Tag Archives: small town romance

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?

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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.

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Release Promotion–Destiny’s Secrets by Kara O’Neal

I’m so excited to introduce you to Andrew and Ben, mischief-making twins, who are private investigators and catch the case of their life. They must reunite sisters who were kidnapped and torn apart at ages 3 and 2.

I have to tell you that my fingers flew over the buttons of my laptop on this one. There was so much to write, so many characters to flesh out. And I absolutely adore that steadier, calmer, and quieter Andrew gets trail-blazing, pants-wearing, veterinarian, Jo Tatum as his lady love, while fun-loving, never serious, mischievous Ben ends up with Charlotte Ryan, a math wizard who has more courage in her pinky than you can shake a stick at.

These sisters don’t know each other, and Andrew and Ben must bring them together. It’s a story filled with joy, sorrow and bravery. I loved writing every word of it.

BLURB

Pike’s Run, Texas, 1882

Andrew and Ben Lonnigan, brothers and private investigators, have accepted an important case—to reunite the long-lost DuBois daughters with their rightful inheritance. Abducted from their childhood home in New Orleans when they were three and two-years-old, Jo and Charlotte were adopted by separate families.

Andrew heads north to find Josephine Tatum—a pants-wearing, spitfire veterinarian who challenges his mind and captures his heart. Ben travels south to find Charlotte Ryan—the financial mind behind her father’s ranch, with a sweet disposition and, unfortunately, a fiancé.

As the sisters journey toward destiny, Charlotte must guard her heart against Ben, a man too daring to ever return her love. And Andrew must hide his feelings from Jo, a woman determined to carve her own path. While the foursome battle feelings, they must also war with a villain from the sisters’ past, one with the will and the means to destroy everything the DuBois daughters hold dear.

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EXCERPT

“You aren’t gonna talk just because I won’t sleep in the tent with you?” Andrew asked.

Jo took a deep breath and glared at him, trying to rein in her temper.

“That’s more of a punishment for you than me,” he went on. “I’m not much for conversation. My brother is better at it. I prefer silence, but you sure seem ready to explode with things to say.”

He looked at her with such ease that her good sense left her. “I think it’s rude of you to tell me outright that you find me ugly.”

“When did I say that?” he replied.

“When you told me you weren’t going to sleep in the tent with me.”

He made a face. “No, I don’t think I said that.”

She rolled her eyes. “Fine. You implied it.”

“No, you inferred it. I implied something altogether different.”

She sat ramrod straight. “What do you mean? What else could you have meant?”

He shrugged. “Maybe I can’t share that cramped space with you because I find you too damned attractive.”

She reared back.

“Maybe I’m trying to protect you from my inability to leave you be and not touch you.” He watched her carefully, his gaze direct and intent.

Her breath came more quickly. “Do you mean to tell me…that you…you find me desirable?”

“I do.”

She almost declared the ridiculousness of the statement. But it wasn’t. Not at all. It shouldn’t be. What was absurd was his honesty. And even more unbelievable…she tried the control of someone as disciplined as he.

Pleasure burst through her. She couldn’t help but grin at him.

He cursed.

The heat in his gaze made her pulse race, and she stood.

He shot to his feet.

And now she picked up on his nervousness. It was subtle, but she could tell he considered running away. He’d given her a powerful piece of information, and he didn’t even know if she found him attractive.

She walked the ten paces necessary to get to him.

He didn’t back away, but she could sense he steeled himself against whatever she planned.

“You can sleep in the tent with me. I’d like that very much.” She heard the husky note in her voice.

His brown eyes went warm, and her body melted. She refrained from leaning into him.

“We probably ought not to,” he ground out.

“Why?” she murmured, stepping even closer. Her breasts almost pressed against his chest. “I won’t tell anyone.”

He narrowed his eyes at her. “Have you done this before?”

“What?”

“Seduced a man.”

“Is that what I’m doing?”

“Yes,” he clipped.

Born and raised in Texas, I had to make the state the setting for my first series. From the food to the fun, like floating the rivers, it is the fire in my blood that inspires me. My family and friends take center stage in my books. My sisters and best friends are my heroines, and my husband created my favorite hero. Love and family are the point of my stories, and I seek to entertain, relieve stress, and inspire people. Books can take one on a journey that one can relive over and over. I am extremely grateful to those authors who did that very thing for me. I learned and I fell in love with their words and characters. From the bottom of my heart, thank you.

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Blog – The Story Continues

Contest for Small-Town Romance Titles

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I’m participating in a contest where two lucky people will be chosen from those who enter to win a book from each participating author. Hosted by BookSweeps, this contest run through October 24th.

My book Laced by Love, is one of 40 ebooks in the giveaway. Other participating authors include Shirleen Davies, Cathy McDavid, Kathye Quick, Charlene Raddon, and many more.

Free reads go to every entrant and an ereader is the grand prize.

Good luck!

Join the fun here!

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

Guest Release–Forget Me Not by Maureen L. Bonatch

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BLURB

What if your memories hadn’t been made yet?

The car accident totaled Sabrina’s convertible and reinvented her memories. She can’t recall dumping Cole ten years ago. What her new clairvoyant visions tell Sabrina is he’s her husband. Any practical girl would question her sanity. But if Sabrina wants to make this imaginary future a reality, she’ll have to regain Cole’s trust and eliminate her rival, the coffee shop waitress who’s pegged Cole as husband #4.

If Cole can’t believe she’s a changed woman, can Sabrina accept the only second chance she has at love exists in her memories?

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EXCERPT

 The boxes of candy hearts Julie forgot spilled across the floor.

Cole hunkered down and gathered the papers. His mouth formed a hard line as he glanced at Sabrina’s leave paperwork with the end date prominently circled. He replaced it on the table under the keys.

“No really, I can do it. You stay, Cole. I’ll be right back.” Sabrina caught her reflection in the mirror on the wall. The quest for a coat resulted in her hair looking as if she’d stuck her finger into an electrical outlet. Her appearance matched her desperation. She ran her hands over her head, but the static filled strands resisted smoothing.

“I need to check on Dad anyway, and it’s on my way. I’ll take Josie.” Cole extended his elbow, and Josie latched on like a lifeline, her fingers digging into the leather of his jacket. She skittered across a few of the remaining candies, crushing Be Mine and Love Me on the floor. “Thanks again for dinner, Marge.”

“Cole wait.” Despair leaked into Sabrina’s plea.

He glanced toward the papers on the table and sighed. “I waited for years, Rena. It’s you who waited too long.”

As the door closed behind him, so did the future with Cole that she’d imagined. Her shoulders fell. She knelt to collect the candy hearts scattered on the floor. Forget Me Not and Hug Me taunted her with their cheerful words. Lacking a garbage bag, she shoved a handful of the candies into her jacket pocket. Several hearts were trodden into tiny pieces, like her own.

 

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About the Author:

Maureen writes stories in the beautiful state of Pennsylvania that boast laughter, light suspense and something magical in the hope of sharing her love of finding the extraordinary in the ordinary world. She writes Paranormal Romance and Fantasy.

Web Contacts:

Amazon Author Page: http://www.amazon.com/Maureen-L.-Bonatch/e/B00KHY1KK8/ref=ntt_athr_dp_pel_1

The Wild Rose Press: http://www.wildrosepublishing.com/maincatalog_v151/index.php?main_page=index&manufacturers_id=658

Twitter: https://twitter.com/mbonatch

Blog: http://www.maureenbonatch.com/blog/

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Guest Interview–Carol Burnside

Tell us a bit about you and your background.

I’m a mother, wife, sister and aunt. I’m also a native Texan and lived there until the age of fourteen, the longest I’ve lived anywhere to date. Arkansas is my home now, but between my teens and today, I’ve resided in Oklahoma, Mississippi, Texas (again), Arkansas (twice) Virginia, Colorado, Hawaii, Georgia, and Maryland. My creative side has always been alive and well with interests in music, art, interior design, cooking and needlework.

What’s the logline that describes your writing?

Sizzling romance with heart and humor.

What are your hobbies away from the computer?

Reading, cooking and crocheting.

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

I rarely write to music unless it’s instrumental only.

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

That depends on the story and the plot. If the plot involves something a medical condition that I have to build around, then the research needs to come first. Otherwise, I usually research as I go.

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

Definitely. Pretty much all my settings I’ve visited or I’ve lived there. I enjoy discovering new places, taking photos of the scenery and jotting down my impressions of the area for future use as a setting.

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

I remember the first time I’d made a note to add something to a scene, only to discover I’d already included it as I read further. Also, reading through the manuscript and discovering I’d written a more cohesive story than I believed. That’s always a welcome surprise!

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

Disjointed is the best descriptor I can think of. I have a short attention span and Hubby works from home (semi-retired). So, between him, the three dogs, housework, cooking, laundry and other writing obligations, I grab writing moments whenever I can. Luckily, I have a laptop and a tablet/laptop so I can burrow into a comfy chair in a bedroom and hang a “Do Not Disturb” sign on the door, if needed.

What’s your dream vacation destination?

Almost anywhere that has a beach and waves lapping at the shore.

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

Yes. I need visual aids and learn easier when they’re utilized. I usually have photos of at least my lead characters and sometimes a house or landmark or something else to help me immerse in their world.

In what genre do you read?

I’m all over the map within the romance genre with contemporary, historical, some paranormals, YA, NA, cozy mysteries, rom-coms and romantic suspense. On occasion, I’ve also been known to read biographies, gritty suspense, straight memoirs and non-fiction for research.

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

Very much so. I’ve rarely had a time in my life without a pet or multiple pets. Dogs and cats, though I was partial to cats for many years. These days, Hubby and I have three dogs: a Pudelpointer, an English Setter and a Cockalier (Cocker/King Charles Spaniel mix).

What do you hope readers gain from your stories?

A sense of renewed hope that true love is out there for everyone if we keep our hearts open.

CarolBurnside_ASuitableWife200

BLURB:

This book is the first in the Sweetwater Springs series of stand-alone books.

Sam Moreland is desperate to keep his daughter out of the clutches of her abusive mother seeking custody. He resists legal advice to provide the court with a complete family unit because past relationships have soured him on love.

Though she yearns for children, Rosie Baxter knows a failed pregnancy has likely left her barren. She remains single rather than bring her problems into a marriage and concentrates on her business with its financial woes.

A temporary marriage pact means Rosie provides Sam with the illusion of family in return for an influx of cash into her store. But kisses for show become all too real. When outside threats shake their growing bond, each must trust the other with their darkest secret or lose their best chance for love and happiness.

Warning: This book contains a heated tryst in the kitchen, a cricket choir, conniving exes, and big family gatherings. Do not read if you are allergic to tall, dark and handsome men with sweet baby girls or determined red-haired women with strong maternal feelings. The author makes no guarantees against sudden urges in the reader to move to a small southern town.

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Also in the series:

Book 2: Her Unexpected Family (Claire and Travis)

Book 3: His Small Town Princess (J.T. and Cass), 2015

BUY LINKS:

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EXCERPT:

“Okay, Mr. Big-Shot Writer, spin me a tale of romance.” Rosie leaned back and crossed her arms under her breasts. After his earlier remarks about not believing in love, this she had to hear.

“All right. Give me a minute.” He got to his feet and paced, his brow furrowed with concentration. Then he slowly clapped his hands together. “I’ve got it. The best thing to do is stick as close to actual facts and events as possible. That way, there’s less chance of us getting tripped up.”

Rosie faked an exaggerated yawn to show him what she thought of that idea.

“Don’t go all skeptical on me yet. We talked by phone and exchanged e-mails over the last four months, right? So we build on that. A few e-mails turned into dozens flying back and forth. At first we reminisced, then we caught up on each other’s lives and started talking almost every evening. This time it was different. Our friendship took on a new dimension. When we saw each other again—”

“Sam.” Rosie interrupted his fantasy story before he got to the real-life part about them staring at each other in her shop. What had that been all about? “That’s not very original. The e-mails, the meet? That’s a variation of my favorite movie, You’ve Got Mail with Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan.”

“Exactly!” He said in a smug, ah-ha voice. “It’s life imitating art.”

Except that it wasn’t. They weren’t. Not at all.

“With a little convincing, they’ll believe it, because they’ve seen it happen on the big screen.”

“And we’re going to accomplish this how?” Rosie was suspicious, having long ago learned not to rise too quickly to the bait when her brothers suggested something risky.

“Relax. I’m not suggesting we scandalize the blue-haired ladies of Sweetwater Springs by French kissing in public.” Sam looked affronted. “I’m just saying a little hand-holding here, an arm around you there, maybe take in a family movie and voilá!—we’re a couple.”

Rosie experienced a little thrill at his last words. She’d been dating casually for so long, being part of a couple—even a pretend one—would be a nice change. With Sam playing her love interest, the problem would be remembering it was all for show.

The PDA didn’t sound too over the top, but it involved more than casual touching. What if she liked it too much?

* * *

Sam watched the play of emotions across Rosie’s face. At the moment, she looked ready to bolt. A distraction was needed and quick.

Before he could talk himself out of it, he swung over to sit facing her on the edge of her chaise. She flinched as he braced himself on either side of her shoulders and leaned in.

“Whoa.” Rosie slapped a hand to his chest, her gaze darting to where their outer thighs touched. “What are you doing?”

“What does it look like?”

“I don’t . . .  are you . . .  you’re not . . . ” Her eyes widened, her gaze dropping to her hand, where he was sure she could feel the accelerated bump of his heart.

“Practice,” he explained. “This has to look natural when we’re in public.”

Her tongue darted out, wetting her bottom lip before dragging her teeth across it. He’d seen her perform that nervous habit and every time it got to him. Damn. Much more of this and he’d lose his focus.

“Give me your hand.”

Her breath puffed forth with an ego-bruising relief hard to ignore. She lifted her right hand off his chest and turned it palm up. Sam flipped it over and threaded their fingers together, noting how fair and delicate hers looked next to his. He dragged his gaze back to her face. Her eyes, darkened to a deep aquamarine, regarded him steadily.

“Are you okay with this?” he asked, to break the tension.

One shoulder jerked and her lashes lowered. “It’s just hand-holding.”

“Good. Ready for the next step? Let’s go for a hug.”

Rosie tugged her hand free and eased forward. Though she slid her arms around him in a loose embrace and rested her cheek on his shoulder, she was about as relaxed as a taut rubber band.

He tightened his hold, urging her closer, closing his eyes against a sudden stab of desire as her breasts smashed softly against his chest.

“Not bad,” he said, trying to keep his breathing even. “It has to look like it’s second nature when we hug or kiss, or we’ll never fool anybody.”

Rosie straightened, breaking his hold and stared. His hands dropped to her waist and her lips parted. “You didn’t say anything about kissing. Do we have to kiss in public?”

Have to? Now that deserved a little payback. Sam hid his bruised ego behind a smile and skimmed his fingertips over her shoulder and neck. Her skin felt like warm velvet. “I’m your fiancé now. We’ll be expected to kiss occasionally.”

“I guess you’re right. I hadn’t thought of it like that.”

He tilted her chin a smidge with his thumb, caressing her jawline. Her tongue darted across her bottom lip again, and he bit back a groan. Damn. Payback for her. Torture for him.

Need rose in him, sharp enough that his position became damn uncomfortable. He stopped caring about why they were doing this and concentrated on her lips, so close, begging him to taste them.

“We don’t have to, um, practice everything tonigh—”

He covered her mouth with his, making her point moot. For a few seconds, neither of them moved. Sam eased back, trembling with the effort it took to keep himself in check. He changed the angle and closed the gap, needing to taste her, unable to resist flicking the tip of his tongue across her mouth.

Rosie’s lips parted in surprise, and he deepened the kiss, taking it from a gentle experiment to a thorough claiming. The tension left her body and she melted against him like a lone pat of butter on a stack of fresh hotcakes. The sensation set off alarms, and he stilled. What was he doing, kissing her like there was no tomorrow? Rosie wasn’t his to claim. Sam eased away from the kiss, though he didn’t want it to end.

She swayed toward him before her eyes flew open. He only caught a glimpse of blue before she turned away, breathing harder than normal.

Yeah. He knew the feeling. Kissing Rosie had surpassed anything he’d imagined it to be. He’d been celibate too long if kissing a friend did this to him.

He cast about for something witty to break the awkward silence, but came up empty. The last thing he wanted to do was rehash what had happened. He cleared his throat and stood. “That’ll do for tonight.”

REVIEW COMMENTS:

5 stars! “a well thought out story that gets you involved and keeps you turning pages until the end”—Amazon review

5 stars! “What a great story, with wonderful character’s that you fall in love with. You’ll laugh and cry, you won’t want to stop reading.” – Willow, Amazon review

5 stars! “Author Carol Burnside’s beautifully written love story had my heart strings working overtime.” – Stephanie Lasley, The Kindle Book Review

Carol Burnside

Carol Burnside is an award-winning author of the Sweetwater Springs series of “sizzling romance with heart and humor.” Her personal second-chance-at-love story resulted in a marriage to her high school sweetheart of thirty-plus years. Also published in short stories, Carol’s novel length manuscripts have placed in numerous contests and won five, including the prestigious Maggie Award for Excellence.

Writing as Annie Rayburn, she produces soft sci-fi and lite paranormal erotic romances which have been favorably received. Enjoy excerpts, review snippets, and more about her sizzling stories at http://CarolBurnside.com.

Connect with Carol via: Website / Facebook / Twitter / Newsletter / Goodreads / Pinterest / Google+

GIVEAWAY:

A gifted e-copy of A Suitable Wife to one randomly chosen commenter.