Category Archives: Blog Hop

Romancing The Eight Blog Hop

 

Story Inspiration for Stepping Out Of LineSteppingoutofLine_med

 

The dozen years I lived in San Antonio, Texas sparked a love of the cowboy myth and an appreciation for rodeo as a sport/lifestyle. Sure, many of the competitors at the local and regional rodeos work weekdays herding cattle, fixing fences, managing stud services, and worrying over the latest beef prices. But come Friday and Saturday nights, they transform into the heroes of the rodeo arena. They become the football quarterbacks (another Texas passion) who drive hard for the goal—be it roping a calf in the fastest time, or staying upright for the longest period on the back of a bucking bronc or bull.

Dev Laredo has lost track of how many bones he’s broken as a saddle bronc rider. Like Kevin Coster in Bull Durham (one of my favorites movies), Dev’s too old for this shit, he’s too old for the buckle bunnies. But he’s determined to finish out this season to earn money for his younger brother’s college tuition—he’ll fight through his latest injury to do it

Roxie Starr is an ex-Vegas showgirl who dismisses rodeo performers as being the same as Vegas guys—all flash and show, and no commitment. Since returning to Wayback, she’s refused to date anyone associated with the rodeo. She wants a real cowboy—solid, down to earth, one who will be there when the going gets tough.

Can two bruised souls overlook their differences and give love a fighting chance? Stepping Out Of Line, a contemporary western romance, is published by The Wild Rose Press.

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GIVEAWAY

Anyone signing up for the soon-to-be-compiled inaugural issue of my quarterly newsletter is eligible for a drawing of an ebook of this title.

Click here to sign up.

Please visit the other authors participating in the Romancing The Eight Blog Hop follow:

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

Denyse Bridger – www.fantasypages.ca

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

Books That Make Your Heart Flutter Blog Hop

Books That Make Your Heart Flutter

As someone who has read thousands of books over her lifetime, I can think of two aspects of a story that make my heart flutter.

First, I can get swept away and be unable to put down a book that has a driving plotline. One action leads into the next and both put the protagonist in even worse danger to the point that the reader can’t imagine anything possibly getting worse…and then it does. A couple of books come to mind here.

One is The Hunt For Red October by Tom Clancy with the basic plot being a Russian submarine commander wants to defect to the free world. The format of the novel was that action occurred on three primary stages (settings)–US government, Russian government and the sub itself. Each scene flipped to a different setting and the reader knew the ultimate showdown had huge consequences. I remember reading part of the novel aloud on a long drive the length of California. (before audio books, folks)  Jurassic Park by Michael Crichton was another that hooked me. Other authors who write similar compelling works are Lee Child, Michael Connelly,  Camilla Lackberg, John Grisham.

Recently, I read Zoo by James Patterson and Michael Ledwidge, which has been turned into a TV series. Partially because of the extremely short chapter length (1-4 pages each) but also the almost non-stop action of incidents and events that propel the protagonist forward.

The second type of book that makes my heart flutter is a well-written romance that really digs into the characters. Especially stories that start out with flawed characters who think they have done something that makes them unlovable. Like The Wives of Bodie Stone by Maggie Osborne or Portraits by Stef Ann Holm–both historical novels have heroes who were in prison.

Strong characterization and deep point of view go a long way to guarantee my reading pleasure. I strive for those two elements in the stories I create. In my latest release, Forged By Fire (part of the anthology, A Cowboy Celebration from Prairie Rose Publications), I created a hero, Berg, who thought an event that happened in his past made him undesirable and therefore, he shies away from people.  One simple act of kindness makes Ivey, the cook of the boarding house, to look at him in a different way.

Forged By Fire is just one of four historical stories included in Prairie Rose anthologies set in a Texas town.

Leave a comment about a book that made your heart flutter and the reason why for a chance to win your choice of a print copy of :

Cowboys,Creatures,andCalico_thCowboys, Creatures and Calico, Vol 1. (Halloween setting) with other stories by Lorrie Farrelly, Tanya Hanson, Sarah J. McNeal, Shayna Matthews and Cher’ley Grogg

 

 

_Present for a Cowboy_tnPresent For A Cowboy (Christmas setting) with other stories by Gail L. Jenner, Lorrie Farrelly, Sarah J. McNeal and Livia J. Washburn

 

 

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Cowboy Kisses (Valentine’s Day theme) with other stories by Lorrie Farrelly, Kristy McCaffrey, Gail L. Jenner, Gil McDonald, C. Marie Bowen, Tanya Hanson, Beverly Wells

 

 

Double your chances of winning by signing up for the inaugural Fall issue of my quarterly newsletter.

http://eepurl.com/bjKueH

To be eligible for the giveaway, comments must be made by 11:59PM PDT on Monday, August 17th. (Newsletter sign ups always accepted)

Then visit others who are participating in this blog hop.

Romancing The 8–Dreams of Gold

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Here are eight paragraphs from the opening scene of my western historical novella set in 1870s Wyoming, Dreams Of Gold:

‘“Hey, driver.” He shot a glance at the top seat. What the hell? A slender, yellow feather bobbed above the driver’s seat. He set a boot on the wheel hub and levered himself up for a better look. On the near side of the seat slumped the stage’s regular driver, Pete McGinnis, blood staining the right side of his shirt. Quinn stretched to lay a hand on the young man’s chest. Relief shot through him when he felt a shallow rise with each labored breath. Alive, but struggling.

Twisting to his left, he scanned the nearby storefronts and spotted a young boy scratching a stick in the dirt. “Hey, Billy. Run and fetch the doctor.” From a vest pocket, he pulled out a coin and flipped it at the boy’s feet. “Hurry now.”

As soon as the boy started off, Quinn turned back to the coach. “Ma’am?” The female now leaned against the back of the seat—head still down, stiff arms extended. “Miss?” He reached a hand over her fists and pulled on the reins. Under his touch, her arms trembled, but her fists remained clenched. Was the woman deaf? He hopped down and jogged around the back of the coach, glancing through the window at empty bench seats.

With a hand braced on the side of the coach, he set the brake. “Miss, release the reins.” He gently pried open the young woman’s gloved fists so he could tie off the reins. Under the hat brim, her eyes were squeezed shut, and he feared she might be injured, too.

“Are you hurt, ma’am?” He glanced over her slim figure clothed in a dark green jacket and skirt. Lean legs outlined by the dusty skirt and a rounded bosom moving in quick rhythm woke heat in his gut. At the inexplicable reaction, he clenched his jaw. Assessing possible injuries was part of his duty, but ogling a defenseless lady was not.

Had she fainted? He slid a finger under her chin and lifted. Her skin was as smooth as silk. Light brown lashes lay against creamy cheeks dusted with freckles. “Ma’am?”

She moaned, and her eyelids fluttered and then opened. “Are we safe? Did I drive us to a town?”

Hers were the greenest eyes he’d ever seen. Jade…that was the color. The intensity of her gaze hit him like a roundhouse punch straight to his chest. “You’re in Bull City, ma’am. I’m Sheriff Riley. Can you tell me what happened?”

BUY LINKS

All Romance ebooks

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iBooks

KOBO books

Google Play

The Wild Rose Press

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.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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.

 


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

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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

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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

Romancing The 8–Ten Fantasy Wishes

This monthly blog hop encourages members of TransCanada RWA to share 8 words, 8 lines or 8 paragraphs from a work in progress or a published work. This month, I’m sharing 8 paragraphs from the first chapter of a short novella that was one of my first published works. Even though I wanted to, I did not edit or revise any of this selection from the published version.

TenFantasyWishes_med

The rain had subsided, and a cool breeze lingered. Stopping
only a moment to appreciate the crisp, fresh air, Ali walked
carefully downstairs to Apt. 1. All the windows were dark. Not a
good sign. Taped to the door was a sodden note. “I’m out. Catch me
tomorrow after 9AM. For emergencies, call 555-1700. Manager.”
Probably out on a date having a good time. She grabbed the
note and stomped upstairs. On the other hand, she couldn’t meet a
decent guy. Tonight’s date had been a perfect example. Movies used
to involve a plot and dialogue. Her date’s choice had been filled
with blood, murder and mayhem. A disaster she didn’t intend to
repeat.

Back in her apartment, she punched the number on the note,
foot tapping while she listened to the rings.

“Hayden.”

Oops, the male voice sounded muffled and sleepy. Maybe she
was interrupting something personal. “Is this the Alamo Grove
Apartment manager?”

“That’s me. Is this an emergency?”

“I’ve got a big drip in my bedroom.”

“Sorry to hear your date isn’t working out, lady. How—”

BUY LINKS

The Wild Rose Press

All Romance ebooks

Amazon

Amazon UK

Barnes & Noble

KOBO

Other authors sharing snippets on Romancing the 8

Denyse Bridger

Darlene Fredette

Gini Rifkin

My Sexy Saturday–On With The Show

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This week’s theme is A Long Sexy Time and focuses on couples who have known each other a long time. This theme fits perfectly with the story in my novella, On With The Show, that includes high school sweethearts who meet up years later. Read on and enjoy…

The steering wheel jerked in his hands, and Dietz pulled his full attention back to the road. Too many sideways glances at the tense woman illuminated by the dashboard lights could put the SUV in the roadside ditch. Hell, he shouldn’t enjoy seeing the flash in her whiskey-colored eyes and her lips tighten into a straight line. But he did…always had.

Probably why his marriage to Trina had only lasted two years. She’d been too damn compliant. Too late, he’d learned a passive personality wasn’t what he’d wanted in a partner. “How are you faring in the big city?”

“Big city? You make Houston sound like another planet.” A deep inhale sounded and she ducked her head. “Sorry. I’m primed for my family to ask the same question. Guess I shouldn’t take out my frustration on you.” Shifting in her seat, she turned and her lips spread in a smile.

His gut tightened. In a flash, he hurled backward more than a decade when her light brown eyes focused on him with adoration. Regret ran through him and he tightened his grip on the steering wheel. “Just asking if you’re still happy there.” When what he really wanted to ask was if she’d ever thought about moving back home. About giving life in small town Texas another chance. Don’t go there, don’t open those old wounds.

The truck jostled over a pothole and his hand shot out to hold her back, the sleeve of his coat brushing her breast. Smooth, Reinhardt. “Sorry.” He barely got out the words on a whispered breath. Then he dropped his arm to rest his elbow on the console.

“I’m okay.”

Had he heard her voice squeak on the last syllable?

BUY LINKS

The Wild Rose Press

Amazon

Amazon UK

Barnes & Noble

KOBO

Google Play

For a peek into stories by other authors, click on one of the links below:

My Sexy Saturday–When Lonely Hearts Meet

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This week’s theme is a sexy date. What is more sexy that dancing together for the first time? Here are 7 paragraphs from my Valentine’s Day-themed short story, When Lonely Hearts Meet, the second title in my Sugar & Spice Bakery series.

“God, I haven’t heard this George Strait song in years.” He stood and grabbed her hand. “Come on, let’s kick up our heels.”

As she followed him to the square of rapidly filling space, she marveled again at their similar tastes. Years had passed since she’d danced. Within a few steps, they were in synch and he moved her through twists and turns like they’d always danced together. Every new tune that played was one he liked, so they remained on the floor, song after song. Responding to the surprise round of applause, she curtseyed and Wade bowed to their appreciative audience. Laughter bubbled up from deep inside her. Everything about this man felt so right. Why did he have to live so far from her home?

Out of breath and toes aching, Clover jerked her head toward the back corner where they’d left their drinks. “Take a rest?”

Wade threw an arm over her shoulders and steered her through the maze of tables and benches. “Hell, that was a lotta fun.” He took off his hat and ran a hand through his damp hair before sitting opposite her.

She grabbed her bottle and slugged down the rest of her beer. Hair clung to her cheeks and she shook her head to loosen it.

Planting his forearms on the table, Wade leaned forward. “Do you know how sexy you look?”

“Stop that.” But inside, she glowed from his compliment.

BUY LINKS

All Romance ebooks

Amazon

Amazon UK

Barnes & Noble

KOBO books

To read excerpts from the participating authors, hop over to one the sites below: