Tag Archives: small town

Guest Promotion–Going Home, At Your Age? by Jacqueline Diamond

Her hidden past is about to explode! Sara, an artist who’s turning 50, returns to her hometown for Christmas to face her estranged sisters—and the man she left behind—with a stunning secret. A compulsively readable tale of love and redemption packed with heartwarming surprises, Going Home, At Your Age? is a standalone book in the “Sisters, Lovers & Second Chances” series by USA Today bestselling author Jacqueline Diamond.

BUY LINKS

Amazon

Apple books

Barnes & Noble

Google Play

Kobo books

EXCERPT

In her life, Sara Matchett had committed three huge, earth-thumping, wildly stupid mistakes. She planned to confront them, wrestle them to the ground and, in the process, probably commit a whole swarm of new and even more idiotic screwups.

Then leave her hometown for the last time.

Why not? At nearly fifty, she’d reached the perfect age to turn her world, and everyone else’s, upside down.

“I think that’s a worthwhile goal, regardless of which secrets you plan to unload,” said seventy-one-year-old Aunt Jewell, clear-wrapping a plate of cookies in her kitchen. “In fact, I’m dying to hear about them. What would Christmas be without a soap opera?”

“And I have a lot of experience in the field,” Sara conceded as she snapped a lid atop the cranberry-orange stuffing casserole she’d prepared.

She wished the kitchen had a mirror so she could check whether her green velvet dress was too fussy. Were the stars she’d embroidered ridiculous on a grown woman? “If I ever write my memoirs, I’ll call them, I Was a Teenage Drama Queen.”

“Why limit yourself to the past when you have such talent?” deadpanned her aunt, who sported her own original outfit, red with sparkles cascading along the bodice and skirt. She’d tucked a glittery comb into the dyed jet-black hair. Sara hoped that, in another twenty years, she’d have as much panache as her aunt.

“I’m not sure I’m as gifted as that.” Hearing the quaver in her voice, Sara swept into the living room, ready to head out the door. Might as well get it over with.

Until this moment, she hadn’t allowed herself to dwell on exactly what might happen when she arrived at the family celebration and set the record straight with her sisters. Not that Sara wished to dampen anyone’s holiday, but they deserved to learn why she hadn’t been part of their little world in Rancho Allegro, California, for thirty years…

Also, she didn’t plan to miss Jewell’s upcoming marriage, which was the main reason for her extended visit. After a decade of widowhood, her aunt was remarrying and had requested that Sara, the only one of her three nieces to share her artistic talents, help prepare for the event in late January….

Sara yanked her thoughts back to today’s planned gathering. This would involve people new to her, including her sisters’ bridegrooms and their offspring from previous marriages. Well, she could tolerate having an audience. Just as long as she didn’t have to see the one person who knew too much, and had hurt her more than almost all the others put together.

Although Dr. Nate Patton shared a medical practice with her sister, Cody, there was no reason for Sara to run into him. Not today, at least. He’d no doubt be celebrating the holiday with his relatives.

USA Today bestselling author Jacqueline Diamond has sold medical romances, romantic comedies, mysteries and Regency romances—more than one hundred titles! A former Associated Press reporter and TV columnist, Jackie has been honored with a Romantic Times Career Achievement Award. Her popular series include Safe Harbor Medical Romances and Downhome Doctors.

SOCIAL MEDIA CONTACTS

Website

Facebook

Goodreads Blog

Twitter

Backlist holiday promotion–Silent Signals

Will the valley’s feud between cattlemen and shepherds keep Konrad and Anora apart?

After losing half his herd in the Great Blizzard of 1886, rancher Konrad Werner needs to safeguard his cattle. Tomboy Anora Huxley trains the Australian Shepherds and Kelpies that run the family’s sheep herd. Although cattlemen and shepherds are at odds, the pair discovers common interests. A threat is overheard, and Konrad rides out to Anora’s ranch to protect her. The tense situation reveals their true feelings. Will Anora be swayed by family loyalty, or will she listen to her heart that responds to Konrad’s silent signals?

Amazon buy link ONLY 99 cents

FREE on Kindle Unlimited

EXCERPT

Mikel returned, dropping two rolls of wire onto the counter. “I have a new shipment of barbed wire too. Perhaps that works better for your needs?”

Konrad turned and laid a hand on the smooth wire. “The fence to pen in my cattle has several components, so this is what I need. But thanks, Toussaint.”

The shopkeeper shrugged. “Some ranchers prefer the barbed.”

“I do too, and I may have to resort to that when the winter weather sets in. But I’ll wait on that purchase.” He leaned his other hand on the counter. “This year, I’m building a brush fence. I’ll use what I can from downed branches and rocks cleared from the field that will be planted in the spring.” He shrugged and straightened.

“Makes sense.” Mikel nodded as he pulled the pencil from his ear. “I remember those types of fences in old country. Uncle had them around his vineyard.”

Konrad was sure his wasn’t the only sad story the store owner had heard over the last year. “Gotta come up with the cheapest solution for protecting my cattle.” He shook his head. “The ranch can’t withstand any more losses like last year.”

“Excuse me, sir.” A female voice floated in the air.

The tone was pitched low, almost intimate. Konrad shifted and raised an eyebrow at the tall woman dressed in an ill-fitting coat and a split skirt that showed several inches of boot-encased legs. “Are you speaking to me?”

“Have you considered using herding dogs to contain your cattle?” The blonde woman took one step closer, her gaze intent.

“No.” This stranger had an opinion about how he ran his ranch? His body stiffened.

“I train the dogs that work the sheep at Green Meadows Ranch, and I don’t see why the dogs couldn’t be used with cattle.” She glanced over her shoulder and then back to connect with his gaze. “The principles are the same, as long as the person uses the right cues.”

He squinted at the green-eyed woman who stood only a few inches shorter than his six-foot height. Wisps of blonde hair had escaped the edges of her plain black bonnet and straggled along her cheeks. Her face was pleasant enough—probably would be more so without the frown creasing her forehead. “Have we met?”

“I apologize, Mr. Werner. I’m Anora Huxley.” A blush reddened her cheeks. “I am acquainted with Gaelle.”

His younger sister by five years. Which explained why he didn’t know this woman from his schooling years. Huxley did sound familiar, though. But he didn’t have time to contemplate why because the woman now stood by his side. Out of the corner of his eye, he spotted a thick-set scowling man hovering two feet away who looked madder than a newly branded steer. The second member of the arguing duo.

“My dogs are exceedingly smart. A special breed with strong herding instincts. They respond to hand signs and whistles, and from a distance of more than ten rods.”

He held up a hand lest he be stuck here listening to her run down every detail. “I do not wish to be lectured on how to run my ranch. My brush fence will suffice.” Regretting the stiffness of his tone, he lifted a finger to tap the brim of his hat. “Good day, Mrs. Huxley.” He spotted the brief widening of her gaze before scooping up the roll of wire and headed toward the storeroom. Irritation at the outspoken women and her high-handed advice put an extra punch into each footfall.

Keep updated on new releases by joining my mailing list

Guest Promotion: Gingerbread Dead by Lori L. Robinett

Jessica Barker blogs about true crime for an online magazine and dreams of being a true crime blogger.

While working one night, Jess witnesses her next-door neighbor in distress and Jess is the only one who seems to care. When the cops dismiss her as a bothersome true crime reporter with an overactive imagination, Jess must delve into the life of her mysterious neighbors, Rory and John Regan – with hints at embezzlement and gambling – before Rory ends up dead.

buy link

The officers finished their interrogations and huddled together on the front porch, comparing notes. Jess studied her neighbor, who had black streaks down her face where her mascara had run. The woman stared at nothing, her lower lip pooched out a bit and the corners of her mouth turned down.

The two officers motioned for the husband to join them, and they helped the woman to her feet. She still swayed slightly and her head bobbled. Though she resisted weakly, her husband took her arm and led her inside, thanking the officers before closing the door.

Jess couldn’t believe her eyes. Stunned, she rushed forward. “Wait! You’re just going to leave her there?” She stood in their way, feet planted wide.

The older cop studied her for a beat, then sighed heavily. “Seems they had a bit of an argument earlier this evening and the missus had a bit too much to drink.” He spoke slowly, like he was explaining something to a child. He held out his arms and moved forward, herding Jess and Mrs. Miller away from the front porch.

Taking a step back, Jess settled her fists on her hips. “Listen, this is serious.”

The younger officer elbowed his partner, leaned in close and whispered something. He hooked his thumb toward Jess.

Snodgrass leaned forward, eyes narrowed as he examined her face as if just meeting her. “You’re that true crime reporter, aren’t you?”

BIO:  Lori L. Robinett writes mysteries and contemporary western romance. She lives in central Missouri with her husband of 25+ years. Their home is maintained for the comfort and enjoyment of their Beagle and Snorkie and two rescue cats.

Social Media Contacts

Facebook

Website

LEAVE A COMMENT by 11/30 for a chance to win a $10 amazon card

Thanksgiving-themed story-On With The Show

 

Every Thanksgiving, Franzi Mueller returns to her hometown, Freedom Valley, to help with the musical show at the veteran’s hospital. After a decade of living in Houston, Franzi is feeling nostalgic for the sense of community in her small Texas town. Moving home wouldn’t be a problem if she could stop her matchmaking mother’s plans to reunite her with her ex-high school beau, Dietz Reinhardt.

Hardware store owner Dietz can see Franzi needs a break from her big city clothing designer job and plans to do whatever he can to help her relax. He figures a little help from her mama is a good thing.

Circumstances throw them together at every turn, each glance and touch igniting old sparks. Can Franzi find what her creative spirit needs in Freedom Valley or is time running out on this second chance for Dietz to win over her heart?

Amazon

Apple Books

Barnes & Noble

Google Play

KOBO Books

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 Gabbi Grey

Welcome to the blog, Gabbi.

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

For me, it’s all about character.  In my new book, Jared was an existing character in an existing world.  He’s been in about 25 other books so all the fans have an impression of him.  I wanted to go deeper.  He puts up a front of being the friendliest guy in town – and he is – but what is that happiness hiding?  What’s beneath the surface?  What doesn’t he want everyone to know?  And for Xander, my other hero, I started with his emotional wound.  What has brought him into Jared’s sphere and what if his wound is in conflict with Jared’s need to avoid certain circumstances?  How can they make it work?  The story and plot were built out of my two heroes.

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

I write romances so I often have the beginning and the end with very little in the middle.  I have my couple and how they meet and I have their happy ending.  Everything else is often unknown to me when I start.  I envy plotters because I like to believe they don’t get stuck quite as often.  I will say that I write linearly so if I sit down at the keyboard, I’ll force myself to type the next word and the next and so on.  I might wind up editing or deleting those words, but the push to move on is what keeps the story moving forward.

What was your biggest surprise in the editing/revision process?  I always believe I’m submitting a complete and clean manuscript, but my eagle-eyed editors always find something.  These days I’ve been working on expletives (the non-swear word varieties).  I’m guilty of having plenty of ‘there was’, ‘there were’ and ‘it was’ in my manuscript.  My editor believes (correctly) that this is lazy writing. To tighten up my sentences, she makes me go back to rework them.  Also, my Canadian sometimes shows and I throw in an extra ‘u’ (neighbour, labour) or a theatre.  Again, my trusty editor finds them and fixes them so the manuscripts are consistently American spelling.  Guess that British ancestry is stronger than I thought.

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

I have a day job so my writing is in snippets, snatches, and every possible minute of vacation I can get.  I also do writing sprints at 5am so I can get in some words before I start working for the day.

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

I do.  I don’t like to be hemmed it. I think it might be my ADD.  I love writing gay romances and within the genre I write contemporary – be they sweet through to spicy.  I also write m/f dark erotic BDSM romances under the pen name Gabbi Black.  I will be launching my indie career later this year writing contemporary romances (mid-heat, mid-angst) under the pen name Gabbi Powell.

What resources do you use for picking character names?

You’ll laugh – I primarily use baby books.  I went through several and created a master list of names from various backgrounds and time periods.  Sometimes when I’m stuck, I’ll use either a name generator or I’ll see which names were popular in the year my character was born.  I try to make it fun for myself and I hope my readers like my choices.

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

I’ve a pet in my life since my early twenties and I’m now (gasp) pushing fifty.  These days I have a cantankerous seventeen-year-old Himalayan Blue Point named Arabella de Bergerac (better known as Bella) and a trusty five-year-old ChinPoo named Ally.  There’s a scene in my newest book that takes place in an animal shelter and I don’t want to give too much away, but I might have made readers sniff.

What do you hope readers gain from your stories?

I’m a firm believer in love is love.  I read and write gay romances.  I’m hoping readers who haven’t tried the genre before will be willing to read my book.  It’s a sweet gay romance about two men falling in love.  I was especially honored to be able to give Jared the awesome ending he so richly deserves and a man who will make him happy forever.

BLURB

Jared Langford is a happy man. The desk clerk at the Deerbourne Inn knows everyone in his cozy town in Vermont. He is accepted and loved by the community, but he’s missing someone special in his life.

Devastating news has brought journalist Xander Fortier to Willow Springs for some much-needed rest. He’s photographed every major conflict in the world for the last ten years, but being stateside has forced him to reassess the solitary life he’s been living.

Something in Xander’s gruff demeanor calls to Jared’s caring nature. Soon the men are spending time together, but Jared’s kisses might not be enough to keep Xander from leaving. Can the men find a happily ever after if they only have today?

BUY LINKS

Amazon US:  https://amzn.to/3fOsviy

Amazon CA:  https://amzn.to/31LG1LP

KOBO:  https://www.kobo.com/ca/en/ebook/if-only-for-today

Barnes & Noble: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/if-only-for-today-gabbi-grey/1138919955

iBooks:  https://books.apple.com/us/book/if-only-for-today/id1556170342

Publisher:  https://www.thewildrosepress.com/book-post/if-only-for-today

EXCERPT

A low whistle drew Jared’s attention. Since the view from his balcony over the grassy area wasn’t likely to garner much attention, the whistle had to be because of the artwork. With a grin, he headed past his kitchen and into his living room. His smart television hung on one wall across from his recliner couch. Surrounding it were ten photographs. Some were black and white, some were color. All were of landscapes and nature.

“You took these, didn’t you?”

No hint of accusation, just awe.

“Yes, I did. I’m pretty proud of them.” Proud was an understatement. He’d given them pride of place, on the wall he looked at most. Whether he watched television, curled up with a book, or simply sat and listened to a soundtrack, he’d always admire his photos. When friends came over, he was happy to show them off. He didn’t preen in public, to be sure, but sometimes a little pride was okay.

“Good goddamn you’re talented.”

He wanted to cheer at the admiration in the other man’s voice. “I… Yeah, I guess I am. Although my reject pile is massive.”

“Hey, for every great shot there are dozens of mediocre ones. I get that.” Xander placed the bags on the floor and stepped forward. “The mountain?”

“Sugar Bush.” Jared pointed to another shot. “And I took that one from the top of the mountain.”

“And I like it as well, but this one…” Xander pointed to the landscape of snow and ice. Dusk had been falling and the sky was pink and purple.

“That was quite a sunset. I lucked out. I was walking out of town when it happened. I could’ve snapped a shot from my balcony, but wires obstruct the view. Just beyond the town boundaries are some lovely fields. The view of Sugar Bush is unobstructed.”

Xander nodded. “And this one?”

“I heard the owl and it took me about five minutes to locate her. I got one shot before she flew away.”

“Well, you nailed the shot.”

Damn, Xander Fortier was complimenting his photographs. Didn’t that just beat all?

Gabbi lives in beautiful British Columbia where her fur baby chin-poo keeps her safe from the nasty neighborhood squirrels. Working for the government by day, she spends her early mornings writing contemporary, gay, sweet, and dark erotic BDSM romances. While she firmly believes in happy endings, she also believes in making her characters suffer before finding their true love. She also writes m/f romances as Gabbi Black.

WEB CONTACTS

Website: https://gabbigrey.com/

Bookbub: https://www.bookbub.com/authors/gabbi-grey

Goodreads:  https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/15456297.Gabbi_Grey

Amazon Author Central: https://www.amazon.com/Gabbi-Grey/e/B07SJVFX1M

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/authorgabbigrey/

Facebook (page): https://www.facebook.com/AuthorGabbiGrey

Twitter: https://twitter.com/GabbiGrey

Guest release promotion–The Cowboy’s Embrace by Kara O’Neal

Fate brings his greatest regret back into his life…

 

Sixteen years ago, Lily Spero lost her parents and siblings to a villain on a white horse. When she visits the Swinging A Ranch, her past collides with her present, opening wounds long buried and shockingly creating hope where none had been before.

Deacon Tolbert is the foreman of the Swinging A Ranch. He’s carved a niche in the world all his own. But when Lily Spero arrives, the girl he abandoned years ago, he’s forced to face the most gut-wrenching moment of his life.

BUY LINK

EXCERPT

He would come back soon. He would. He wouldn’t leave her here.

Lily assessed the park with its strong oaks and maples and winding packed dirt paths. She bit her lip and worked hard not to cry. She was a big girl. She was eleven, and he’d asked her to be brave while he was gone.

As she hid in the shade, she sank down to the grass, huddled against a trunk and hoped no one noticed a frightened, stranded, black girl. Where was he? What was taking so long? He only went to find food for them.

Morning turned into noon. People came. Some to eat their lunches on blankets they spread on the ground. Others to walk the picturesque paths. She pulled her knees into her chest and buried her nose in her dirt-caked pinafore. It had been yellow once. A pretty color as bright as the sun.

As she rocked back and forth, she prayed. She repeated over and over the words her mother had taught her. With her eyes clamped shut and her lips moving without ceasing, she implored to Heaven for Deacon to return.

But hours passed. Faces swam before her, asking her questions, giving her food. She couldn’t answer the nice strangers. Just gazed down the path, hoping, waiting, her heart dying.

Where are you? Please come. Please come back.

She silently begged to see his familiar form, dressed in overalls and a threadbare work shirt, coming around the bend to carry her away. But he didn’t come. And the kind people didn’t leave. They took her home with them, and Lily didn’t argue, even though their pale skin struck uncertainty in her heart. She couldn’t think. Deacon, she grieved.

And his name was the pained whisper on her lips every night, the perpetual cold ache in her heart…that could never be filled.

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.

WEB CONTACTS

Website

Bookbub

Amazon

Barnes and Noble

Facebook

Twitter

Pinterest

Goodreads

Blog

Blog – The Story Continues

 

Guest Promotion–Mrs. Spinney’s Secret by M.S. Spencer

BLURB: Amity Landing is being invaded by Hollywood and Cassidy Beauvoir, chairman of the board of overseers, doesn’t like it. That is, until she meets Jasper MacEwan, the director of American Waterloo: the Rout of the Penobscot Expedition. Their budding romance is interrupted by a series of deadly incidents, sending them on a quest for long-lost English gold. Who will be the next victim? Can they find the treasure before the murderer does?

BUY LINKS

Books2Read: https://books2read.com/u/3JXWEA

https://books2read.com/MrsSpinneysSecret

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Mrs-Spinneys-Secret-M-Spencer-ebook/dp/B08P886V99

Barnes & Noble: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/mrs-spinneys-secret-m-s-spencer/1138392573?ean=9781509234486

ITunes: https://books.apple.com/us/book/mrs-spinneys-secret/id1543575824

Walmart: https://www.walmart.com/ip/Mrs-Spinney-s-Secret-Paperback/474281367

KOBO: https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/mrs-spinney-s-secret

Google Play: https://play.google.com/store/books/details/M_S_Spencer_Mrs_Spinney_s_Secret?id=kTsTEAAAQBAJ

EXCERPT

Nemo’s

“Speaking of, I think I deserve a raise for hazardous duty. Guess how I spent yesterday?”

“Has to be with the Red Hat ladies. Bunch of old coots in purple dresses who rampage through town harassing the inhabitants like a modern-day James gang. The one in charge accosted me the other day. Ripped me up and down for crossing against the light.” He shivered. “She’s terrifying.”

“That would be Edna Mae Quimby.” Cassidy suppressed a smile.

Sally turned to her. “Quimby, you say? It must be her husband I had to deal with then. The sheriff.”

Cassidy started. “Sheriff Quimby? What did he want with you?”

“He was asking about Rick Ahearn—the subcontractor who found the Spinney house for me. Evidently he’s dead.”

Cassidy thought of the news article Nellie had brought in. “That’s right. They found him a mile from Amity Landing. He was dressed in a sailor suit.”

“Yeah—pretty queer, huh? I didn’t have to ID him, thank God. Wouldn’t have been able to anyway—we only spoke on the phone. The hotel found my card in his room and gave it to Quimby. He wanted to know what my connection was to him. I told him I’d hired him to find sites for the filming, but that I hadn’t heard from him in days.” She blew her cheeks out. “Bit of a jolt to hear what happened to him.”

Jasper drained his beer. “Sailor suit, huh. So they think he fell off a boat and drowned?”

“That’s what they thought at first, but no.”

“No?”

“No. Sheriff told me he was found on this floating barge out in the water.” Sally jumped off her stool and plopped some bills on the bar. “Gotta go. You coming, Jasper?”

“Might stay for dinner.” He regarded Cassidy tentatively. “Fancy a bite to eat?”

She nodded, afraid to speak, afraid he’d see her pleasure at his invitation. She followed him out, but at the top of the stairs remembered her purse. She ran back. Pauline was standing behind the bar, a singular expression on her face. It might have been panic, but the fear was mixed with a hefty dose of sheer bafflement.

Librarian, anthropologist, Congressional aide, speechwriter—M. S. Spencer has traveled the globe. She has published fourteen romantic suspense or murder mystery novels, with two more on the way. She has two fabulous grown children and an incredible granddaughter. She divides her time between the Gulf Coast of Florida and a tiny village in Maine.

WEB CONTACTS

Blog: https://msspencertalespinner.blogspot.com

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

Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/msspencerauthor

GoodReads: http://www.goodreads.com/msspencer
Pinterest: http://pinterest.com/msspencerauthor/

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/msspencerauthor/

Linked in: www.linkedin.com/in/msspencerauthor

Bookbub: https://www.bookbub.com/profile/m-s-spencer

Guest Interview with Liz Flaherty

Tell us a bit about you and your background.

I’m retired from the post office and live with my husband and three cats in the cornfields of Central Indiana. I’ve written 20-some books and every time I think about retiring, I write another one

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

I get people first—always. Sometimes I end up with people hanging around just waiting for a story of their own

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

Other than a scene or two in England, where I’m still waiting not-so-patiently to go, I’ve been everywhere I’ve set a story. The towns themselves are always created, but with an actual place in mind. Fionnegan, the setting of Back to McGuffey’s, for example, has its roots in St. Johnsbury, Vermont.

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

It sounds almost like cheating, but if I’m stuck, I look up story prompts on the Internet. I may not end up using the prompt for much, but I can always find a starting point.

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

This release is the one that’s actually different. With one historical aberration, I’ve always written contemporary romance. Window Over the Sink is a compilation of essays chosen from the 30-year history of my column, “Window Over the Sink.”

In what genre do you read?

I read mostly women’s fiction these days, but also love to find a romance with “seasoned” protagonists or an Americana historical written with a voice like Cheryl Reavis’s or Cheryl St. John’s.

What do you hope readers gain from your stories?

I hope they feel as if they’ve been there—and that they enjoyed the trip.

BLURB:

It’s been nearly ten years since we retired. I’m still in the office Duane and the boys created for me. The seven quilts I promised to make have been completed. A few books. He has new knees and new guitars. We’ve had grief and loss in these years, occasional discontent, times of being alone even when we were together. We’ve also had a blessed amount of fun. Of music and laughter and family. Of the other side of being alone that comes of knowing we never really are.

Much has changed in those nine years and change, and much has stayed the same. At first, it seemed as if this book was a vanity thing. Or a thing for the grandkids to look at and think Okay, Nana, what do you want me to do with this? But in the end, like most other things in life that are worthwhile, it is a labor of love. A gathering of thoughts and dreams and memories.

Thanks for joining me on the journey.

Buy links: Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B08Q5T2Y5S/ref=dbs_a_def_rwt_bibl_vppi_i2

For everywhere else D2D:

https://books2read.com/u/bw7NM0

EXCERPT:

My father-in-law was here this morning for a while. Seeing him, naturally enough, made me think about my mother-in-law, and miss her. And my mom—and miss her, too. I gave him a cup of coffee and thought about how many cups of coffee there had been at how many tables and then I thought of places that have been important to me.

In case you didn’t know it, this is how a writer’s mind works. Forget any idea of sense or linearity or neatly dovetailing thoughts—there aren’t any of those. A writer’s mind is a whole lot like the junk drawer at the end of the cabinet, full and messy.

But, yes, places. Starting with kitchen tables. My mother’s, where the homemade bread and sugar cookies cooled and she taught me to iron pillowcases. My sister’s, where no one was ever a stranger. My mother-in-law’s, where we sat while she cooked and gave the grandkids whatever they asked for. The tables from our 30s where girlfriends and I sat and shared coffee and confidences. Our kitchen island now, where we play Farkle and I write Christmas cards and make plans. Kitchen tables are so many things—pulpits, confessionals, meditation sites, places of both privacy and society. They are where we laugh and cry and make life-changing decisions. They are important.

Desks have been instrumental since the first day of first grade, when I learned the word “Look” and from there on couldn’t be stopped from reading every written page that crossed my path. It was at a desk where I learned to love American history although I never got good at it and where I had to stay through several recesses because of talking in class. It was where I was sitting when an editor first called and said, “I want to buy your book.”

Bleachers are way up there on my list. They are where I watched my kids grow up and learn things that might have been missed outside the arenas of sports, drama, and music. They’re where I had my first experience with civil disobedience back in high school. When I was 19, I sat in the bleachers at the softball diamond in Maconaquah Park and tried to figure out what I was going to do next.

Church. Obviously, it’s the accepted place to worship, but I believe you can worship anywhere. It’s also where people are married, baptized, dedicated, and eulogized. It’s where we have chili suppers, noodle suppers, sauerkraut suppers, and tenderloin suppers—and that’s just in September and October; there are plenty more to be had throughout the year. It’s where, if we’re lucky, party affiliations and grudges are left outside the open-to-all doors. It is, when all else fails, a safe place.

Norris Lake, Tennessee is important because our family in its entirety spent Thanksgiving weekend there a few years ago. It was one of the best times I’ve ever had—it’s also the last time we’ve all been in the same place at the same time. That could be bittersweet, but it’s not—it’s all sweet. Although it’s important not to live in the past, keeping good memories in a pocket inside your heart is just as important.

The Nickel Plate Trail. I don’t walk much these days, but it’s still my favorite place when I do. I’ve done a lot of plotting there, spent quality time with family and friends, and remembered what a gift nature is.

The school up the road is important if for no other reason than there have been family members in it ever since it was built. It’s where I have so many memory bank deposits I can’t begin to keep track of them all.

There are so many others. Favorite vacation places, the side yard where the deer graze and the birds dive-bomb each other and the sun slips quietly and beautifully into the horizon, places I’ve voted, music that has been so stirring it created places of its own.

The pleasure in important places is that you don’t have to go back to them to experience them. As faulty as memory becomes—and it does—happy times still live there. You may not be able to remember how to get back to the physical places that are important to you, but you’ll remember how you felt there. You’ll remember the perfect meal with 16 of you at the table and the day you were laughing so hard you were falling off the barstools in the kitchen and the taste of those sugar cookies that you’ve never once been able to emulate. And you’ll know those places—and times—were important. Capture the joy.

Review snippets:

… you’ll laugh and cry and feel good all over!” – Nan Reinhardt

“The book is a delight to read with vignettes that are like warm hugs.” – Patricia Bradley

BIO: Retired from the post office, Liz Flaherty spends non-writing time sewing, quilting, and wanting to travel. The author of 20-some books and her husband Duane share an old farmhouse in North Central Indiana that they talk about leaving. However, that would require clearing baseball trophies from the attic and dusting the pictures of the Magnificent Seven, their grandchildren, so they’ll probably stay where they are.

Liz can be reached at lizkflaherty@gmail.com or please come and see her at  her website, Facebook, and Twitter

Release day for The Suffragette’s Vow

Today is release day for The Suffragette’s Vow, book 8 in the Keepers of the Light series, which is set in a fictional Oregon coastal town called Spruce Hill.

Michael Hamlin has always been fascinated by the ocean but lived his whole life on a northern Oregon dairy farm. Following his father’s death, he assumed he’d run the dairy but his headstrong mother has other ideas. Two years of having his suggested changes to benefit the business ignored is bad enough. But when his mother and sisters start matchmaking attempts, he follows his passion, ending up in Spruce Hill on the Pacific Ocean coast as a lighthouse keeper. The chance to do something heroic is just what he needs, even if life on the ocean’s edge is a bit mundane…and lonely.

Novice reporter Nadina Cutler is bent on proving her worth to the editor of The New Northwest, a suffragette newspaper. Her prominent Portland, Oregon, real estate family indulges her wish to pursue journalism but only until her upcoming twenty-second birthday. Unless she can prove her earnings amount to more than her trust fund income, she’s expected to return to Portland and marry to benefit the family’s social status. After interviewing the manager of a dairy farm, Nadina then travels to Spruce Hill to do a follow-up with the wayward son.

But nothing goes right. Their personalities clash. Nadina pushes for answers and Michael clams up. He’s not interested in reconnecting with the family that rejected him and Nadina has to find a big story to secure her freedom. Then an ocean tragedy forces them to work together and they see each other in a new light. Will their temporary partnership grow into something more?

FREE in Kindle Unlimited

Amazon buy link

Keepers of the Light series page