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New holiday series revealed

Today at the Lovely Romance Sweet Clean Readers Facebook group, several authors will reveal a bit about their stories for a new series. Mail Order Bride’s First Christmas will feature historical stories set from 1800 through 1920 and in a location with trees. Prizes offered.

Click here to join

My story is A Christmas Tree for Trudel and the location will be based on the southern California mountains where I live.

 

Mid-Series Celebration Facebook Event

Next month I’ll be contributing Ginger Cake by Glynna (cover is at the left in the bottom row) to this series, wqhich releases on October 25. To promote the ongoing series, the authors of the Old Timey Holiday Kitchen series are hosting a Mid-Series Celebration Facebook event on Monday, 9/13, from 1-4 PDT. The authors will introduce themselves and their title and offer prizes. Sign up here.

Ttitles in the series listed by order of release

Kris Kringle’s Kuchen by Katrina by Elissa Strati

Shoofly Pie by Selah by Kim Grist

Charm Cake by Charity by Annee Jones

Lemon Pie by Lucinda by Marissa Masterson

Pumpkin Pie by Patience by Annee Jones

Cranberry Cake by Cora by P. Creeden

Ginger Cake by Glynna By Linda Carroll-Bradd

Apple Pandowdy by Alice by Kim Grist

Figgy Pudding by Francine by Zina Abbott

Walnut Cake by Wylene by Janice Cole Hopkins

Cider Cake by Cecily by Kandice E. Geddes

New release–A Match for Althia

 

This novella is book 7 in Marianne’s Mail-Order Brides, which is an offshoot of the wildly popular Pinkerton Matchmaker series.

Chicago socialite Althia Heathley feels pushed out of her life by her father’s new wife. Convinced all she needs to write a great novel are a few more life experiences, she agrees to become a mail-order bride. But once she arrives in Denver, she’s not so sure she’s cut out to live in such a wild and less-than-civilized city.

Leather worker Diego Roldan needs a bit more culture in his life to help attract new business clients. But his first sight of his prospective bride clues him that maybe he asked for more than he can handle. She’s so refined and proper that he wonders how he can provide her with what she needs.

One of the men Diego put in jail during his years as a bounty hunter comes seeking revenge. Will Althia fall to pieces in a panic, or will the pair work together to save their fragile relationship?

Amazon link

Lighthouse story collaboration

In July, I released Lightkeeper’s Challenge in the Keepers of the Light series. Zina Abbott, who wrote Lighthouse Escape, and I collaborated in that we created a family and a fictional town and then wrote stories featuring the sisters. Not only was the process of deciding upon a location, ethnic background, and family members easier between our two creative minds, but the experience of growing up in the lighthouse was shown from two different perspectives.

Lightkeeper’s Challenge— Raised in a Pacific Coast lighthouse, Lisbet Dinesen hopes to follow family tradition and succeed her father as senior lightkeeper. Assistant lightkeeper Hale Warwyck feels he’s paid his dues by working the night shift for five years and deserves command of his own lighthouse.

Principal Lightkeeper Anders Dinesen announces the need for a substitute during his vacation time. Both Lisbet and Hale want to step in. A challenge is established to test their suitability and skills. Has Anders taken on the role of matchmaker for his eldest child? Will the competition drive a wedge into Lisbet’s and Hale’s budding attraction?

Buy link

Lighthouse Escape by Zina Abbott– Stina Dinesen loves her older sister but felt relieved once Lisbet and her new husband moved away from the Crystal Beach Lighthouse. Her happiness was short-lived. She now realizes her parents expect her to take over many of her sister’s former responsibilities in addition to the ones already hers. Only, unlike her sister, Stina never wanted to manage her own lighthouse. She wants to move to town where she can have neighbors and enjoy a social life.

John Andersen felt lost at sea long before he left his Oregon home on business to sail to San Francisco. Now, he is in the water with a twisted ankle, clinging to a rock miles from shore, and convinced he is destined to meet his end. The first hint he might survive comes when he sees a glowing lantern and realizes it is being held by someone on an approaching boat.

Is it the light that promises a bright future, or could it be the young woman plying the oars?

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Wild Rose Press Author Event Today

Today four authors will interact with readers in 15-minute time slots starting at 9AM PDT. My part of the event is from 9;45-10AM PDT where I’ll share about my latest TWRP release, Sweet Inspiration, and answer any questions that arise. I’ll also host a book giveaway.

Here’s the link to join the Facebook group where the event will be held.

https://www.facebook.com/groups/8650773462

 

Release day for Sweet Inspiration

Dependable Cadence Wills yearns for excitement. The owner of a yarn business, she is pulled in every direction by her demanding family. Haunting dulcimer notes draw her to a practice session where she spies an intriguing stranger.

Musician Rafe Frasco is a rover, bouncing between musical competitions. Interest ignites at his first glance at a woman enthralled by his music, who he learns has a heart big enough to encompass everyone within her reach.

A fantastic opportunity for Rafe presents Cadence with a dilemma—is she strong enough to negotiate the business deal that will take him away…maybe forever?

BUY LINKS

Amazon

Barnes & Noble

KOBO

iTunes

EXCERPT

Unmarried and approaching thirty in a small town branded her as ready and willing to meet every unattached man who set foot inside the city limits. A sigh escaped. Like last week when Espe called Trent Sullivan over to their table at El Tres Amigos and then suddenly remembered an important errand, leaving them together. What Espe hadn’t known was Cadence and Trent already had been set up on blind dates—twice—by other well-meaning friends.

Nothing had clicked on those occasions either. Cadence craved someone with a mysterious past like in her beloved romantic suspense novels. A dark, shadowy figure who knew how to excite a woman with a molten look or a lingering touch. A man who fought to hide his pain and almost succeeded. Not someone like Trent—a guy whose high-school accomplishments she could probably recite.

Sweet plaintive notes of a stringed instrument floated on the breeze. Cadence stopped, straining to recognize the tune. A person didn’t grow up surrounded by folk music without knowing just about every ballad that could be plucked.

But this one eluded her. The twanging strings cried with a soulful sadness that grabbed her by the throat. Her thoughts were washed in loneliness, and she turned toward the sound, past the Heritage Herb Garden. A part of Cadence that couldn’t resist helping others had to see who was expressing such need.

She lifted the hem of her long skirt and hurried toward the haunting sound, as if the notes pulled her feet along the path. The compulsion to know who played added speed to her steps. Abreast of the groundhog pottery kiln, she slowed and peered toward the outdoor stage.

On the platform, several musicians were gathered—some unpacking instruments, others adjusting microphones. Off to one side, a dark-haired man sat in a straight-backed chair, one foot braced on a scratched case. He leaned forward and strummed a dulcimer, the light wood instrument cradled on denim-covered thighs.

Cadence stood a dozen feet away and studied the talented player. His too-long hair was tied back, his shoulders were broad inside his western-cut shirt, and his legs were long and lean. Scuffed boots, faded jeans and a worn Harley-Davidson tee-shirt composed his attire. Definitely more attractive than her own outfit. Even from this distance, she spotted a posture that meant the man had an attitude…or was mysterious. A thrill ran over her skin.

Who was this guy? He’d definitely swagger when he walked. Yummy. At the thought, she stepped closer, wanting nothing between her and the performance.

Long fingers picked the strings in a heated crescendo—note on teasing note, twang on shivery twang, strum on driving strum. He ended the song with a flourish, right hand arcing upward as the last note hung on the early morning air.

How did he know exactly how she felt on nights when everyone in Mountain View either had a date or was home curled next to a spouse? The isolation of being solo at the drive-in or enduring the knowing smile of a sympathetic waitress. His song wrapped all those feelings tight around her heart and squeezed. She inhaled, and the backs of her eyes stung.

Hadn’t she learned her lesson about musicians from the way Dale deserted her when his band got the chance to go on the road? Three years running, and he hadn’t yet steered the tour bus through his hometown.

The stranger laid a hand over the strings, rolled his shoulders, and lifted his head. Piercing brown eyes scanned the area, surveying the other musicians, and his gaze locked with hers. For a suspended moment, his gaze roved along her length, widened, and then returned to her face.

Under his scrutiny, she shifted her feet and tugged at the sides of her skirt. Her period costume didn’t exactly show off her figure to its best. Not that the fact should matter, but she couldn’t look away and chose to ignore the warning bells ringing in her head.

Interview with Daniel Rice

Welcome to my blog.  Let’s get rolling.

What are your hobbies away from the computer?

You know the writing advice, write what you know? I followed that adage in several instances in my debut YA urban fantasy, Dragons Walk Among Us. Like Allison Lee, the novel’s protagonist, I’m an avid shutterbug. I mostly photograph nature scenes–my current obsession is photographing birds–and my son’s soccer games.

Is your writing style planned or freestyle?

I’m defin itely a planner. I’m a member of a writing group called The Puget Sound Writers Guild (http://www.pugetsoundwritersguild.org), which puts a big emphasis on the planning process. My personal approach is to develop a concept for the novel–think of a one to two-page outline of the plot. I expand this into a scene-by-scene outline, which I try to keep reasonably high-level but it can get pretty detailed if I’m not careful. I find the advantage of this process is it allows me to write the rough draft fairly quickly. For example, I took Dragons Walk Among Us from concept to rough draft in about six months. For me, at least, that’s a pretty good clip.

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

I have traveled to the locations and photographed them! Dragons Walk Among Us takes place in the Pacific Northwest, including wilderness locations such as beaches along the Olympic Peninsula and Mount Rainier National Park. Hopefully, readers who have visited these locations find my descriptions capture their essence.

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

When I first started writing, I absolutely dreaded the idea of editing a rough draft. That’s probably because those early works were little better than chicken scratch. As a more experienced writer, I no longer fear the revision process. In fact, I enjoy it. It’s fulfilling to finish editing those tens of thousands of words and realize how much the story has improved.

Describe a normal writing day (or period, if you have other employment obligations).

I’m a member of #5amwritersclub. The more writing I can get done in the wee hours of the morning before the boys wake up, the better. The little lads relish making their presence felt.

What’s your dream vacation destination?

Gosh. I do enjoy traveling. I have family in Southeast Asia, so that destination is always high on the list. In fact, I plan to have a portion of the sequel to Dragons Walk Among Us take place there. The photographer in me, however, dreams of visiting Iceland’s primordial landscapes.

In what genre do you read?

I read all kinds of speculative fiction–fantasy, science fiction, and some horror. I’m a big believer in reading extensively in the genre you write, so I’m always looking to read young adult fantasy and science fiction. Thrillers, suspense, and popular science–I really enjoy Neil deGrasse Tyson’s books–round out most of my reading. I enjoy listening to audiobooks while taking walks, so I find the Libby app, which allows me to check out audiobooks from the local library, invaluable.

BLURB

Shutterbug Allison Lee is trying to survive high school while suffering the popular girl’s abuse. Her life is often abysmal, but at least her green hair is savage. Her talent for photography is recognized by the school paper and the judges of a photo contest.

While visiting her friend Joe, a homeless vet, Allison’s life irrevocably changes after an attack leaves her blind. All her dreams as a photojournalist are dashed as she realizes she’ll never see again. Despair sets in, until she is offered an experimental procedure to restore her vision. But there are side effects, or are they hallucinations? She now sees dragons accompanying some of the people she meets. Can she trust her eyes, or has the procedure affected her more than she can see?

BUY LINKS

Amazon

Barnes & Noble

iBooks

EXCERPT

I march across the dark swath of wet grass interspersed with towering Douglas fir toward the lamplight in the distance. Obscured by the surrounding shrubbery next to the base of a conifer is a blue tarp. I press my free hand against the brown bag, feeling the warmth radiating from the container of broth. Good. I’d hate for the soup to be cold.

A gust of wind pushes me sideways. From somewhere overhead comes a loud crack like the bone of some gargantuan creature snapping. A widowmaker thumps to the earth. Gasping, I nearly drop the soup and freeze in place. Overhead, the trees sway in the wind, branches creaking and groaning. I scamper toward the encampment.

About half a dozen tents surround the base of the tall conifer. A wide man with hunched shoulders moves around the camp. I smile. It’s Joe.

~**~

Dan has wanted to write novels since first reading Frank Herbert’s Dune at the age of eleven. A native of the Pacific Northwest, he often goes hiking with his family through mist-shrouded forests and along alpine trails with expansive views.

Dragons Walk Among Us is his debut novel. He plans to keep writing fantasy and science-fiction for many years.

WEB CONTACTS

Twitter: https://twitter.com/DanRiceWrites

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

GoodReads: https://www.goodreads.com/user/show/114572800-dan-rice

Blog: https://www.danscifi.com

 

#MFRWhooks Release of Cadi, an Oregon Trail story

Since learning about the Oregon Trail travelers in school, I’ve been intrigued about the vent. When hubby and I lived in Oregon in the 1980s, we visited the end of the Oregon Trail Interpretive Center in Oregon City. Seeing how small the wagons were that carried people, supplies, and furniture was an eye-opener. Finally this month, I had the opportunity to write a story about that event that involved more than 400,000 Americans and lasted from the 1830s until after the construction of the Trans-Continental Railroad in the late 1860s.

Spring, 1873

After her father betrayed her trust by gambling away their Kentucky horse breeding business, Cadi Gruffyn salvaged the pregnant prize mare gifted for her 21st birthday. The loss of the horse farm displaces her aunt and uncle, so Cadi joins them on a wagon train to northern California where her brother established a ranch in the Diablo Valley. When her uncle dies, several men approach Cadi, insisting she needs a husband to help her finish out the trip. She refuses, afraid they only want to claim her valuable mare.

Carpenter Trynt Pembroke just wants a fresh start. A week before his wedding, he was betrayed by his fiancée who ran off with his brother. He’s looking to get as far away as he can and start a new business. As much as he doesn’t want the complication of a woman in his life, he keeps coming to the rescue of strong and determined Cadi, a woman who shares his cultural heritage. Can he convince her they are stronger together than on their own?

Book 11 in Prairie Roses Collection multi-author series

Free in KU

Amazon buy link

Learn about the other titles featured this week by clicking here

Interview with Vicki Batman

Welcome to the blog, Vicki.

What are your hobbies away from the computer?

I do have other creative outlets. I like to stitch needlepoint and embroidery. Usually, when Handsome and I watch TV in the evenings, I pull out my project and get to work. Kinda “doing two things at once” idea.

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

I say characters, but it is what they say—the dialogue–I start with first. I write lots of it; then, I have to go back and add the details.

Is your writing style planned or freestyle?

I am what my friend calls a “plotster,” meaning plot(ter) + pant(ster) = plotster. I know the plotting elements I have to hit-beginning, middle, black moment, end. I sit down and write in a linear fashion. Yes, I toss some stuff, but most goes in.

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

I listen to classical guitar, classical music, Simply Frank, and the ’70s.

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

I also write romantic comedy short stories and have had a lot published. Others are in collections I have published.

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

I am a pet person. All my life, I’ve had cats until our sister cats passed a while back. For the last ten years, Handsome and I are mom and dad to Champ and Jones, the Adora-poos.

What do you hope readers gain from your stories?

I want readers to have a good laugh, sigh with the ending, and enjoy the ride.

BLURB

Great job. What man? And murder. Newly employed at Wedding Wonderland, Hattie Cooks is learning the industry from a woman she greatly admires. When her former brother-in-law is found dead in his luxury SUV, all fingers point to Hattie’s sister, who is planning her own I Dos.

Detective Allan Wellborn is caught between a rock and a hard place—Hattie’s family and investigating the murder of a well-connected Sommerville resident, the same loser who was once married to Hattie’s sister. Determining who’s the bad guy—or gal—isn’t going to be easy and sure to piss off someone.

Can Hattie beat the clock to find out who murdered Tracey’s ex before she is charged with the crime and her wedding is ruined?

BUY LINKS

Amazon E-book

Amazon Print

Barnes and Noble NOOK eBook

Barnes and Noble Paperback

The Book Depository Paperback

BAM! Books-A-Million Paperback

Google Play eBook

Kobo eBook

EXCERPT

Stuart bounded to my side. “Hattie. Allan. You’re naturals.”

I rolled my eyes. Great. I passed the tango test.

Allan chuckled.

I stayed in position for what seemed like hours but most likely were five loonnng minutes. My lower back spasmed, which caused me to grimace. Allan pulled ever-so-gently and restored me to my feet. I removed my hands from his. Moisture coated my palms and sweat dripped down my back along my spine. I was a wreck.

“Thank you so much, couple.” A beaming Ms. Yolanda rotated. “I’m impressed by your length and beauty.”

Length and beauty—my ass.

REVIEW COMMENT

Review: I loved it! It was a very entertaining and a fast read that kept me engaged throughout. The pacing was perfect. My only complaint is now I’m craving M&Ms and enchiladas. And donuts. And wedding cake.

Funny, sweet, and quirky, Vicki Batman’s stories are full of her hallmark humor, romance, and will delight all readers. She has sold many award-winning and bestselling romantic comedy works to magazines and most recently, three humorous romantic mysteries. An avid Jazzerciser. Handbag lover. Mahjong player. Yoga practitioner. Movie fan. Book devourer. Cat fancier. Best Mom ever. And adores Handsome Hubby.

WEB CONTACTS

Website

Facebook

Twitter

Pinterest

Amazon Author Page

Goodreads

Instagram

Bookbub