Tag Archives: The Wild Rose Press

Guest Release Promotion of The Mason’s Mark by M.S. Spencer

Thank you so much for having me at Musings about the Writing Life, Linda. Several of my romantic suspense/murder mystery books are set in Alexandria, Virginia, a colonial town on the Potomac River across from Washington, DC, where I lived for many years. The Mason’s Mark: Love and Death in the Tower, is one of those novels.

GeorgeWashingtonMuseum in Masonic Memorial

Most of The Mason’s Mark, is set at the George Washington National Masonic Memorial in Alexandria, Virginia. The 330-foot-tall building has three sections—the ground level, the main floor, and the tower. The tower holds six progressively smaller rooms. The top level opens to an observation deck, from which visitors can see all of Alexandria and Washington, DC—or, if you’re my heroine, find a dead body.

The fourth floor contains a museum dedicated to George Washington. Washington served as the Charter (first) Master of the Alexandria lodge, and many of his letters and memorabilia are housed here, including the Washington family Bible. Since our heroine and hero meet in the museum, it follows that the Mason’s Mark would involve long-lost papers, distant family scandals, and academic intrigue concerning our first President. Delicious mystery and even more delicious romance ensue.

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In the worst first day at work ever, newly minted docent Claire Wilding’s carefully memorized spiel is interrupted by the discovery of a dead body. As she deals with a smitten police detective, a hunky Senator, shadowy black ops agents, and two eccentric mothers, she learns more than she ever expected to about jewels and pennies, renegade Italian Masons, and our first President’s family secrets. Along the way she discovers that first love is not always the right love.

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EXCERPT

When they reached Prince Street, Gideon found a parking spot directly in front of her house, no small feat. Just one more way he’s special, thought Claire glumly. He walked her to her door. She unlocked it and turned to thank him, but he was already on his way to his car.

Ichabod greeted her with a snarl.

“I know. I forgot to feed you. Come on, Icky.” She found a can of cat food and emptied it into his bowl. Then she poured herself a large glass of water and took it to the living room to conduct an analysis of the soiree.

So at any point did I come across as even semi-coherent? She tried to hack through the warm, fuzzy blanket of the evening. Gideon had been the perfect gentleman, ordering foie gras and champagne, pointing out the constellations with obvious expertise, helping her in and out of the car. It all seemed so…unreal. Like he was acting a part. Too perfect. And he’d sucked her in like soda through a straw. She slapped her forehead, forgetting that she still held the glass. Water sluiced across her face and ran down her front. She mopped it up with some tissues and vowed to hit the antique stores that weekend. I’ve got to get a coffee table. Preferably one with cup holders.

The doorbell rang. With the disintegrating tissue pressed to her face, she stood on tiptoe to check the peephole and looked straight into an unblinking sea-green ocean. Gideon. After a minute she remembered to open the door.

He stared at her with concern. “Are you all right?”

Claire pulled the tissue away and noticed black streaks on it. Her mascara must have run. Oh no, I bet he thinks I’ve been crying. She rubbed her eyes, hoping that wasn’t making it worse. “Fine. I spilled a glass of water, that’s all.”

“Oh.” He stood, shifting his weight from one foot to the other. “Um, could I come in for a minute?”

She pointed at the living room and backed away, then turned and leapt up the steps. A quick look in the mirror confirmed her suspicions. I look like something Ichabod’s been playing with. She fixed her face, wrung out her blouse, and returned with renewed aplomb.

Gideon filled the small space. Claire sidled around him and sat on a packing crate. He looked around the room. “So…er, have you just moved in?”

“Yes.” It struck her that he was more uncomfortable than she and drew strength from that. “About a week ago. Sorry about the mess. Won’t you have a seat?”

He dropped down on the loveseat but immediately sprang back up. He patted his rear, flummoxed. “Why am I wet?”

Claire put a hand to her mouth to suppress the giggle. “Ooh, I’m sorry. I forgot. That’s where I spilled the water. Here, let me.”

She retrieved a towel from the kitchen and began to dab at the dark blotch on his khakis. He stood it for a minute, then put a hand under her chin and lifted her up. “You’d better stop doing that. This is hard enough for me.” He blinked. “Do you…do you know how beautiful you are?”

The question threw her. How to respond? Yes? No? Tell me more? She decided to let him talk.

“Your eyes are the color of the deepest part of the Caribbean Sea on a cloudless day. I could sink into them and drown.” He touched her brow. “And these little cinnabar ringlets framing that soft, creamy face…” He wrapped one around his finger. “Wind one up tight and it could strangle me.” He took her hand. “Your fingers—so slim and delicate, like little stilettos. Sharp enough to gouge an eye out.”

Claire stepped away from him, bewildered. “You make me sound like a vicious animal. Why?”

His hands dropped to his sides. “Because I sense how dangerous you are.”

“Dangerous?”

“To me. Claire…I—” He gazed at her helplessly.

Someone had better take charge.

M. S. Spencer Author (2)

Although she has lived or traveled in every continent except Antarctica and Australia (bucket list), M. S. Spencer has spent the last thirty years mostly in Washington, D.C. as a librarian, Congressional staff assistant, speechwriter, editor, birdwatcher, kayaker, policy wonk, non-profit director and parent. Blessed with two fabulous grown children and an adorable grandchild, she has published ten romantic suspense/mystery novels. She now divides her time between the Florida Gulf coast and a tiny hamlet in Maine.

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Guest Interview–Maureen Bonatch

What’s the logline that describes your writing?

It’s interesting that you ask that question since I’ve recently had my website and my logline updated. Previously it was, “Making the Ordinary Extraordinary and Laughing all the Way”.  My new one is, “Stories with Hocus Pocus and All That.”

I believe both capture the essence of my writing, which is humorous paranormal and fantasy romance.

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

My characters always start the story. Sometimes I don’t even know their names when they begin telling me their story.

Is your writing style planned or freestyle?

As you can see from my answer above, my writing is freestyle (or panster as some refer to it–I write by the seat of my pants.) I’ve tried to force myself to plan out part of my story to reduce editing after, but most of the time my characters have minds of their own, lol.

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

Most of my stories feature small towns surrounded by dense wooded areas (a great place to tuck away all kinds of secrets). I draw from my home to create the settings, although I don’t use any specific locations.

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

Yes, definitely. I currently have a Shih Tzu, or I should say, he has us, lol. Scruff’s been with our family for four years now. Prior to that, we had a Lhasa Apso for 14+ years. My girls have had an array of other critters over the years—guinea pigs, hermit crabs, fish and a hamster. My husband is allergic to cats, or I’m sure one might’ve been in the mix as well.

What do you hope readers gain from your stories?

I hope readers find a relaxing escape from the everyday. That they might laugh a little and wander out of the comfort zone of their imagination. That they might appreciate those around them once they look a little closer and see the extraordinary concealed within.

EvilSpeaksSoftly_Oct 11

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They were never supposed to meet. Fame came easy for Liv by following in the footsteps of the female writers in her family. The cycle repeated for decades…until Liv changed the story. Her villain doesn’t like the revision—and he isn’t a fictional character. In his story, the bad guy always wins.

They were never supposed to find love. Liv never questioned her demanding nocturnal muse, or the strange incidents in her old, family home until she met Gage. His job was to watch her from afar, not reveal the truth about the curse and the stories of the dead. They’ve broken all the rules. Together they unravel secrets as they strive to stop the cycle. Liv’s ability to find love, and protect her loved ones, hangs on the fickle whims of the dead—and they’ve got nothing to lose.

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EXCERPT

“I met this strange man at the bar last night. He told me some really weird stuff.” I paused. When she remained silent, I continued. “He said it was related to my writing.” She watched me with the fascination of one who desperately wanted to look away but couldn’t. As if a deer blinded to the oncoming headlights, she was fixated, trapped. “He said to talk to you.”

I searched her face. I knew my Grams. When resignation settled on her features a knot clenched in my stomach from either fear, or the excitement of validating Gage didn’t fabricate the story. Perhaps he wasn’t crazy.

Grams slowly closed her eyes and opened them again. “He found you?”

I nodded.

She turned to stare out the frosted window where the birdfeeder sat frozen over from the recent snow. “I can’t believe he took that risk. Watchers are never to approach the Recorders. It could totally upset the balance.” She worried her lower lip between her teeth.

When she used the same terms as Gage, my anxiety elevated. I expected her to deny his claims and then we’d laugh about the incident. “Grams, please tell me. I don’t know what you’re talking about.” I took a deep breath. “Some weird things happened last night. Occasionally I notice unusual things, but it’s an old house and I have an active imagination, but this time it scared me.”

Added note: This manuscript placed second in the 2015 Golden Palm Contest of the Florida Romance Writers—Paranormal category

maureenbonatch

Maureen Bonatch grew up in small town Pennsylvania and her love of the four seasons—hockey, biking, sweat pants and hibernation—keeps her there. While immersed in writing or reading paranormal romance and fantasy, she survives on caffeine, wine, music, and laughter. A feisty Shih Tzu keeps her in line.

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Guest Release Promotion–In The Moment by Jennifer Wilck

In the Moment, my latest contemporary romance published by The Wild Rose Press, was inspired by a tour of a local Victorian mansion that my girls and I took. The house was for sale, and as we wandered the three floors admiring the woodwork, molding and features unique to Victorian mansions, I couldn’t help but wonder about the people who used to live there. Their history seemed to ooze from the very walls and floors. I would have given anything to buy the house, finish the renovations and live there, but unfortunately it was out of my price range. So instead, I decided to set my next book there. It is now the main setting of In the Moment and I enjoyed revisiting the house through pictures as I wrote. I worked really hard on the cover with the cover artist—I wanted to convey the tone of the book and include the house—I think she did a great job!

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Cassie Edwards, a former foster child, purchases an 1870s Victorian mansion, the one home from her childhood where she felt like part of a family. She’s spending her summer lovingly restoring it, with dreams of one day raising a family of her own here. Rayne Tucket, a photojournalist, is haunted by the death of his best friend in Afghanistan, a death he thinks is his fault. He survives day to day. Forever is not in his vocabulary. Swearing off photography, he answers an ad for a handyman—mindless, no emotion involved. As the two of them renovate her house, can Cassie show Rayne that love is strong enough to heal all wounds?

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EXCERPT:

The intimate closeness made her stomach flutter. The proximity of their bodies, the rush of the water, and his feathering touch on her lips made her dizzy. She gripped his arms for support. He grasped her waist, staring deep in her eyes.

He was going to kiss her. She knew it. His pupils dilated. Time slowed. The rushing water pounded around her. She opened her mouth, as much to drink in air as to get ready to kiss him back. His eyes narrowed, focused on her lips. She leaned toward him. Their wet bodies pressed against each other. Her breasts tingled, and her stomach heated at the contact. She wanted this to go on forever, but at the same time, she wanted him to hurry up and kiss her so their lips could finally meet. At the last possible second, he pushed away.

She stood there, confused and aching.

“I’m not the staying kind, Cassie.”

She frowned. “What do you mean?”

“A woman like you needs a man who’ll stay forever. My time here has an expiration date.”

She ducked under the water. When she came up, she pushed her hair out of her face. “I know you’re leaving. You don’t have to, though.”

“Yes, I do.”

“Why?”

“Because I have a promise to keep.”

“What kind of promise?”

“The unbreakable kind.”

J Wilck

Jennifer started telling herself stories as a little girl when she couldn’t fall asleep at night. Her favorite stories to write are those with smart, sassy, independent heroines; handsome, strong and slightly vulnerable heroes; and her stories always end with happily ever after.

In the real world, she’s the mother of two amazing daughters and wife of one of the smartest men she knows. When she’s not writing, she loves to laugh with family and friends, is a pro at finding whatever her kids lost in plain sight, and spends way too much time closing doors that should never have been left open. She believes humor is the only way to get through the day and doesn’t share her chocolate.

She writes contemporary romance, some of which are mainstream and some of which involve Jewish characters. All are available through Amazon and Barnes & Noble.

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GIVEAWAY:  One commenter randomly selected will receive an e-book copy of her backlist title, Addicted to Love.

Guest Release Promotion–Fill the Stadium by K.M. Daughters

Fill The Stadium

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Nikki Lambert’s husband purposely stalls his truck in the path of the midnight freight on the same day her eldest son, Jack, is diagnosed with a rare genetic disorder.

Injured NFL quarterback, Ramsey Delaney, is benched from his starting position, leaving him ample time for more hands-on involvement in The Good Sports Club, a community center he established where Nikki’s sons, Jack and Rocky, are enrolled.

Jack’s deteriorating motor skills concern Ram’s employees who bar Jack from attending the club without Ram’s knowledge. Nikki wants nothing but normalcy for Jack, and she heatedly confronts Ram for depriving her son of a beloved activity. Ram immediately reinstates Jack, forging the fateful bond between Nikki and her boys’ number-one sports hero. Ram is instantly attracted to Nikki. He wants to win her heart more than he’s ever wanted to win a game. But after her husband’s terrible abandonment, will Nikki trust Ram’s motives and open her heart to love again?

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EXCERPT

“It’s not funny Ram. How dare you hire people to tear up my house without my knowledge? What the hell were you thinking?”

Shrugging his shoulders he replied, “I don’t know. That I’m helping you?”

She dragged her fingers through her hair.

His stomach tightened. He yearned to thread his fingers through her silky hair, too. In the next second he questioned his motives once more, something he had done repeatedly since she had stormed his office the first time. Ram still remained satisfied that he wasn’t trying to buy or to manipulate her affections. Whether or not she’d ever see him the way that he saw her, Ram had to help Jack. The compulsion had become near obsession. He’d spend his last dime and would have fought anyone who had tried to stop him, including Nikki.

Nikki pinned him with a penetrating glare, tense and unsmiling.

“Say something,” he said.

“I can take care of my son.”

“I never said you couldn’t. No one could give Jack better care than you. I just want you to let me help you.”

She wagged her head, no. “It’s too much Ram. I can’t accept it.”

“I think it might be a little late to refuse.” He smiled but the dark stare she gave him had him back stepping, “Look,” he said, holding his palms up in supplication, “Let’s be honest. I have been paid an obscene amount of money to play football. More than I will ever need. I have the money to fix up your house for Jack, and you don’t have money to spare. It’s nothing. It’s what friends do for each other.”

“You’re out of your mind. It’s too much.” Her chest heaved. She sighed and he detected a slight softening in her eyes and a minuscule slackening of her shoulders.

Encouraged Ram paced a step closer. “What can I say? I’m just a dumb jock.”

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Guest Release Promotion–Angels Fly By Donna Simoneta

Angels Fly is the third book I wrote, but it is the first one that was published. Prior to this I had written high fantasy romance—think fairies, were-creatures, witches. With Angels Fly I wanted to combine two genres I enjoy reading, a contemporary romance with fantasy elements.

AngelsFly_June 30

 

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After her husband’s death, Kelly believes her romantic life is done. Until she reconnects with her girlhood crush on social media, and as fate would have it, he lives across the street.

James is over the whole true-love thing. His grasping ex-wife tore that belief out of him. Then he finds out his first love moved to San Diego, and their attraction burns as hot as ever.

What they don’t know is that Fate didn’t bring them together – the Guardian Angel Corps did, led by two unlikely Cupids – Kelly’s late husband and Zane, a rough and tumble, 19th century cowboy.

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EXCERPT

She flashed a bright smile at her old friend.  “I sent a friend request to Susie Davidson, and I want to see if she’s responded.”

“Susie Davidson,” Grace’s voice dripped with disdain, “we didn’t badger you into doing this so you could reconnect with Susie Davidson.”

“Hey, what’ve you got against old Susie? She was an integral part of our nerd squad in high school,” David said. “Right, Kel?”

When she didn’t reply, he glanced over at his old friend to see her frozen at her computer, all the color drained from her face. “Kel, what’s wrong?”

“I didn’t hear from Susie, but I did get a message from James Flynn,” she whispered.

David jumped to his feet and peeked over her shoulder at the computer screen. “Yummy James Flynn from Rye?”

Grace snickered, “Sounds like a sandwich. I’ll have a Yummy James Flynn on rye. Hold the mayo.”

Kelly and David swung their heads in unison to stare at her.

“What? It’s not my fault you two come from a town named after a bread.”

David shook his head mournfully and intoned, “Californians.”

“Native, baby.”  The blonde woman grinned playfully, “And don’t you New England Yankees forget it.”

“What does he say, Kel?” David asked with interest.

Kelly gulped, “He wanted to get in touch and maybe meet for a drink.”  She twisted her head to look up at David, her eyes huge on her pale face, “He lives here, David. In San Diego.”

Donna Simonetta_June 30

After working in business world for years, I became a school librarian, and am now living my dream as an author. I live in Maryland, with my husband, who is my real-life romance hero. We both enjoy spending time on the beach with an umbrella drink and a good book.

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Guest Release Promotion–Four White Roses by Judy Ann Davis

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When widower Rich Redman returns to Pennsylvania with his young daughter to sell his deceased grandmother’s house, he discovers Grandmother Gertie’s final request was for him to find a missing relative and a stash of WWI jewels.

 

Torrie Larson, single mom, is trying to make her landscape center and flower arranging business succeed while attempting to save the lineage of a rare white rose brought from Austria in the 1900s.

 

Together, the rich Texas lawyer and poor landscape owner team up to rescue the last rose and fulfill a dead woman’s wishes. But in their search to discover answers to the mysteries plaguing them, will Rich and Torrie also discover love in each other’s arms? Or will a meddling ghost, a pompous banker, and an elusive stray cat get in their way?

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EXCERPT

“Okay, the blue shirt with the gray slacks doesn’t make you look as stiff and lawyerly-looking as the white shirt does,” Marlene said. “Too bad you don’t have any softer-colored shirts.” She dangled three other ties in her hand she had brought along with her.

Rich glowered at her. “Lawyerly-looking? Softer colored? Are they even words? All I want to do is not look like an affluent stuffy lawyer with a stick up—”

He stopped and looked over at his small daughter, then continued in an irritated voice. “I want to look dressy, but not straitlaced or smug. You know what I mean.”

“But you are a stuffy lawyer, and it’s no secret your bank accounts won’t bounce, you dolt,” Lulu said with a huff. “I thought you and Torrie were going out as friends.”

He looked at the elderly housekeeper. “We are. But I don’t want her to feel uncomfortable, and I want to feel casual, but well-dressed.”  He picked up a blue and white striped tie and held it to his chest. All three females groaned. He chose a darker blue one and the groans grew louder. He glared at them. “I’ll have you know some of these ties are pure Italian silk and cost a fortune. To some people, neckties are a symbol of success and authority.”

“Then send them back to Rome and let the Pope bury the lifeless-looking things.” Lulu rose. “They look like they should be on a corpse.”

Rich looked at Marlene. “Can you believe I’m paying her to insult me?”

Lulu snorted. “No, Perry Mason, you’re paying me to feed you, do your laundry, and oversee the household. The advice is free.” She headed for the door. “I’m going home, kids. See you in the morning.”

“I can’t wait,” Rich muttered and followed it with a dismal shake of his head.

Lulu paused and offered him a don’t-you-dare-tangle-with-me stare, then looked at Estella with a tender, warm, grandmotherly smile. “Your daddy doesn’t realize the only reason I take his grief is because I love to be with you, doll face. Tomorrow we’re making brownies and Perry Mason here is getting zip, zero, none, nichts, nada.” She headed out the door.

“Stop calling me Perry Mason!” Rich shouted at her retreating back. He heard her cackling laugh as she hustled toward the stairs.

“Okay, Sunshine.”

JudyAnnDavis Blogs

With a degree in journalism and communications, Judy Ann Davis has written for industry and education. She enjoys writing short stories and novels with a touch of romance and mystery—and lots of comedy. She is a member of Pennwriters, Inc. and Romance Writers of America, and divides her time between Central Pennsylvania and New Smyrna Beach, Florida.

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Guest Interview—Willa Blair

Welcome to my friend I met while living in Texas. Tell us a bit about you and your background

A life-long student and reader, I’ve been a stained glass artist and instructor, a foreign language teacher, a computer scientist, an analyst, a manager and an executive. I’ve visited five continents and can get by in several languages. Scouting new settings for books is lots of fun, and being an author is the best job I’ve ever had.

What’s the logline that describes your writing?

“Romance and Adventure”. I add “…in the Highlands of Scotland” for my Scottish books!

What are your hobbies away from the computer?

I’m sorry, I don’t understand. What does “away from the computer” mean? ;^)

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

Plot, always the plot. I get to know the characters as I write.

Is your writing style planned or freestyle?

Both. I wrestle with an outline and bare-bones synopsis to get the flow of the plot figured out. Then the characters step in and do all they can to wreck the plan.

What is the starting point for research—story concept or when you get stuck while writing?

Again, both. I may need to do a lot of historical research if I’m starting in a new time period, then fact-check or look for amplifying detail later.

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

Yes – for my Scottish books—historical and contemporary—I’ve traveled through a good deal of central Scotland and the Highlands, but have plenty left to see and do! I’ve also been to Hawaii several times which came in handy for Sweetie Pie, and just went on my first cruise. Now I have 5 more countries to use as settings if my imagination decides to go there.

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

Go away from it for a few days—or weeks—and work on something else.

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

That much to my editor’s dismay, I’m enamored of commas.

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

Yes. I also write Scottish historical romance.

What’s your dream vacation destination?

A summer in Scotland, a month each in Australia and New Zealand, a summer in Europe, shall I go on? I have lots of dreams.

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Widow Lara MacLaren hungers for the hunky architect she hires to restore her derelict Scottish manor, but is she ready for a relationship…and is Ian ready for her twins?

Ian Paterson is eager to awaken Lara’s passionate side. Yet, if he reveals his ancestral claim to her estate, he risks losing her and his job. His clan’s history, lost over the years, may be hidden in the walls—along with a ghost waiting for the laird’s return.

When they uncover a room full of Jacobite treasure, proof of his ancestry, Ian realizes he’s out of time. If the ghost is real, it could expose his secret and destroy his romance with Lara. Ian must convince her she and her twins are the future he truly wants.

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EXCERPT

“Are ye okay?” Ian felt Lara’s ribs expand under his hand as she breathed.

“I am now,” she murmured. “I could have sprained an ankle, or fallen and hit my head.”

“You needn’t worry,” he answered softly. “I’ve got you.” Pressed against his hard length, right where he needed her. Though he knew holding her was a mistake, he couldn’t let her go.

Her face flushed. “You do at that. I…I…” She glanced at the ceiling, then returned her gaze to his. “Thank you…”

“You’re welcome. I don’t mind a bit,” Ian teased. Her body was firm, yet soft against his. She made no move to escape his embrace. He lowered his gaze to her mouth. Her lips were so close. So tempting.

Lara’s breath warmed his face. Her gaze met his, then dropped quickly to his mouth.

He was certain she meant to allow his kiss…and to kiss him back. He parted his lips, drinking in her scent, eager to taste her.

Something moved in the darkness below them, soundless, but stirring the cool air and whispering across his hands. The back of Ian’s neck prickled.

Lara stiffened and cocked her head, as if listening.

“Just a draft,” he murmured. Ian could have sworn it was only moving air, nothing more. He hoped. He’d grown up hearing tales about Cairn Dubh—and its ghost. If Cairn Dubh did have a ghost, this ancient space would be a fine place for it to haunt.

Review Snippets

Waiting for the Laird by Willa Blair is a delightful romance and unexpected adventure set in Scotland.” Books & Benches Reviewer’s Choice Seal of Excellence

“Willa Blair spins a beautiful romance set in the Scottish Highlands full of suspense, history and mystery…This is an absolutely wonderful story to read while curled up in a comfy chair with a nice hot drink, I highly suggests you pick it up and enjoy.” Night Owl Reviews Top Pick

Willa Blair

Willa Blair is an Award-winning, Amazon and Barnes & Noble #1 Bestselling author of Scottish Historical, light Paranormal, and Contemporary romance. Her books have won numerous honors, including the Marlene, the Merritt, National Readers’ Choice Award Finalist, The Reader’s Crown finalist, Historical Romance finalist and Honorable Mention in InD’Tale Magazine’s prestigious RONE Award, NightOwl Reviews Top Pick, Books & Benches’ Readers’ Choice Seal of Excellence, and InD’tale Magazine Review’s Crowned Heart.

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My Sexy Ex–The One Who Got Away

 

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Enjoy an excerpt of seven paragraphs from On With The Show

The man who’d spoken had his back to the door, a broad back that stretched the black t-shirt imprinted with Reinhardt’s Hardware, family owned since 1854. A fact the Reinhardt family was immensely proud of, but the crux of the reason she and Dietz had gone their separate ways. “Hello, Dietz.”

With a slow move, the tall, black-haired man turned and ran his gaze over her face. “Well, Franziska Mueller…to what do I owe this pleasure?”

The smile on his lips didn’t reach his blue eyes. A fact she knew was totally her fault. “I just came in on the westbound train for my Thanksgiving visit and nobody was there to meet me. Erich Bruno happened by and he was driving me out to the ranch when he had to respond to a call.” Again, both her tale and her voice sounded pathetic. Inside her coat pockets, both hands drew into fists. God, facing Dietz one-on-one was harder than she’d thought the interaction would be. “Can I use your phone?”

“Pay phone’s outside the front door.”

Frustration tightened her body. All she wanted was to get to the ranch. “What is with this town and pay phones?” She paced away a couple of steps and back to face him. “Normally, I’d use my cell but the battery needs charging. I don’t have coins for a call.” Could she sound any more unprepared for life?

“So, you’re askin’ me for a favor?” Black eyebrows arched over crystal blue eyes, and he leaned an elbow on the counter. “Is that what I’m hearing?”

Connecting with that oh-so-familiar expression brought back too many memories. As much as she hated doing so, she pasted on her friendliest smile. “Yes, Dietz, I’m asking to…pretty please”—she added a fluttering of eyelashes—“use the store’s phone to call the ranch.”

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To read excerpts from the other authors participating in this week’s My Sexy Saturday, click here

Character Interview–Roxie from Stepping Out Of Line

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Meet Roxie, the heroine of Stepping Out Of Line, a contemporary western romance that’s one of my backlist titles.

How about you introduce yourself by providing the basics?

My birth name was Liberty Star Nolan but I got used to Roxie Starr, the stage name I used for a decade as a Las Vegas showgirl, and that’s what I still go by.

Where were you raised?

This small town in northern Texas named Wayback.

Family members?

Daddy lit out ages ago, chasing his rodeo dream. Mama Argie lives in the family house with my younger sister, Felicity, and my aunties Branwyn and Clarine. A whole lot of estrogen under one roof.

Did you attend college?

Nope, I couldn’t wait to see the city fade in my rearview mirror as soon as I graduated high school. I headed for Los Angeles because I knew I would be the next go-to actress.Turns out getting this Texas twang out of my voice was harder work than I’d imagined.

Are you athletic?

Being athletic became my profession when I started as a dancer in a chorus line in Vegas. Now I do yoga and love to swim in the summer.

What’s your favorite sport to watch?

I love watching ice dancing in the Olympics.

Did you always want to be a beautician?

Never had a thought about it until I’d been performing for several years. Then I realized I needed to learn skills that I could use after my body gave out. While in Vegas, I learned tips and styles from so many dancer and performer friends that opening a beauty salon seemed like a natural second career.

What do you like most about being a beautician?

Helping customers gain a style that boosts their self-confidence.

Are you a pet person?

I have a soft spot in my heart for dogs of all kinds, especially strays.

Where did you go for your most recent vacation?

Being a small-business owner doesn’t allow for many vacations but I did manage to attend the last ballroom dance championship. [shrugs] What can I say? Dancing’s in my blood.

Talk about your favorite setting for a date.

Now that I’ve seen the glitz and glamour of Vegas, I appreciate the specialness of laid-back events like the town’s Founder Day celebration, the lighting of the town square Christmas tree or the Fourth of July fireworks.

What attracts you first to a man?

His smile. And filling out a set of Wranglers just right doesn’t hurt.

Are you talking about a particular man?

[eyes gleaming] Oh, yeah.

BLURB

Two years ago Roxie Starr left behind her life as a Vegas showgirl and came home to Wayback, Texas to open a styling salon. She claims she’s there to help with her younger sister, but the truth is age was catching up to her body and the time had come to step out of the chorus line.

Fighting against a nagging injury, Dev Laredo is determined to finish one last rodeo. He won’t return to his Oklahoma ranch until he’s won enough to cover his brother’s college tuition. The sight of a sassy redhead sparks his interest, but her tender ministrations to his injury touch his lonely heart. Can two bruised souls put aside their differences and give love a fighting chance?

BUY LINKS

Amazon

Barnes & Noble

The Wild Rose Press

Guest Interview—Hywela Lyn

Tell us a bit about you and your background.

I was born and lived most of my life in Rural Wales, although I have lived in a small English village, since my marriage. I love the outdoors and animals, and enjoyed many happy hours riding in the hills in my native Wales, the beautiful landscapes and colourful myths and legends inspired much of my writing. I have always loved the stars, and although I started out writing Western historicals, I became fascinated by the idea of travelling in space, and exploring distant worlds and began writing Science Fiction Romance – I always say ‘Space Opera’ which is how I would categorize my writing, is really a ‘Western’ in space with starships instead of horses and aliens instead of Native Americans.

What’s the logline that describes your writing?

Romance that’s ‘Out Of This World’ (although a few of my stories are set on this world but in a distant time either far back in the past, or in the future.)

What are your hobbies away from the computer?

Reading (of course.) As I said earlier, I love the outdoors, walking with my dog and caring for my two horses. Although I learnt to ride ‘English’ style, when Western Riding became more popular in the UK, I bought a Western saddle (from an endurance rider) and changed disciplines. Western riding is so comfortable and relaxed, and my horses converted to it very easily. I completed several endurance rides myself, using Western tack, and even bought a specially reinforced ‘Stetson’ as my mare, T’pau, although sweet, is very spooky an we’ve parted company a few times. At one time I used to sketch and paint, but don’t have time for that any more, unfortunately.

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

Usually the characters come to me first, then the setting and the plot sort of evolves around them. I always think the characters tell me the story as we go along.

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

I usually like to find a picture of my hero and heroine and keep it in front of me as I write.  I don’t find a suitable picture I will make a quick sketch, it just helps to flesh out the character in my mind. In ‘Beloved Enemy’ I had already found the male model I wanted for my cover ‘Jimmy Thomas’. The picture I found conveyed exactly the right image for my ‘tortured hero.’ The female model was a little harder to find, but the one I found suited the main character perfectly. I was lucky in that my cover artist used both the  pictures I chose and incorporated them into the cover.

In what genre do you read?

I love reading Science Fiction naturally, but I also enjoy historical Westerns, Romantic suspense, and adventures stories. I will actually read almost anything if it has good characters and holds my attention.

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

I couldn’t be without an animal or two. I have two horses, Harri and T’pau.  Harry is a black Welsh Cob and T’pau is a chestnut and white ‘Paint/American Quarterhorse. ‘Dusty’ the stable cat, does the ‘mousework and vermin control.   I also have a rather manic ‘rescue’ terrier called Choccy. He is the sweetest, most affectionate little dog, but unfortunately was kept locked up for the first two years of his life, and as a consequence was never ‘socialised’ with other dogs. It’s taken over a year and a lot of patience, but he’s now reached the stage where he will see another dog and approach it happily, instead of barking furiously and spinning in circles. He’s very clever and learns quickly, and when I’m not out with the horses, I take him for long walks in the woods or across the fields, and he just loves to chase a ball and play ‘fetch’.

What do you hope readers gain from your stories?

I would love to think that readers would enjoy reading about my characters, and be left with a feeling of hope for the future, and the triumph of good over evil, and that they will feel the same sense of satisfaction when the main characters finally get their ‘happy ever after’ as I did writing it.

BelovedEnemy_w9992_750

BLURB

Cat Kincaid is obsessed with killing the man she believes is responsible for the torture and death of her sister, but when she eventually catches up with him, survival becomes a greater priority than revenge.

Kerry Marchant, haunted by memories, regret and self-blame, shields himself from the pain of the past by committing himself totally to the starship, Destiny, of which he is part owner. However, the beautiful, red haired woman who reminds him of his lost love, and who he suspects is working for a corrupt regime, represents a possible threat not only to the ship, but to his heart.

Marooned on an inhospitable planet, they need to work together to stay alive, fighting not only unknown assailants, but their growing attraction. But how can they learn to trust each other when he has vowed never to get close to a woman again, and she made a solemn pledge to destroy him?

BUY LINKS

Amazon

Amazon UK

The Wild Rose Press

Giveaway

Thank you so much for having me here today – I wonder how many readers think we will one day explore the stars?  I’m looking forward to your views and will give a $6.00 Wild Rose Press Certificate to the most interesting answer.

EXCERPT

Before she could activate the weapon, Kerry let off another barrage of plasma bolts into the river. He leapt toward her and ripped the severed tentacle from her leg. It flapped around on the wet grass. She scrambled to her knees, still slightly winded, and fired at the hideous thing. The foliage around it flared briefly with an eerie green flame, and the tentacle shrivelled into a slimy black mass, emitting a pungent odour and causing her to gag.

“It seems I was mistaken about the creature being dead.” Kerry prodded the smouldering mass with his boot and looked across over the water. “It is now.” He leaned down and grasped her wrist to haul her to her feet. “Are you hurt?”

“No, I don’t think so.” Her shoulder was sore and probably bruised but she’d live.

She tried to control her shivering. The incident affected her more than she wanted to admit. Kerry’s proximity—naked to the waist, his lithe body shining from the water droplets that still clung to his skin, and his legs swathed in tight black leather—did nothing to help. The last thing she wanted was for him to realize how scared she’d been when she thought a snake attacked her.

“Thanks. That was close. It would have been a bit ironic if I’d been killed by the same creature I saved you from.”

She realized he still grasped her wrist. She tried to move away, but he pulled her back, obliging her to turn to him.

“You’re trembling.”

“I’m fine.”

“No,” he said. “You’re not.” He pulled her closer and his eyes softened, his gaze holding her mesmerized. She opened her mouth to try to speak, but in the same instant, he put his hand under her chin and his lips closed over hers.

Snippet from 5 Start Review – Books By Beverly

“Cat comes to Kerry and his party’s rescue. If anyone is going to kill him it will be her.

I haven’t read the first two in the series but Beloved Enemy is a stand alone. A good one!”

Hywela Lyn

Hywela Lyn lives in a small village in England, with her long-suffering husband Dave, although her heart remains in her native rural Wales. Although most her writing tends to be futuristic, the worlds she creates are usually untainted by crowded cities and technology, embracing the beauty and wildness of nature.

WEBSITE  –     http://www.hywelalyn.co.uk

BLOG  –            http://www.hywelalyn.blogspot.com

FACEBOOK – https://www.facebook.com/HywelaLynAuthor?ref=hl

                  https://www.facebook.com/HywelaLyn

TWITTER –        https://twitter.com/Hywela_Lyn

GOODREADS –  https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/1422651.Hywela_Lyn

 

Her first novel, Starquest, a futuristic romance released by The Wild Rose Press was followed by a sequel Children Of The Mist. Her recently released third novel Beloved Enemy, continues what has now become a series known as ‘The Destiny Trilogy’.

 

She is a member of The Romance Novelists’ Association (UK)  and Chiltern Writers, her local writing group. A keen animal lover, when she is not writing, she can usually be found enjoying the outdoors with the horses and dog – or just  eating chocolate!