Tag Archives: sweet romance

Release Day–Libbie: Bride of Arizona

Earlier this year, I was lucky enough to become involved in an unprecedented author event where 45 authors got together to write a mail-order bride story connected to each US state. The collaboration and support from all the authors have been phenomenal.

Libbie.200

Today is release day for Libbie: Bride of Arizona, book #48 in American Mail-Order Brides series.

I had so much fun writing this story of a woman who has been raised in Australia and South Africa with brief visits to Boston—all related to her father’s business pursuits. Libbie is tomboyish and pampered and has three older brothers. So when she’s sent to a woman’s academy in Boston because her mother decides the time has come to learn feminine etiquette, Libbie struggles to discover how she fits in. Then tragedy strikes and she’s forced to answer an ad in the Groom’s Gazette and become a mail-order bride.

BLURB

Alone for the first time, tomboyish Libbie Van Eycken accepts a mail-order proposal and travels across country to find a place to call her own. Arizona rancher Dell Stirling needs a wife but didn’t count on the eccentric creature that brings chaos in her wake.

BUY LINK

AMAZON

*The title is also included in Kindle Unlimited program.

The website where information on all the stories can be found is here:

http://www.newwesternromance.com

Plus a Facebook page is devoted to the series:

https://www.facebook.com/AmericanMailOrderBrides

GIVEAWAY

I’m offering the chance for a $15 Amazon gift card to one person who leaves a comment here or on the Libbie’s release day thread on the American Mail-Order Brides Facebook page.

Guest Promotion–Too Old For Christmas by Zina Abbott

A holiday romance set in 1854 Columbia, California.
Too Old for Christmas, by Zina Abbott.

 

 

 About the Book:

Irishman Sean Flood
survived the potato famine, crossing the Atlantic, the Mexican-American War,
and wandering the Western wilderness with his mules and freight wagon. But, due to poor diet and deprivation, his teeth did not fare well. It’s November of
1854 in Columbia, California, Queen of the Southern Mines, a city Sean is helping to rebuild after the disastrous fire the previous summer. Intense stabbing tooth pain drives him to see Doc Massey, the local dentist. He first stops
by the mercantile to pick up a bottle of whiskey—for medicinal purposes—and food­­­­ he’ll be able to eat when it’s all over. If only the beautiful but aggravating
woman ahead of him who keeps her face half hidden and insists she won’t accept charity would finish up with her purchase so he can get his supplies, his tooth pulled and return home to his mules and half-built cabin….

That night, Sean meets the woman’s two sons, Jesse and Benjy McNair, and learns her secret. He decides with only three teeth left in his head, he needs widow Ona McNair’s charity—and he’s willing to pay for it. Sean won’t accept nine year-old Jesse’s declaration his family’s poverty means the boy is too old for Christmas that
year. Sean is a full-grown man and he’s not too old for Christmas. He not only plans to come bearing gifts to Christmas Eve dinner with the McNairs, but he knows exactly what gift he wants for himself.  
 

EXCERPT          
          Even though he burrowed deep into his
blankets inside the steep-sided

Carriage house at Columbia State Park

freight wagon that served as his bedroom, Sean sensed the inside of the barn grow brighter as someone opened the door. He threw his arm over his squeezed-tight eyes and groaned as the pounding headache topped by a touch of nausea hit him full force.

          “Mr. Flood. Are you in here?”
          Sean recognized the woman’s voice. It belonged to the aggravating blue-eyed beauty he had met the day before—the McNair boys’ mother.
          Aye, nothing like meeting a woman when you be at your worst, boyo.
          “I told you he keeps all his things in the wagon and sleeps in there, Ma. We only built a fire inside the cabin out of the wind to fix his supper.”
          So, Jesse, you had to be bringing your ma up to talk to me at the crack of dawn, did you?
          “Mr. Flood, if you’re here, may I please speak with you for a moment? The boys said you wanted to talk to me about chicken soup. They were very insistent I come.”
          “Aye, be with you by the by.”
          Sean stretched and rubbed his fingers through his hair, then scratched his beard. Unfortunately, it did nothing to ease his aching head. With his hair sticking up in tufts twisted in every direction, his beard bristling every which way and his rumpled clothes smelling sour with sweat, Sean felt loathe to face his visitors.
          A woman will nay be letting a man die in peace, now will she? ’Tis what you get for having the boys ask their ma to cook for you.

 

 

Too Old for Christmas is now available on pre-order at Amazon, release date is November 18th. You may purchase it by clicking HERE. It will be available on Nook soon.


 About the Author:

Zina Abbott is the pen name used by Robyn Echols for her historical novels. 

The author
currently lives with her husband in California near the “Gateway to Yosemite.” She
is a member of Women Writing the West, American Night Writers Association, and
Modesto Writers Meet Up. She currently lives with her husband in California near the “Gateway to Yosemite.” She enjoys any kind of history including family history. When she is not piecing together novel plots, she pieces together quilt blocks.

 

 
 

Zina Abbott Links:

 

Character Interviews from Two Tutor Doves by Patricia Kiyono

How about you introduce yourself by providing the basics?

My name is Jeanne Brown. I am lady’s maid to the Duchess of Bartlett.

I am Robert Townley, valet to Phillip Peartree, Duke of Bartlett.

Where were you raised? 

I was born in France. My mother was the daughter of a wealthy French aristocrat, and my father was an Englishman. When I was young, we moved to England to get away from the unrest of the French revolution. We lived in the English countryside near my father’s family.

I was raised in Bartlett Manor, in Lincolnshire. My father was valet to the present duke’s father. My mother died when I was young, and the duchess allowed me to live on the estate with my father.

Family members?

My father died in a farming accident when I was a teenager, and I went to work in the home of the Earl of Sudbury to help support my mother and younger brother Pierre. But the house burned down and my mother died in the fire. My brother’s body was never found, and no one knew what happened to him.

I don’t remember my mother, and I don’t have any siblings. I was raised with the present duke, but my father taught me to always remember my place.

Did you always want to be a lady’s maid? 

I never really thought about it. I became a domestic servant because I had to make money, and there really aren’t many professions open to women.

Being a valet is all I know. My father and his father before him served the Peartree family.

What do you like to do when you’re not working?

I enjoy sewing and knitting, although my duties don’t allow much time for them. I did manage to make some clothes and blankets for the new baby.

My father took me to the boxing saloon in London when I was a teenager so that I’d learn how to defend myself from ruffians. Now I go there when I need to think, or when I need to work out my frustrations.

Describe your ideal mate.

I never imagined marrying. I always assumed I’d remain in the duke’s household all my life. But I suppose if I met someone like my father, I’d be tempted to leave. Papa was handsome and strong, and he always took time to play and read to my brother and me. Until he died, he did his best to provide for all of us. He was our hero.

I’d never thought about marrying until recently, especially with the duke and duchess expecting their first child. I grew up without a mother, so the previous duchess is the only mother figure I’ve known. Children are a legacy, and in order to have children, I need a wife. My ideal mate would be intelligent and well mannered. She wouldn’t have to be beautiful, but at least pleasant to look at. And she would need to know how to work with children, because I simply don’t have the patience for them and their endless questions.

TwoTutorDoves 500x750BLURB

Robert Townley prides himself as an efficient and indispensible valet to Phillip, Duke of Bartlett. But when Robert is coerced into teaching the poor children at the duchess’ chapel school, he’s out of his element. Thankfully, he has assistance from some of the other servants, including the prickly Miss Brown.

Jeanne Brown is lady’s maid to the Duchess of Bartlett. She loves working with the children but can’t abide Robert’s lofty attitude toward them. She’d love to put him in his place — but she needs her job.

When the duchess decides to hold the school’s Christmas party in her home, Robert and Jeanne must put aside their differences and work together to ensure that the holiday celebration goes off without a hitch. Will they be able to endure the partnership, or will their sparks ignite something more?

BUY LINKS

Two Tutor Doves is available at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Smashwords, Kobo, and Itunes.

EXCERPT

What would it be like to have a family of my own, a home where I could decide what to put where, and a husband who will give me children?

Taking one last glance around the room, she noticed a candle out of place above the mantle. Pushing one of the library ladders over to the correct wall, she mounted the bottom step.

“Miss Brown, please allow me.” Robert appeared behind her, and his nearness sent a warm glow through her.

“Oh, I’m not going very high. I just want to straighten that candle up there.”

“Then I shall hold the ladder steady for you.”

She opened her mouth to argue, but thought better of it and nodded. If not held still, the wheels on the bottom of the ladder could cause it to move. Robert put his foot on the bottom step and held on to the side rails, using his weight to hold the ladder still. She made quick work of straightening the errant candle and came back down.

Stepping backward off the bottom step, her back made contact with Robert’s chest, and she realized he still held on to the ladder. She basked in the circle of his powerful arms. “Er, thank you.”

“It was my pleasure. If the ladder had moved while you were perched on it and you were hurt, I would be devastated.” His warm breath tickled her neck, and a delicious shiver ran through her. The sensation burned in her memory long after they parted ways and she retired for the night.

Blast the man!

PatriciaKiyono

In a previous life, Patricia Kiyono taught elementary school students by day and changed diapers at night. Now she teaches college students part time and changes diapers only when she’s taking care of grandkids. She loves to do anything that doesn’t involve exercise. Right now her favorite activities, in addition to writing, include scrapbooking, sewing, and making music. She and her husband live in southwest Michigan, near their children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren.

 

Patricia can be found on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Goodreads, and Pinterest, as well as her website and blog.

 

Romancing The 8–Voting Round for Readers’ Choice Award

On this month’s post for the Romancing the 8 blog hop with other TransCanada Romance Authors, I’m announcing my entry in a contest.

perf5.000x8.000.indd

My Halloween-set novella, Unlocked Treasure, passed the nomination round for the Readers’ Choice Award sponsored by The Romance Reviews. From now until October 31st, voting continues and I’d love to have a good showing. Click here to be taken to the listing which appears in the Contemporary Romance category. A simple sign-in must be done.

BLURB

Aleen MacRae blames the lure of the sea for breaking apart first her family then her engagement. When her interest is caught by a man she sees both in person and in a dream, she resists—afraid to believe in her aunt’s prediction that her future is tied to the sea.

Braden Williams is on the hunt for treasure buried centuries earlier by Rhode Island pirates. His search brings him to the property where Aleen lives. Collaboration on genealogy research draws them closer, and Braden steers her toward his true passion–sailing.

Attending a party with Braden’s family lets her glimpse what she’s been missing. An unexpected discovery before her date with Braden forces a decision. Will Aleen play things safe or accept what this free-spirited man offers?

QUESTION

My research revealed an unique event that takes place  at Brown University in Providence, RI at midnight on Halloween night.  Attendees enter a darkened Sayles Hall with flashlights and get comfortable. A spotlight highlights the balcony and an organ recital begins. Does your city have a one-of-a-kind event to celebrate the holiday?

BUY LINKS

All Romance ebooks

Amazon

Barnes & Noble

KOBO Books

The Wild Rose Press

Other participating authors

Gini Rifkin

Character Interview of hero from Twist Of Faith

Today I’m hosting an interview with the leading man from a recently released story titled Twist Of Faith by Darlene Fredette.

How about you introduce yourself by providing the basics?

Thank you for inviting me for coffee and a chat. I’m Nick Porter, architect and contractor, living in Montreal. I work from sun-up to sun-down, so personal time is limited. Someone once told me I’m stubborn and that I resemble Johnny Depp.

What do you like most about your profession?

I love designing a client’s dream on paper then building a masterpiece beyond their dream.

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

Meeting Faith Witherspoon. The older woman befriended my parents, sent them on the cruise of their dreams, and put a roof over my brother’s head. She then offered to remove my financial debt, but when I didn’t comply, she sent her granddaughter to influence me.

Is there a place you’d always wanted to visit?

I hear Paris is beautiful and has a great chain of cafés.

Talk about your favorite setting for a date.

I came across a beautiful spot while driving around one day. Soaring skyscrapers, the downtown area, the river, and the Adirondack Mountains of upstate New York are all visible on this hilltop lookout with panoramic views of Montreal. A great spot for a picnic with someone special.

What attracts you first to a woman?

Long brown hair, a beautiful smile, chocolate brown eyes, confidence, independence, and an alluring French accent.

Are you talking about a particular woman?

I don’t want to give away any spoilers, but I recently met Katrina Witherspoon, who happens to have those irresistible qualities, and so much more.

perf5.000x8.000.indd

Tagline:

One twist of Faith can change everything.

Blurb:

Katrina has one goal—follow through on her late-grandmother’s last request, to oversee the renovation of Katrina’s childhood home. The handsome contractor is distracting, but she refuses to be swayed by his deep brown eyes and broad shoulders. A summer romance is not part of the plan. When the truth is discovered about her family’s past, Katrina fears her own future is in jeopardy. She doesn’t have faith, but the twists that lie ahead may just change her mind.

Nick refuses to accept help from anyone, until Katrina gives him an ultimatum—one he can’t refuse. Her renovation project will save his business, but puts his heart on the line. Can he convince Katrina to stay or will a promise to her late-grandmother pull her away? With a little twist of Faith, the odds may be in his favor.

BUY LINKS

Barnes & Noble

Amazon

The Wild Rose Press

Excerpt:

The man shifted his weight.

Suddenly, the air cooled around her. For the first time since she spied him in her home, Katrina stared face-to-face at her intruder. Past the pain, she saw a strong jaw line and a chin framed by the shadow of a goatee, or as they say in Paris, a French beard. A perfect set of lips held a thin moustache and his brown layered hair fell just above his chin. Dark brown eyes kept her gaze captivated. Johnny Depp has broken into my house.

His face didn’t belong to someone who made a living from breaking-and-entering. This face belonged to a refined and hard-working man. She could tell there was more to the story behind those eyes, but the instant she stared at his lips, her thoughts turned to mush.

He stumbled to stand, leaning on the wall for support. Johnny Depp kicked the wood, sending it rolling to the other side of the room.

Katrina, now believing he meant no harm, accepted the hand he offered to help her from the floor. She ignored the tingling sensation running up her arm, knowing the fuss couldn’t be from the strong hand holding hers.

He inhaled a deep breath and opened his mouth to speak, but shook his head instead. Frowning, he pointed a finger toward the card on the floor and limped to the exit, slamming the door behind him.

She bent to pick up the card, which read, Donaldson and Porter, Architecture and Contracting, Nick Porter. Her shoulders dropped. “Damn!”

Katrina now had less than twenty-four hours to master the art of groveling.

Bio:

An avid reader since childhood, Darlene loved to put a pencil to paper and plot out stories of her own. She writes heartwarming contemporary romances with a focus on plot-driven page-turners. When Darlene isn’t writing, editing, or reading, she enjoys spending time with her husband, daughter, and Yellow Lab.

Contact links:

Web Blog: http://findingthewritewords.blogspot.com

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

Twitter: https://twitter.com/DarleneLF

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

Author Interview–Denyse Bridger

Today I’m interviewing a chapter buddy from the TransCanada Romance Writers, Denyse Bridger. Be sure to read through to the end for the details on the giveaway being offered.

Tell us a bit about you and your background.

I’m from East Coast Canada, and one of these days I just might set a book in this part of the world. I’ve been writing pretty much since I was able to put words on page, and been involved in professional writing for the past 11 years. I can’t think of anything I love more than creating a story that makes people smile.

What’s the logline that describes your writing?

Romance and Fantasy for the discerning reader…

 What are your hobbies away from the computer?

Walking in the park, research, baking, reading… depends on the season which one gets the most time. J

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

Most often it’s the plot that emerges first, and then the people who populate the new world introduce themselves and tell me how they’re related–or  not–to each other within the story. Sometimes it’s simply a somewhat vague idea that begins to nag at me and slowly take shape. It is rarely a character who jumps out first.

Is your writing style planned or freestyle?

I have to plan and plot, I’ve tried writing on the fly and it doesn’t work for me, it ends up just meandering all over the place and I feel like there’s no sense of direction or purpose. I usually end up scrapping stories that start out that way, even if I’ve gotten as high as 20K written. I have friends who gasp when I dump that many words, but to me they’re useless so it’s no loss.

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

I write in many genres, contemporary seems to be the one I’m in at the moment, but that can change the moment a new plot presents itself in another genre. I’ve got a new Romantic Suspense series in the works, but also a paranormal world story I’m building, and an historical Western. I also want desperately to write a cozy mystery, and that’s developing, too, so I’m all over the place. I am pretty much leaving erotic romance behind entirely and going back to sensual and mainstream books.

What’s your dream vacation destination?

Italy and Romania – it’s a toss up because I love both countries and would LOVE to see them!

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

I have three boards on my Pinterest that are the visual boards for works in progress, Grande Amore is for my Italian romance, The BlackHawk Agency is for my Romantic Suspense series, and New Beginnings is for a novel featuring an older couple finding love just a little bit later in their lives.

In what genre do you read?

At the moment, I’m reading a lot of romantic suspense books, and cozy mysteries. I love to read Fantasy, as well.

What resources do you use for picking character names?

Mostly I use the Character Sourcebook for Naming Characters, because it’s a great way to keep flipping around and jotting things down, seeing meanings for names, etc. I love the fact that you can select the names offered by origin/nationality, because sometimes you want specifically an Irish name, or an Italian one, and this makes it easy to find them immediately.

What do you hope readers gain from your stories?

I’ve always said that writing is an entertainment art, and while it can and does educate, for me personally it’s about crafting a story that makes people smile and feel good, or gets them thinking and feeling on a gut level. If you affect your reader, you’ve done your job well, I believe.

BellaSignorina_MED (200 x 296)

Set in Rome, Bella Signorina is a sweet, romantic story of two people who meet in a trendy caffè, and through the magic of dance and music discover they have many things in common. Bianca comes to Caffè Rosati every week, and for many weeks she’s been watching a special man, a handsome, charming stranger who dances, flirts, and leaves alone each week. Bianca is a woman who enjoys her freedom, and has been hurt before, so she’s not anxious to fall in love again. Something about the enigmatic Stefano has captivated her heart, though, and she is drawn to him in spite of herself. When she finally gathers her courage to approach him, and ask him to dance, little does she know that her entire world is about to change.

Stefano Esposito is a man whose past relationships have not left him much in the way of ideals about women. Many have claimed to love him, none have understood him. Stefano is a rare breed in today’s world of fast-paced life and love. He is a gentleman, a man who many consider a little out of step with the times. For Stefano, falling in love is the completion of a soul, not the consummation of a sexual itch. He wants the woman in his life to respect, understand, and adore him, as he will her. When he meets Bianca, he wonders if he’s finally found the one he’s waited a lifetime for? She understands his internal conflicts, his desires, and his dreams, after only hours together.

When their attraction to each other flares too quickly and too intently, Stefano pulls back. Confused and uncertain, Bianca flees his beautiful home and business, and goes back to her busy life. But, once the dance has begun, is there a way to go back to what you knew before, or is it just a matter of time before the music lures you back to your dreams and, perhaps, makes them reality?

BUY LINKS

Amazon

Amazon AUDIO

Audible

Barnes & Noble

iTunes

EXCERPT

Stefano kept a close eye on the pretty dancer even as he walked to the small caffè. She was lovely, and he’d seen her many times, always enchanted by her presence, but never inclined to find out if the outward beauty was all there was to her. If she was another vain and brainless girl, he didn’t want his illusion shattered. The romanticism of the thought made him smile. He wasn’t as jaded as he pretended to be if he was still protecting his heart with illusions.

Less than fifteen minutes after he’d left her, he rejoined her and handed her a steaming cup of coffee.

“It’s so different here at night,” Bianca noted, her eyes scanning the area. In a matter of hours, thousands of people would begin their daily movements, passing over the steps, not noticing anything but the need to be wherever they were headed. “There’s peace here now.”

“Is that why you dance, to find peace?”

She sipped her coffee and considered an answer. When it came, it surprised him.

“The music is freedom, and the motion is passion. Sometimes the only passion that matters.”

“All passion matters, bella,” he commented. “It’s what gives us life.”

“Or burns it out of us.”

He turned on the steps, faced her fully. Then he touched her chin and made her look at him.

“Who abused your love so fully that you can believe that?”

“People destroy each other for love,” she replied after a lengthy pause.

Stefano shook his head. “Love is the only gift there is worth having, Signorina. It’s what men live and die for.”

“Who are you, Signor?”

He was startled again, twice in less than five minutes.

“Would you like to walk?”

She laughed in the growing darkness, and Stefano felt it ripple the length of his spine, as though cool, flawless silk had glided over him.

“Where are we to go, Stefano?”

“I think you’ll like the place,” he observed, with a hint of irony texturing the subtle undertone of his voice.

She eyed him for a few timeless moments, then nodded and rose.

He smiled when she offered her hand, and he curled his fingers around hers in a loose, but firm grip.

“So, is there a wife hidden somewhere?”

He laughed. “No. What about you? A husband who will come looking for me before dawn?”

She shook her head and sipped her coffee. “How does a man with so much passion not have the woman of his dreams in his arms every night?”

“I could ask you the same question,” he pointed out. “Why are you alone?”

Her laughter washed over him again and she stopped walking to look up at him. “No one I’ve met has inspired the things I need to feel.” She shrugged. “I’ve been too honest with too many, and it scares them away.”

For a moment he said nothing, weighing her surprising confession. “What do you need?”

“To be respected for who I am, what makes me unique.” She tilted her head to one side and held his level gaze. “I need to be given all the things I’m expected to provide, and that seems to be something quite beyond many men. Real men, who understand the value of a smart woman, also see that her beauty is in her wisdom, and her spirit.”

“And her ability to be all things without effort, because she is all things naturally,” he concluded, genuinely pleased at the startled flicker of surprise his words lit in her eyes. “We’re here,” he announced, indicating the building they’d reached.

She looked up, and her smile was radiant in the soft glow of the nearby streetlight. “La Galleria d’arte di Idillio,” she murmured. “I love this place.”

“It’s mine,” he told her as he dug out the key that would unlock the doors to the small gallery.

“Yours?”

There was enough real shock in her voice to make him stop as he held the door for her to go inside. “Why does that surprise you so much?”

“I’ve come here a number of times, and I’ve never seen you,” she replied, once he’d locked the doors and turned on the lights.

“I’ve never seen you,” he noted. “Except at the caffè.”

“I’ve always felt this place was a tribute to love, and romance.”

“It is. My father began the collection for my mother.”

“Your father was a romantic?”

“My father was a gentleman, in the truest sense of that word,” Stefano said with a familiar sense of loneliness and pride combined. “He lived la dolce vita,” he smiled, “with the passion of a man who loved all life had to offer him, good and bad.”

“He’s gone?”

A curt nod was all he could offer without revealing how deeply the loss still affected him. He set his coffee on the reception desk, hung his jacket on a rack then did the same with Bianca’s things. Then he took her arm and led her to a small area that had been his work for the past year.

“This is my latest addition to the collection.”

Bianca wandered the area, studying the beautiful collection of photographs. Each one was in a different area of Italy, and the women smiling and lovely, but each one as unique as her surroundings.

“What do you see?”

“Beauty. Romance.” Bianca stared at the photographs for a few moments longer, considering them with serious thought, then turned to face him. “In every photograph, they are not looking at you, but at the camera. They’re seeing the opportunity, but not your reason for wanting them.”

Something fluttered against Stefano’s chest from the inside, an excitement he hadn’t felt in a very long time. He let his gaze drift, cataloguing the woman in front of him. Standing next to him the top her head was at his chin. She had long, waving hair, dark brown with a distinct tint that caught the glow from the lights and turned her thick mane into a mass of warm, burnished auburn. She had eyes that resembled Chinese jade, and a wide, full mouth that curved upward, as though a secret hid behind her smile. She was curvaceous and feminine, effortlessly graceful, and with minimal makeup, appeared very much without artifice of any kind.

“What is my reason for wanting them?” He forced his tone to calm and curious, sincerely interested in her reply, but also caught in the spell she was exerting. Part of his mind was still watching her, measuring the emotion and internal workings of her mind as she analyzed his photographs with real interest. Her teal-colored dress was simple in design, flared skirt unevenly cut at the hem, swirling around her shapely legs as she walked, pausing often to peer intently at the images on the walls. The upper half of the dress clung to luscious contours, and the silver crucifix, her only jewelry, drew his eyes to the shadow between her breasts. He wanted very much to touch her, and instead stuffed his hands into his pockets and went to join her as she stopped at one of the last photos, then looked at him over her shoulder.

“She loved you.”

“So she said.”

“You didn’t love her?”

“Not the way she thought I should.”

“You wanted love from every woman here, yet not one of them saw who you really are,” she observed softly, sadness evident in her tone.

His eyebrow rose. “Who do you think I am, bella?”

“How honest do you think I should be?”

“I admire honesty, Signorina,” he told her. “I respect the courage it takes to offer it to anyone.”

“But do you respect it if the object of discussion is you?”

“Now you’re beginning to worry me,” he teased with a smile. He was fascinated by her intelligence and her insight. She looked past his appearance and his presence to probe his secrets, and whatever she was seeing made her even more alluring to him.

Want to know more? The dance is only beginning for Bianca and Stefano, drop by Eirelander Publishing and indulge the fantasy more…

GIVEAWAY

Densye is giving away an audio copy of Bella Signorina to a person leaving a comment on this blog by Monday, May 4, chosen at random.

logo_Denyse

 

Canadian born and bred, and a lifelong dreamer, I began writing at an early age and can’t recall a time when I wasn’t creating in some artistic form. My life has had several on-going love affairs that shape much of what I write.  In the past half dozen years, I’ve released books in all lengths and genres, and it’s something I hope to continue to do for many more years. A visit to my websites will show the diversity of what is currently available, as well as other surprises and extras!

 

WebsiteMobile websiteFantasy Pages (General)Bound By PassionNewsletterTwitterFacebookPinterestLinkedInTumblrMySpaceGoogle+InstagramRomance and Fantasy Google+ PagetsūAmazon Author PageSmashwordsBarnes & NobleKobo BooksARe Romance BooksSensual Treats MagazineRandom Acts of Sex and RomanceGoogle BooksBlio BooksBooks-A-MillioniBooks

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

Guest Interview–Deborah M. Piccurelli

Tell us a bit about you and your background.

I am married (just celebrated our 37th anniversary!) and the mom of two grown sons. Through the years, I’ve worked for our county court system, lawyers and a financial planner, because as a young girl, it seemed romantic in movies and television to be a secretary, and maybe even get to marry the boss (he-he!). I soon found out how unromantic that career choice was, and none of my bosses would have been appropriate husband material for me. But I must have liked that type of work, because I stuck with it for so many years.

I like to read (of course), walking in the park, movies, spending time with my family and friendly get-togethers.

What’s the logline that describes your writing?

Aside from this novella, I normally write inspirational issue and cause-related romantic suspense. My logline for that, which is on my website, is Uncovering the Unthinkable.

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

It depends. I have tons of notes in files. Sometimes I have ideas for special characters, and some for stories. And sometimes I can match them together.

Is your writing style planned or freestyle?

Definitely freestyle. I just write whatever comes. That’s not to say     whatever comes gets to stay. As any author knows, sometimes you have to rip your manuscript apart.

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

As I mentioned above, I normally write issue and cause-related romantic suspense. This novella was a complete surprise. I had written it years ago and never got to do anything with it. When I heard Prism Book Group was having a contest, I decided to enter it.

In what genre do you read?

I read in many genres: Romance, romantic suspense, women’s fiction, historical romance, thriller. But my favorite genre to read is what I write, which is romantic suspense.

What resources do you use for picking character names?

Here is my formula for choosing character names: I look to the ceiling, throw a few names around in my head, and when one seems to fit the character, that’s the winner!

Real technical, right? Ha!

Seriously, there are some names I’ve come across over time that I’ve tucked in the back of my mind for future use. Somehow, they seem to fit my characters perfectly. But there certainly has been a time, or two when I’ve had to do what I’ve described above. :o)

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

I’ve had dogs growing up, but once I got married, I worked and had kids. My husband and I felt we couldn’t spread ourselves any thinner and give our attention to one more “person.” But after more than 33 years, we decided to take the plunge and get a puppy. We settled on a tan Yorkie mix, which we were later told was an Australian Silky (so-called because they have very soft and silky hair – not fur). She’s so cute and precious. And that’s her name—Precious.

What do you hope readers gain from your stories?

First, I hope my stories will entertain, because how else will readers engage if they aren’t being entertained? Beyond that, if my story is about an issue or a cause, I hope to bring about awareness on that particular subject. I also want readers to see how loved of God we are, and the extremes he goes to for us.

Cover_LoveComesCalling

BLURB:

The day new Christian, Derek Spencer, shows up on Charlie Parkes’s doorstep to make up for what he’d done, is the very day he falls in love with her. But Charlie’s sister mistakes him for a home improvement contractor, and he decides to play along until he finds a way to tell her who he really is.

Charlie is attracted to Derek, but knows the attention he pays her is only flattery. How could such a great-looking guy fall for someone with a face like hers? Nevertheless, the two form a relationship that brings a joy to Charlie that’s way beyond her wildest dreams.

But what will happen when Derek’s true identity is revealed?

BUY LINK

Amazon

EXCERPT:

CHAPTER ONE

Derek Spencer grasped the steering wheel of his SUV with one hand, while searching for the address scribbled on the scrap of paper he held in the other.

Would she be willing to see him? The decision to come forward had been tough, but necessary to his peace of mind and his spiritual well-being. He wanted to make things right with Charlotte Parkes.

Spotting the house, he slowed down and pulled into the driveway. He sat in the car and stared at the small brick rancher, trying to perceive the character of the woman who lived inside. The neatly mowed lawn resembled a rich green carpet, and colorful flower beds lined the perimeter of the house. Cheerful drapes adorned the inside of the picture window in front, inviting him to exit the car and ring the doorbell. He accepted the invitation and bounded up the walk.

Barely three seconds passed when the door was torn open and an attractive young woman with a profusion of curly red hair reached out and pulled him in by the arm.

“Finally. You were supposed to be here an hour ago. What happened? Traffic jam on Route 356?”

“I…” He scratched his head. Did she know him?

“Forget it. You’re here, now. Though I’m not sure your lateness speaks well of you. If you want a job, you must be prompt.”

“But…” What on earth was she talking about?

“Shall we begin? My sister is waiting in the other room.” She strolled away, motioning for him to follow.

Having no other alternative, he complied. At least he had gotten through the door.

As they passed through the living room and dining room, Derek studied his surroundings. The place was neat, clean, and comfortable-looking. The living room set was made up of odd pieces of furniture put together in such a way it gave the illusion they were made especially to be a part of this grouping.

When he entered the kitchen, he recognized Charlotte Parkes from her picture in the newspaper. With her porcelain-smooth skin and shiny auburn hair, she looked like an angel. Engrossed in squirting colored icing through a tube onto a layer cake, she hadn’t yet noticed him.

“Charlie, the contractor’s here.” Her sister jerked a thumb in his direction.

Contractor?

Charlotte put down the decorating tool, turned full face, and smiled. “Hello, I’m Charlotte, but you can call me Charlie.” She extended one hand and touched the side of her face with the other.

Nothing prepared him for what he saw.

A flesh-colored road map scarred the left side of Charlie’s face. Her eye slanted down on the outer end, pulled into that position by the tightness of the flesh. The corner of her mouth tilted up into a perpetual half-smile. The photo in the newspaper had been taken before the accident.

How he despised himself at that very moment for his responsibility in what had happened to this once-beautiful woman.

He composed himself and obligingly took the offered hand.

“And this is my sister, Jessica,” she continued, “whom I see you’ve already met.”

“Glad to meet you both.” With difficulty, he tore his eyes away from Charlie to glance at the other woman. “I’m Derek Spencer.”

He stood looking from one to the other, at a loss for words. His throat squeezed closed. This was one of the hardest things he’d ever had to do in his life. How to begin? Taking a deep breath, he dove in, “You don’t know who I am, but I’m here for a specific reason.”

Charlie furrowed her brow at him. “Of course you’re here for a specific reason. We did ask you to come.”

“Huh?” He didn’t get it, and tried again. “What I mean is…”

“Oh, let’s cut to the chase and stop this yammering,” interrupted Jessica. “Char, we have an appointment to keep, or have you forgotten?”

She checked her watch. “Yes, you’re right, Jess.” Turning to Derek she said, “I suppose you should take a look at what we’d like done.”

“Done? I don’t . . .” He stopped. Hmm. Maybe I should play this out. Derek nodded. It could provide a lead-in as to his real reason for being there.

Charlie rose from the table. “This way.” Her movements were graceful as he followed. The light glinted off her long, touchable hair.

As he passed Jessica, she shot him a purse-lipped, slit-eyed look, then fell in behind him. Did she suspect something or just dislike his staring at her sister?

They had gone back through the dining and living rooms to a small hallway where there were two doors. Charlie opened one, revealing a long set of stairs leading to the basement and began the descent. At the bottom of the steps, Derek stopped and perused the room.

“This is it.” Charlie spread her arms to encompass the entire basement. “I’d like it made into a studio.”

“I see.” He really didn’t. Remodeling wasn’t his area of expertise. He looked around, as if evaluating what would be needed for the job. “What kind of a studio will it be?”

“A dance studio.” Charlie shrugged, as if that should have been obvious. “Ballet, specifically. I’m going to teach.”

“I see,” he repeated. Only this time he told the truth. She had once been a ballet dancer on her way to the top, before her career was so cruelly brought to a halt. The local newspapers had depicted the whole tragic story.

“Tell me what you would like done while I write it down.” He dug into his pocket and produced the notepad he always carried, a requirement of working for a magazine.

Charlie pointed out the need for hardwood flooring, floor length mirrors lining the walls, along with exercise barres in front, and a separate entrance so that her students wouldn’t have to go tramping through her home and then take the steep stairs down.

“Okay.” He finished the list with an embellishment. “I’d like to come back with my partner, so he can see firsthand what we’d be doing before giving you an estimate. Would you be agreeable to that?”

Her gray eyes narrowed slightly, and she frowned. “I…guess so.”

“Good. I’ll call you to set up a convenient time.”

She peered at him warily. “Okay. Do you have a card?”

Uh-oh. “Um . . .” He feigned feeling around in his pockets. “I’m sorry. I don’t have any with me. As you can see, I’m not dressed for an average day of work.” He indicated the fine suit he wore. “I’ve come here straight from a personal appointment. I don’t even have my truck.”

“Oh, so that explains your lateness,” piped up Jessica.

He’d forgotten she was there. She’d hung back, standing on the stairs, leaning over the railing.

“Exactly.”

She didn’t look as though she believed him.

“I’ll be in touch very shortly. You can count on it.” He strode out as if he were in a relay race.

Derek jumped into the car, breathing heavily and stared at the steering wheel.

“Spencer, what have you gotten yourself into?” He started the engine and drove off.

D Piccurelli

After years of reading books and watching movies with an element of romance, Deborah M. Piccurelli’s desire to write romance novels came naturally. She is active in her church and is an advocate for sanctity of life. Deborah is the author of two novels, a novella and several cause-related newspaper articles. She is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers, and the New Jersey Society of Christian Writers. As one of the winners in a contest by The Christian Authors Show, details of Deborah’s writing journey can be found in the 2013-2014 edition of the book, 50 Great Writers You Should Be Reading. Deborah lives in New Jersey with her husband and their two sons.

AUTHOR WEB CONTACT LINKS:

www.deborahmpiccurelli.com

Twitter – @DebPiccurelli

Facebook –  www.facebook.com/deborah.piccurelli

Pinterest.com/DebPiccurelli

Google + – Debbie Piccurelli

 

GIVEAWAY: 3 electronic copies gifted to names chosen from those who leave a comment

Release Day–Present For A Cowboy

_Present for a Cowboy_web I’m thrilled to have my story, Clari’s Hero, included in this anthology of sweet-to-sensual western historical romances with a Christmas setting. Joining me are Lorrie Farrelly, Gail L. Jenner, Sarah McNeal, and Livia J. Washburn. Christmas is on the way and our western heroines are in search of the perfect PRESENT FOR A COWBOY! Livia J. Washburn’s TINSELTOWN kicks off this exciting holiday collection. Set in the “Roaring ’20’s” in Hollywood, western movie actor Pecos must rescue a young woman in danger—and finds love in the bargain. The rescue of a young, abused boy in Gail L. Jenner’s JUST IN TIME FOR CHRISTMAS opens the door to love for a young woman and a loner who has sworn off relationships. Linda Carroll-Bradd’s CLARI’S HERO features a man who views himself as anything but a hero—and a woman who shows him otherwise, and Lorrie Farrelly’s CHRISTMAS TREASURE is an unexpected gift that can’t be measured in gold. In Sarah J. McNeal’s story, a lonely widow’s perceived indiscretion may cost her and her cowboy their happiness WHEN LOVE COMES KNOCKING. Blurb for Clari’s Hero Relocating to Texas has alleviated Clari Rochester’s health problems, and she yearns for adventure. And she spots it outside her relative’s mercantile when a quiet, but compelling, cowboy rescues a small child. Trevor Driscoll is the type of hero she’s come to admire through her love of books, and the type of man she secretly pens in her dime novels. But they’ve never had a real conversation.  Trevor knows the logging accident that left him with only eight fingers limits his options, but he’s learned to manage. Until he rescues a fine lady from a runaway horse, spends the afternoon transporting her to safety, and gets a glimpse of what he’s always wanted. How will he respond to the unique present this special woman bestows? BUY LINKS Amazon Smashwords ENTER the rafflecopter giveaway below for a chance to win one of two ecopies of this anthology. Contest open through midnight, November 30th. Prizes to be announced and awarded on Monday, December 1st.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Sale promotion of Rogue’s Son

Rogue’s Son by Darcy Flynn on sale for $.99 through 11/28/14

RoguesSon6_850

Blurb:

Tough, driven Kit Kendall replaced her frills and dresses with no-nonsense haircuts and wranglers, years ago. As owner of Sage Brush, the once-thriving west Texas bed and breakfast ranch, she now struggles daily to keep her business afloat. Since McCabe Resort Lodge reopened next door as a multi-million dollar hotel, her financial difficulties compound, as she suffers one cancellation after another.

Just when she thought things couldn’t get any worse, Kit’s childhood sweetheart-turned-nemesis returns as the new owner of the resort that’s now putting her out of business, resurrecting memories she thought she’d buried long ago.

Cowboy- entrepreneur Sam Dawson has returned to Sugar Creek, Texas after six years of exile with a secret that could destroy Kit’s happiness. He left town because of it and for the past two years has secretly tried to make it right. Having failed, he now returns to make one last attempt to undo the tangled web created by his father.

Set in motion by his father’s Last Will and Testament and with the clock ticking, Sam has only weeks to convince Kit to sell him her ranch, or reveal the truth that will break her heart.

Excerpt.

Sam could tell she was spitting mad. He watched her jerk the seatbelt over her chest several times before he reached over to click it into place.

He straightened up and glanced at her as he turned into the street. “Is that steam I see coming from your ears?”

Kit responded by snapping her arms across her chest.

He heaved a sigh and shook his head. “She told you, didn’t she?”

Kit didn’t say a word she just stared out the window.

“I’m sorry you had to find out that way. I was going to stop by tonight and tell you myself.”

“How thoughtful of you. So. What do you want?”

“Sorry?”

“For access to the land. Otherwise my guests have no place to hunt or fish.”

“Sell me the road frontage I need.” He’d deliberately forced her hand and hated himself for it. But far better for her to part with a few measly acres than lose everything. And if she ended up hating him in the process then so be it. He cursed both their fathers under his breath.

Kit’s mouth fell open and she slowly turned to face him, hoarse laughter tumbling from her lips.

“You’ve got to be kidding. After this stunt, do you really think I’d sell an inch of my property to you? One Kendall made the mistake of caving to a Dawson’s blackmail, but let me assure you, this one won’t.”

He hated what he was about to do. Hated to force her hand, but she gave him no choice. When did she become so stubborn? Gritting his teeth, he continued.

“Then I won’t allow you to use the Lowman property for access. You’ll be forced to shut down. Sage Brush will close. You’ll be through. You’ll lose your property to the bank when they foreclose. Then it’ll only be a matter of time before I have it all anyway. Is that really what you want?”

“Why you no good, conniving, lowlife.”

“Look at it this way, if I get the road frontage I need, then you get to stay in business. It’s a win-win.”

They slowed to a stop outside of her house.

Kit opened the truck door then turned to face him.

“You would actually do that? You’d put Trip and Jake out of work? And what about Maggie? Have you even thought of her?”

“I told you, you wouldn’t like it.”

Amazon Buy Link

Social Links:

Website/Blog: www.darcyflynnromances.com

Twitter: https://twitter.com/darcyflynn

Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/DarcyFlynnAuthor

Amazon Author Page: http://www.amazon.com/-/e/B0077AG3ZM

Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/2975929.Darcy_Flynn

Pinterest: http://pinterest.com/dflynnauthor/boards/

Google+: https://plus.google.com/116563609469381811624/posts?tab=XX