Today’s my featured spotlight on N.N. Light’s Book Heaven’s Fall into These Great Reads Bookathon. Highlighted is Laced By Love, Book 1 in the Entertainers of the West series. Click over to here and enter for a chance at winning a $150 Amazon gift card. Rafflecopter drawing ends September 30 with the winner being announced on October 1st.
My stories featuring bits and pieces of Halloween are varied. From most recently published to a bit more seasoned, they are:
Wandering Home, Book 1 of “Dorado, Texas” series (a 19,000 word historical novella)
Widow Vevina Bernhard sees mysterious lights at night and believes her Texas ranch Shady Oaks is haunted. She needs protection for herself and her 4-year old son but the town’s sheriff offers no help. On hiatus from his Texas Ranger duties, Kell Hawksen hires on as a farrier at the ranch while keeping an eye out for clues to a stagecoach robber in hopes of collecting the bounty. On Samhain, fire erupts and Vevina and Kell battle both the danger and the depth of their feelings.
Unlocked Treasure, a 15,000 word contemporary novella
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 at the Halloween Midnight Organ Recital forces a decision. Will Aleen play things safe or accept what this free-spirited man offers?
Unlocked Treasure also appears verbatim in Hauntings In The Garden, Vol 2, a 4-author anthology of mixed genre Halloween-related stories.
Bewitching Gypsy (a 7,700 word historical story) in Spooktacular Seductions, an 8-author anthology
Fiona Mikolas is an outcast—branded by her fiery red hair and a purple birth mark—forced to live 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 tracks his stolen stallion and stumbles toward a campfire in south Texas. He awakens, suffering from amnesia and is intrigued by the mysterious beauty to look beneath the surface to who she really is.
Injured ballerina Savina Lombard seeks refuge on her cousin’s ranch outside Morgan’s Crossing, Montana Territory until her foot heals. A dashing horse breeder/trainer arrives for his annual summer visit. Estefan del Vado comes from a family who raised championship trotters and his goal is to prove to his father the value of his cross-breeds. To accomplish that, he needs to win one of the season’s pacer harness races. On the Rolling M Ranch to train, he’s distracted by the delicate beauty who is determined that trick riding will be her new career. Using her dancing skills atop galloping horses is sure to win her a spot in Buffalo Bill’s Wild West exhibition. For a few glorious weeks, they share an enjoyment of the horses and getting acquainted. But when the time comes to pursue their separate goals, Savina and Estefan are split apart, geographically and emotionally. How will they discover a path they both can walk?
Above is my cover for Perfectly Mismatched, the first book in a new multi-author historical romance series called “Sweethearts of Jubilee Springs.” The first three novellas involve mail-order brides coming as a group to a Colorado silver mining town. Four stories will launch the series on June 20th with two more the following week, and additional single releases are scheduled through the summer.
Perfectly Mismatched–A shamed socialite on the run has to choose a husband and fast. Will her groom be the safe unsophisticated choice or the discerning one who might see beneath her façade?
Get your copy at the pre-order sale price of only 99 cents
Other titles in the launch are:
Aaron’s Annulment Bride by Zina Abbott buy Amazon
Ellen’s Bargain by Patricia PacJac Carroll buy Amazon
The Sheriff and the Miner’s Daughter by P.A. Estelle buy Amazon
What is the starting point for research—story concept or when you get stuck while writing?
Research is a tricky subject. I can get lost for hours so I now use a simple technique to keep the story flowing. In my first draft, I type the word RESEARCH in big bold letters when I need a solid fact. An example of this is in Harper’s Place. Since the story is set in New York City, the snow fall accumulation had to be right. I wrote the story, added a realistic amount of snow for a snow storm and upped the believability Harper and Patrick’s romance.
Can you share a tip about what you do when you get stuck in creating a story?
Writer’s block involves smacking my head against the table, repeatedly until the blood vessels in my head have opened up. I’m just kidding. When writer’s block hits, I will find myself reading the story over again from the beginning, letting myself feel all the emotions the characters feel. Usually, this is enough to clear up any writer’s block and let me proceed.
What was your biggest surprise in the editing/revision process?
Editing and revision can be fun. I like to restructure the story after I’ve made a rather terrible first draft. Each editing pass brings the story I’m working on closer to the original vision I intended. So I think I am most surprised at how much I enjoy editing something I’ve created.
What resources do you use for picking character names?
Baby name sites are wonderful for character naming, and I’ve more than one bookmarked. I can get stuck for hours finding the perfect name, so Baby Name sites become invaluable.
What do you hope readers gain from your stories?
I hope my readers enjoy the stories I write for them. I want them to forget about reality as they roam through the worlds I’ve created.
Describe a normal writing day (or period, if you have other employment obligations).
I’d love to say I can devote an entire day to writing. I try to maximize the time I have. If I only have an hour or so, I’ll do light editing. I find that real creativity takes time and quiet and the ability to let myself be bored so that my imagination can explode.
Harper Grey is fed up with over-bearing men.
Her father wants to sell the family hamburger joint to her brother because a woman could never make it successful.
Harper knows she has the same flair for business as her mother, and sexy Navy SEAL Patrick O’Brien dares her to prove it to the world.
When duty calls and Patrick must leave her side, will Harper be strong enough to make her dream a reality?
“How would you bring in new business, though?”
I’m amazed that he seems to find our conversation interesting. He’s an audience willing to listen and I’ve not had that in a long time. Damn this crush of mine. It won’t be easy to tame after tonight.
“New menu items, specials, things like that. Start serving dessert, like pies. Easy cook items. With the new burgers, I’ve created and a new décor, I’d open in the summer when the air is fresh and everyone is happy to be out of the snow, hungry for grilled food. I think we could do fine.”
“What’s your hold up?”
“Tony, Dad. It’s complicated.” I shrug. His arm feels good, and I have the overwhelming urge to nuzzle against it. “Did you kiss Amy Parker when you were twelve? She still brags about it.” Did I just ask him about kissing? What is wrong with me? Will this mouth of mine never shut up? Stop it, Stop it, stop it!
“That I did, in a closet over at Robert Anderson’s house.”
“I was twelve and desperate. You can’t blame me. I do blame that stupid soda bottle. And your first kiss?” There is a challenge in his voice.
“Kevin Monroe at the Klines Movie Theater. He sent me a six-page note the next day about how much he loved me, and I freaked out and dumped him.”
I choke back a giggle. “Naw, ‘cept I remember I liked his cologne. It could have been aftershave, but it was nice.” It’s not half as nice as the Aramis that Patrick has on. Something about it sends a shiver up my spine that has nothing to do with the zombie waiting in Dad’s office.
“The dark isn’t so bad, now is it?”
“I guess not.”
Silence surrounds us. The fear that enveloped me seems to disappear.
“Are you seeing anyone?”
“No.” It sounds terrible now that I’ve said it out loud. Like I’m admitting to being a desperate and dateless leper.
“So,” he drawls out, “ever thought of dating a military guy?” He squeezes my fingers.
Is he serious?
His fingertip smooths over the rough callouses I’ve gained from years of hard work. Suddenly my wasted evening of not going out to celebrate is starting to look better. “I think it would depend on which military guy.”
“You’re killing me. You know that, don’t you?” His strangled tone only sets off a case of the giggles.
“Are you asking me out, Patrick?”
“Trying to, but you’re not making it easy.” The challenge is back in his voice.
“I wouldn’t mind a date or two,” I manage to squeak out. Breathe, Harper, just breathe, calmly through your nose, out your mouth. Sainted Mother of God, Patrick asked me out! I hit the jackpot! Now all I have to do is not hit him.
In a small town outside of Anchorage, Sheryl Winters can be found penning her next novel with her two cats and one dog at her side. On sunny days, she can be found in Hatcher’s Pass about an hour outside of Anchorage.
Sheryl is a firm believer that superheroes are among us—regular people whose actions “create beauty out of chaos.” Sheryl is an advocate in the fight against bullying.
Loving The Book Tour for the sweet historical romance series, Grandma’s Wedding Quilts, starts today Monday, March 27, and runs through Saturday, April 8.
Join the Facebook event to learn tidbits about each of the 11 historical stories and the contemporary prequel that introduces the series. Each day one of the stories and the author will be highlighted. So you’ll get a chance to “meet” that author and learn about her, as well as get insights into her novella in the series.
Sometimes, to remember all that is best and bright about love, you must go home.
After being dumped by her boyfriend of two years, there is nothing that Sarah Jepsom dreads more than going back home to her marriage-obsessed mother. To make matters worse, it’s for her little sister’s fairytale wedding on none other than Valentine’s Day. The only positive note is it will also be a chance to see her dear friend Mark for the first time in a year.
Sarah’s Bridezilla sister Valerie takes it upon herself to invite Sarah’s old high school boyfriend to be her date for the wedding. Nathan is set on renewing their relationship, but old feelings remind Sarah why it didn’t work the first time. When Mark confesses his long-held feelings for her, Sarah is angry and convinced that romance is not for her. Then, her father reminds her of all that is best and bright about love, that can often be found right under our noses.
Roane Publishing (other links listed on publisher site)
$25 Roane Publishing Gift Card, Bracelet with charm from Sweet Inspiration, Hot cocoa mixes and mug from The Crimson Curse
or go the contest link on Rafflecopter site
Laura Lamoreaux is a licensed clinical psychologist, and she drew from her work in therapy to show what living with a mental illness is really like.
LINK: Twitter – @laura_lamoreaux
T.L. French is a Junior High English teacher, and provided all of the teaching details included in the story.
LINK: Twitter – @ticilsmith
Romances are perfect for Valentine’s Day because the stories are always about how two people come together after overcoming their differences or compromising on conflicting goals because the love they have for one another is stronger.
A story in my backlist perfect for a Valentine’s Day read is When Lonely Hearts Meet, Book 2 in the “Sugar & Spice Bakery” series.
Clover Damone travels to Dorado, Texas to handle a family member’s estate. A trip to the Sugar & Spice Bakery involves a mysterious gift—a cowboy gingerbread man cookie. The farmhouse is filled with items that display her aunt & uncle’s enduring love. If only she could find a love like that…
Rancher Wade Pallaton comes to the rescue of an attractive woman in distress…in the paint aisle of a home improvement store. One look sparks his interest, one he thought had died a decade earlier. Divorce made them gun shy about relationships but can Lasso-A-Heart online dating emails entice them to reveal the secrets of their lonely hearts?
BUY LINK only 99cents
Start with a free copy of Gingerbread Wishes, Book 1 of the “Sugar & Spice Bakery” series
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Hi Linda, Thank you so much for having me on your blog today!
Tell us a bit about you and your background
I was born and raised in Connecticut where I still live today. I’m married with two kids, and I work full-time for a software company that builds solutions for people in the Finance industry. It’s often challenging to find time to write, but it’s totally worth the effort.
Is your writing style planned or freestyle?
I’m a planner, but I allow my plan to go off the rails if it seems like the right thing to do. I start off by creating a loose outline with all the major turning points of the story, then break it out into scenes. Once I start writing the actual manuscript, I don’t freak out if the story wants to veer off elsewhere. I readjust as I go.
Describe a normal writing day (or period, if you have other employment obligations)
My alarm goes off when it’s still pitch black outside. It’s so early my dog doesn’t even acknowledge it. I slip out of bed, make a large cup of coffee and head to my office. This is a spare room that my awesome husband converted into a writing den for me (yes, I know I’m a lucky gal J).
I proceed to write until it’s time for the kids to get up and ready for school. I get them moving and I get ready for the rest of the day, too. There’s a small window where everyone is all set and I don’t need to leave yet, so I sneak back into the office and use the precious minutes to my advantage.
Once time is up, I head to the day job. I’m usually too beat after work to go back to writing in the evening, but I’ll do it if I’m working on a deadline.
Do you write in a genre other than the one of this release?
Yes! I write in a number of genres. The Crimson Curse is fantasy, a fairy tale retelling of Beauty and the Beast, but I also write YA, sci-fi, and contemporary romance. The one common thread in all of my writing is that I focus on relationships. So, whether my character is a cursed woman in search of true love, an aspiring ballerina who discovers she needs to save the world, or the President’s daughter who falls in love with a galactic garbage man, I try to paint a vivid picture of who is important to them in their world and try to show what they are willing to do for those people.
Are you a pet person? If so, what do you have?
I am a pet person for sure. About three years ago, we rescued a brown and white Siberian Husky. A group of teenagers had found her wandering on the side of the road and took her to a vet. I have a friend who’s involved in helping animals find forever homes, and she told me about this one. My husband and I had another husky before this one, and we adored her. I wasn’t sure if I’d ever be able to have another dog, because I was so heartbroken when she passed.
For anyone who isn’t familiar with this breed, they are very head strong and super stubborn. It turns out this dog had two other homes before us and had been abandoned. My friend asked if I was ready for another dog, and if I wanted to meet her. We decided right away to take her home with us. We had a shaky start, and had to work through some issues because of her past, but it all worked out in the end. She is almost always by my side. It’s so rewarding to know that we saved her and were able to give her the home that she needed.
What do you hope readers gain from your stories?
There are two things I hope a reader can gain from my stories. The first would be a chance to escape from reality for a bit. When I’m immersed in a good book, it’s as if the entire world falls away and I’m living in the story. It’s my hope that I can somehow do the same for others. The other thing would be for the reader to feel, to experience whatever emotion my character is feeling in that moment, too. If I’m able to invoke a spark of happiness, anger, or fear, then I feel like I’ve done my job as a writer.
Cursed and disfigured, Calliope must find true love before the final leaf falls from the Enchanted Tree. Being bound to her mansion on the outskirts of town leaves her with little hope.
Abandoned by his wife for a wealthy man, Bastian only needs one female in his life, his five-year-old daughter, Yareena. When she goes missing during a raging fire, fate brings him to a strange place where he encounters a woman wearing a golden mask.
An attack by rogues puts Bastian in Calliope’s care. As he struggles against pride and prejudice, Bastian can’t ignore his growing attraction to the kind soul behind the mask.
Yareena and the mansion staff do their best at matchmaking, but Calliope can’t reveal her darkest secret. Will Bastian discover her true beauty before it’s too late?
Calliope returned her attention to Bastian, grasping his shoulder with a gentle hand and giving him a small shake. When he didn’t stir, she considered how she could clean the wound without undressing him as he slept. She had never taken off a man’s clothing before, and she hardly wanted her first time to be when he wasn’t even aware of her actions. But, no other options seemed available. She started at the bottom button of his shirt, working her way up with trembling fingers, and spreading the fabric apart when the last of the buttons slipped free.
Her eyes roamed his upper body. While she was supposed to be assessing the extent of his injuries, she couldn’t deny the flash of heat that blasted through her at the sight of his bare skin.
She dipped a washcloth in the basin that Mrs. Widdleworth left on the night table, wringing out the excess water. As she dabbed at the gash near his naval, his vulnerability in that moment struck her in a way she had not expected. After their first encounter, she would have predicted his ego to get in the way, choosing to bleed to death in the cold rather than accept anything from her.
Although he suffered a serious injury, his daughter seemed to remain his utmost concern. Could his earlier ill-temper have been an unusual display? A behavior born out of fear for his daughter’s safety?
Maybe she had been wrong about him.
She pressed her lips together, allowing the notion to sink in as she dropped the bloody fabric off to the side, and proceeded to stitch the wound with shaky fingers. When the task was complete, she picked up a fresh cloth to use as a dressing. Relief washed over her as she inspected the area before covering it up. The slice in his flesh went deep, but not nearly as deep as she initially feared. She positioned the bandage and fixed it in place, her gaze catching a thin trail of hair that started under the center of his chest, following the way it continued lower down his body, and even further yet where it dipped beneath his trousers.
“It’s been a long time since a woman has laid her hands on me,” Bastian said, his voice rough.
Calliope jumped, heat infusing her cheeks. “My apologies if this offends. Marcus doesn’t fare well with blood. I had to care for your injury myself.” Her eyes met his, and to her surprise, no anger seemed to stir there.
“I was only teasing.” He swallowed hard, appearing to bite back the immense discomfort he had to be feeling. “Thank you.”
She inclined her head. “You’re welcome.”
“I shouldn’t have been so terse with you earlier. Yareena is my life, and when I couldn’t find her, well…” He reached for his face, pressing the heel of his hand against his jaw. “I lost my sense for a short while. I apologize.”
Melissa J. Crispin lives in Connecticut with her husband, two kids, and an adorable Siberian Husky. She spends her days in the corporate world, and pursues her passion for writing in the late nights and early mornings.
From micro-fiction to novels, Melissa loves to write stories in varying lengths. But, no matter the story, it’s almost always about the romance.
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