Tuesday, April 15, 2014

SATURDAY SPOTLIGHT AND GIFT CERTIFICATE

SPOTLIGHT SATURDAY
I'm a tad late posting this Saturday Spotlight but better late than never. And there is still time to check out these great books and enter the drawing.

There are great books to be had from The Wild Rose Press. http://thewildrosepress.com/ It's Honky Tonk Hearts Day! Here are a few to tempt you. Then enter the drawing below before April 11 for a $10 gift certificate to The Wild Rose Press.

With a title under his belt, a purse in the bank, and a ring in his pocket, Marshall Dekes returned for the woman he loved...only to find her at the altar saying "I do" to another man.
Two years later, he's stunned to find Amy sitting at the bar of the Lonesome Steer Honky Tonk.  Anger and resentment still burning, he lets her have it, refusing the forgiveness she seeks.  But his world is turned upside down when he hears her cry of distress and finds himself helping with the unexpected birth of her child.
What his head can't forgive, his heart can't forget, and Amy staying with her cousin in nearby Redemption is too close for comfort.  When events of the past start coming to light, he doesn't know if his heart is strong enough to risk a second chance at the life he'd all but given up on.





Midwife Kerry Mackenzie wants to move on with her life. Her deceased husband's parents expect her to remain true to his memory, but at twenty-four, Kerry's too young to wear widow's weeds for the rest of her life. Eager to start fresh, she takes a job that requires her to move miles from home. But her independent spirit wavers when she's stranded along the way and a handsome cowboy comes to her rescue.
Ranch owner Damian Greer happens upon Kerry perched alongside her disabled car on an Amarillo highway and is instantly attracted to her. He comes from a family that moves quickly on matters of the heart, so when he observes her cool behavior during an emergency, he's pretty sure she's the woman for him.
But with Kerry determined to do things on her own, how can Damian convince her to abandon her plans and give them a chance?


When your past is a blank, it's hard to trust the future...
A car accident leaves Darcy Brooks with amnesia, but she's determined it won't ruin her life. She finds a job on a dude ranch--hiding her brain trauma to get it--and falls in love with her work. Now if she can just avoid falling in love with her boss.
Nick Matthews knows his new employee is hiding something, and he's determined to discover what. He's failed to protect his family from disaster in the past and won't let it happen again. Now if he can just keep his attraction to Darcy from clouding his judgment.
Nick soon comes to value Darcy as an employee and a friend--even as the heat between them builds. But when a man claiming to be Darcy's husband shows up, Nick realizes just how much he wants to keep Darcy for himself.




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Monday, April 14, 2014

See It, Hear It, Write It

MUSE MONDAY
Where do you get your ideas is a question I get asked all the time by readers and aspiring authors. I don't have one pat answer. Truthfully, an idea can come from something I've read or heard, by hard brainstorming or out of thin air - poof - an idea. Once the spark is there, I either let my mind wander or I give rein to my fingers to type at will. Some times it feels like my imagination goes straight from my head to my fingers without a pause in between. It's as if I don't know what's coming out until I read it. Hard to explain. But before that happens, an idea is born.

I realize that answer is rather vague and general so to illustrate what I mean, here is a few of the stories I've written, both published and unpublished, and how I came up with the ideas.

Sleeping with the Lights On is the story of a fifty year old woman who is still searching for Mr. Right and a career. She sleeps with the lights on because she's alone. This story grew from a gabfest with my sister. She'd had another memorable date the night before. We started recounting her memorable dates over the years and got to laughing. I had to write some of it down.

The Pink Corvette is a mystery involving a woman and her waning marriage. I saw a pink corvette on the road one day and since there wasn't a Mary Kay sticker on it, I started thinking about who would drive such a vehicle. Who I came up with spawned the story.

Honey On White Bread is based on my mother and father. I intentionally set out to write a story based on my mom's childhood. My parents came of age in the forties, poor but happy. How the title came to me is one of those rambling thought processes that would take too long to explain. Sometimes just sitting and thinking is like that. So...briefly, white bread was considered a rich man's food at one time. Honey is sweet and special and also not always in the cupboard of the poor years ago. My hero uses the two to describe my heroine.

Jonathan Jay Somefun was inspired by one of my uncles. He was a ladies' man and practically a full blooded Indian. It was also written during a time when I went to Laughlin for girls' weekends with my mom every few months. We ran into him one weekend in Laughlin and the story begged to be written. The name held a double entendre for the story of the man who hung around the bars in Laughlin.

The title, Amanda in the Summer, came from a folded wedding invitation putting those particular words together. The story came out of thin air. No other way to describe it.

The Art of Love and Murder came about through hard brainstorming. I made up my mind one day to write a series. Up until then, all of my stories were unrelated, individual tales. At dinner one evening, I asked Frank to brainstorm with me. We kicked around various ideas that night and for several days after until my character Lacy Dahl jumped into my  head. She would go on a mission to discover where she came from...and it would be dangerous. Since it involves some mysterious art and a murder or two, well, the title was easy.

Southwest of Love and Murder is the result of The Art of Love and Murder. A secondary character in the first book is the main character of Southwest. I did have some trouble with the title but some Facebook friend suggestions helped me put it together. And so it continues. I have two more books brewing in this series which could very well lead to more. Secondary characters walk into a scene and new ideas happen.

That's a smidgen of where ideas come from - a word, a person or purposeful brainstorming. Anything and everything is fodder for a story.

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Ice to Sun in Seven

Tortuga Thursday
In 2012, on the plains of Northern Arizona, two families joined forces and began the trials and tribulations of building a small family farm with nothing in the bank but love.

What a difference a week makes. Last Thursday, our yard looked like
the picture to the left. Our fields looked like the picture to the right.

A sprinkle-drink for Sadi
A week later, today, - Lance spread compost on the field getting ready for planting while Sadi played with her sprinkler ball.

The real sign that spring is upon us? Tumble weeds. Also weeds that
Tumbleweeds to burn and others to spray.
don't tumble. Time to get the vinegar sprayer out.

But it's only the middle of April. As tempted as we are to think spring will stay warm, we do live on a prairie and within a micro-climate. It's touch and go on planting some veggies before May 15. Some will get planted before the end of April. In the next couple of weeks Lance will be tilling and some planting will begin.



I think it's about time to make a visit to the Granite Creek Vineyards in Chino Valley. It's a lovely vineyard, and while we sip wine, Sadi can toddle after the peacocks. The vineyard is on the grounds of the first farm in Arizona to be certified as organic. Granite Creek is one of a handful of wineries in the United States that makes 100% organic wine.

We're waiting to hear if we'll be able to get a spot at the Prescott Farmers' Market beginning in May. Application is in to the market and our special events permit has been submitted to the city. If we're accepted, then there will be more legalities to complete. Lots of hoops to jump through. Keep your fingers crossed.


Monday, April 7, 2014

WHAT TO DO by Nancy Jardine



 MUSE MONDAY
Launch the done and get on with the new- after a hearty kick up the proverbial ‘you know what’!

My latest addition to my shelf of published novels, After Whorl: Donning Double Cloaks, Book 3 of my Celtic Fervour Series of historical romantic adventures was launched on the 25th March 2014 but as all authors know, the actual launch time is only a phase we go through for a new book.  Early promotional blog writing for it has been fairly intensive these last weeks; the general promotion will continue into the future; and will maybe even intensify at times. There’s absolutely nothing new about that, but in some ways I hanker to learn something new to allow me to go back to only new WP writing. I know, of course, that if I had constant mega sales I could employ someone to do the marketing for me, so roll on new readers! *wink*

Meanwhile, in my spare moments when not promoting my already published books, or wasting interesting time on Facebook, or other social media places the dilemma has already set in. How to get on with the writing of new works after a book launch was a problem in the past and is probably always going to be a big bugbear for me.

My series of historical adventures are set in northern Britain in the late first century AD. Research might seem easy since there’s very little written evidence out there to study, so does that mean that I should allow my imagination to take flight a lot more as I write book 4 of the series? It’s truly tempting to do that, but since my aim has been to create a series with very credible, detailed, historical settings that’s not going to work for me. At present they’re not historical fantasy, though they definitely are fiction. For books 2 & 3 I did a lot of research on the Northern Campaigns of the Ancient Roman of Governor of Britannia, Gnaeus Julius Agricola, as he marched his legions northwards from England all the way up into northern Scotland. Finding more information for books 4 & 5 isn’t going to be easy – at least not until the local archaeologists find new evidence, so I suspect that after I pen the beginning twenty thousand words, which I’ve already got planned, I might come unstuck for bit. My planning at present should get me to that point but as a natural ‘pantser’ I’m hoping that there’ll be enough inspiration to get me rolling on to the middle and the end which I have a vague plan for. That sticky missing middle just might be a very big bugbear.

I think it’s just as well that I have other projects started, too- a three book historical saga-loosely based on ideas I got while researching my own family. That went into the doldrums a few weeks back and is sitting at around fourteen thousand words.

My dilemma? Keep plugging at book 4 of my historical romantic adventures since the ‘era’ is fresh in my mind having just released book 3…or switch to a very different historical era of Victorian times and do my saga.

What do you think I should do?

Thanks for having me visit, Brenda, it’s lovely to pop over and visit you. 



After Whorl: Donning Double cloaks – blurb
Pursued by Rome.
AD73 Northern Britannia
After King Venutius’ defeat, Brennus of Garrigill – known as Bran – maintains a spy network monitoring Roman activity in Brigantia. Relative peace reigns till AD 78 when Roman Governor Agricola marches his legions to the far north. Brennus is always one step ahead of the Roman Army as he seeks the Caledon Celt who will lead all tribes in battle against Rome.
Ineda of Marske treks northwards with her master, Tribune Valerius, who is responsible for supplying Agricola’s northern campaigns. At Inchtuthil Roman Fort Ineda flees seeking fellow Brigantes congregating on the foothills of Beinn na Ciche.
Will the battle against the Romans bring Ineda and Brennus together again?
Excerpt:
            “Your grin must mean something pleases you.”
            It was unexpected when he reached forward and took her hand into his own. He never made any contact with her body, except during the night dark.
            “Something does please me very much, Ineda, but it has nothing to do with any new orders. Why would you think that?”
            She had no idea what to answer. He knew she was always interested in what was happening around the fortress, though he was always close-mouthed about relating any important developments. Anything new happening she gleaned from his secretary, Pomponius. In no way did she want him to be suspicious of her motives, or to curtail the small advantages she had obtained as his slave since he had started to make love to her. “Only that such smiles are rare.”
            He continued to grin as he pulled her to her feet and led her to his resting couch.
            “It is long past time for you to call me Gaius.”
            Ineda was not so certain of that. She had resisted thinking of him as anything other than her hated captor, although time and his proximity were making her understand more of the man who had taken her prisoner and used her as his personal bed slave.

After Whorl: Donning Double Cloaks is available from:

Nancy Jardine’s novels can be found in paperback and ebook formats from:
Amazon UK author page    Amazon US author page  Crooked Cat Bookstore; Waterstones; Barnes & Noble; Smashwords; W. H. Smith; Kobo, and other book retailers.
Nancy can be found at the following places:   Blog    Website   Facebook  Goodreads   About Me   LinkedIn   Twitter @nansjar  Google+ 

Saturday, April 5, 2014

SATURDAY SPOTLIGHT AND GIFT CERTIFICATE

SPOTLIGHT SATURDAY
There are great books to be had from The Wild Rose Press. It's a spicy day! Here are a couple to tempt you. Then enter the drawing blow before April 11 for a $10 gift certificate to The Wild Rose Press.

It's been a rough couple of years for Cailey Kantor. Facing her first Christmas alone and bad financial news, she prays for an angel to fix her problems. Instead, a sadistic, sociopathic vampire, with the goal of starting a vampire war, attacks her and forces her to drink blood stolen from the Nosferatu Gabriel Blautsauger.
Gabe must complete Cailey's turning or she will die. In doing so he risks losing his yet unfound soulmate. But something about the lovely mortal speaks to his heart. Once her transformation is complete, he and Cailey find themselves embroiled in a battle that could cost them all they hold dear.
Faced with lies, abduction, and betrayal Cailey wonders if the vampire she is falling fangs over heart for is in it for love or if she's just a means to stop a war.
Rating: Spicy
Page Count: 338
Word Count: 85387
978-1-61217-584-3 Paperback
978-1-61217-585-0 Digital


Carter Worthington IV is the kind of man whose schedule is laid out in fifteen minute increments, while Tiffany Breeze wouldn't know what to do with a day planner if she owned one.
Carter thinks he's happy, tucked away in a quiet Florida neighborhood, where nobody knows his alter ego is novelist Grant Gardner, and he's content to keep it that way. But when a hurricane blows Ms. Breeze into his sheltered universe, he must deal with his past, overcome his fears and decide if he's spent his life existing instead of living. Is he willing to leave the emotional safety of his orderly existence to experience the highs, knowing he'll also have to face the lows?
Miniature
49 Pages Spicy





Lacey Everhart has carved out a tough existence in the wilds of 1880s Wyoming, working hard to build a secure life for herself and her younger brother, Luke. She will stop at nothing to protect what's hers and keep them safe. Even if it means keeping a secret that could destroy their lives.
Marshal Dylan J. Kane is a man who considers everything as black and white, right or wrong. He's never seen life any other way until he sets eyes on Lacey. Suddenly the straight and narrow that he's followed has a few twists and turns. Loving Lacey offers the home life for which he hankers...but can he really love a woman who seems to be plain lawless?
Rating: Spicy
Page Count: 55
Word Count: 13608
978-1-61217-889-9 Digital


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Thursday, April 3, 2014

The Lawn Chair is in the Tree - Still

Tortuga Thursday
In 2012, on the plains of Northern Arizona, two families joined forces and began the trials and tribulations of building a small family farm with nothing in the bank but love.

Sun in the morning, hail at night.
I thought about tucking my sweaters away in the drawers. After all, we have bright flowers blooming out front. I got my field working jeans off the back shelf. And that's all it took. Last night we got hail, and snow and rain - all in the time span of a couple of hours. And this morning I awoke to an inch of snow on the ground.

The onions that are growing in the house look like they're really ready to be outside, but outside is not ready for them. Can't write off winter this side of the Big Chino Wash until May, no matter how anxious we are.


Sadi loves the greenhouse.
The wind has been outrageous over the last few days - so strong and cold. Sadi has been antsy to go outside and play. She's been demanding it. So Momma Christie found the solution. She takes her into the greenhouse when she gathers greens and Sadi has a great time. She loves the dirt and can have a snack while she's playing.

A couple of days ago, I opened my eyes to this area again. Every time I move somewhere I'm always amazed or excited or intrigued or amused by my new surroundings. For awhile anyway. Then, after a couple of years, it becomes old news. Certain things just don't register anymore. So I tried to look again.

Sadi loves her greens.
I've driven by the house with the white lawn chair in the tree so many times that I don't see it. It's been there all along. The angle is not like the placement is for sitting in the tree. Actually a case could be made that someone tipped forward and fell out. Maybe some day I'll stop and ask my neighbor why they keep their lawn chair in the tree.

Patricia Lane runs into the neighbor's fence. If you use a GPS to get to my house, it will tell you that you can get through on Patricia Lane. Only the people who live on the corner must not have wanted traffic driving by their house so they extended their fence across the street. Some day I might call Yavapai County and ask that the road be reopened.

Maybe tomorrow I'll visit the pink store.

Monday, March 31, 2014

Work Like Mad, Now Wait

MUSE MONDAY
When it comes to publishing a book through a publisher, it seems I'm either working like mad to get a deadline met or biding my time waiting. It goes something like this:

Send in the novel to see if they will accept it - wait
They accept but want revisions - work like mad to reread and revise
Send in the revisions - wait
They send back for edits - reread and work like mad
Send in the yet again revised novel - wait
Get the pre-galley - work like mad to reread again for corrections
Send back the corrections - wait
Get the final galley - work like mad to reread again for corrections
Send back the okay to go - wait to get the release date

I'm in the final waiting stage right now. With this publisher, from galley they have a year to publish the book. A YEAR! It might not necessarily take that long, but it could. Angst. So I wait. In the meantime, I previously posted the official excerpt. Thought I would share the opening paragraphs with you:

Lacy quickened her pace.
The footsteps behind her did the same.
As fast as her feet touched the bricks, her heart beat twice that speed. If only she could clear the narrow alley, step onto the lit sidewalk...
Like a magnet, the street light pulled her forward and she lunged out of the darkness. Her hand slammed to her chest. After a hard intake of breath and a fast exhale, she cast a furtive glance over her shoulder. With her head down and the strap of her purse in a tight fist against her breast, she whirled around to cover the last block at a trot…
And jarred with the collision as if she’d hit a cement wall. She careened off balance, but hands grabbed her shoulders keeping her upright.

This is the first book in my Love and Murder Series. Waiting for that release date...