When the arm’s grasp loosened slightly, she felt herself falling. She scratched and kicked wildly. With her teeth still sunk into the finger, she flung her head left and right until she tasted blood. Everything was a swirl of confusion, noise, and grit.

It seemed the fight went on forever yet lasted only an instant. Chaos melted into the sight of two men running away.

“Are you all right, little brave one?” One of the zonahs leaned over Rahab. Beneath the thick makeup, the woman’s face was lined with age.

“Yes,” Rahab said. She looked around to clear her head and also to account for her siblings. Yassib lay in the road, moaning and holding his arm. Nearby, Kemil held Sanda while Rondar clung to his torn tunic.

Rohat ran to her twin. “Oh, Rahab,” she said, “the takers almost got you.”

“And would certainly have done so but for these women,” Rondar added.

“Why did you help us?” Rahab asked.

The woman extended a braceleted arm to caress Rahab’s face. “Believe it or not, we too were once young and innocent.” With those words she rose, motioned to her companions, and disappeared into the deepening dusk.

BUY LINKS

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Carlene Havel

BIO:

I had no interest in writing until 2005, when I became a believer in Jesus Christ as the Savior of the world.  Along with everything else that changed, I developed a passion for writing.  My home is now in Texas, in the midst of a big, extended family.

Web Contacts:

https://twitter.com/carlenehavel

https://www.facebook.com/AuthorCarleneHavel