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book news, meet new authors, interesting people, places, and fun tidbits.
Tune in for
Muse Monday, Wicked Wednesday,
and Fearless Friday as told by my guests and me.

Wednesday, January 17, 2018

A Wickedly Fun Site #ABA #MoonlightAndMystery #MFRWauthor

WICKED WEDNESDAY

Happy New Year! I’m ringing in 2018 with some exciting news for readers:  I’m one of 12 best-selling, award-winning authors involved in a fabulous new one-stop website to satisfy your every literary desire, and we want you to be a part of it, too!
I’m thrilled to introduce Moonlight and Mystery, the premier online magazine site providing the best romantic suspense, mystery, and page-turning reads, some with a sprinkle of supernatural, time slips, urban fantasy, or magic.
What does the site offer?
• Fabulous reads
• Amazing prizes
• FUN games and contests
• Behind the scenes secrets
• FREE ongoing mystery reads
• Compelling articles
Be part of an inner circle where YOU contribute to the authors’ creative process. AND, share your own favorite books and authors.
There is NO cost, no commitment. Just fun and community! 

Visit our website: http://www.moonlightandmystery.com

And for even more of an insiders’ view, join our Street Team: http://www.moonlightandmystery.com/street-team/

We look forward to seeing you and saying hello! 
Kathryn Knight
Casi McLean
Alicia Dean
Tamara Ferguson
Suzanne Jenkins
Beth Trissel
Kim Hornsby
Brenda Whiteside
Renee Johnson
Emma Kaye
Maureen Bonatch
Sharon Buchbinder

Monday, January 15, 2018

PRINCE JIRAN by Sylvie Grayson

MUSE MONDAY

Please welcome Sylvie Grayson with her new release, Prince of Jiran.

When I wrote the first book of The Last War series, I expected there would be two or three books. Here we are at Book Five, and Six is just hovering at the back of my brain! It has been a lot of fun to write this fifth book. It dives into the culture of Jiran, a loose collection of tribal families that travel the plains across the mountains to the west of Khandarken. These people don’t have good relations with the other countries around them. They stayed out of the Last War, keeping to the sidelines and refusing to take sides between Emperor Aqatain and the rebel forces that finally defeated him. Thus the Prince of Jiran is stuck with trying to mend relations at a time he is suffering an assault of his own and needs the support. And of course Princess Chinata has caught his eye, and that complicates an already complicated situation!

Shandro, Prince of the Penrhy tribe of Jiran, disagrees with his father, Sovereign Pollack, on nearly every issue that arises between them. But his goal is to uphold the family values in spite of Pollack’s conniving moves as he deals with the hotbed of competing nations surrounding them.

Then Shandro is sent on a mission across the mountains into Khandarken to bring back Princess Chinata, a bride for Emperor Carlton’s Advisor. In exchange, Jiran and the Penrhy tribe are given
a peace agreement, protection against invasion by the Emperor’s troops. This seems a good trade, as Carlton is hovering on their borders with his need for more land. However, not far into the journey, it becomes apparent someone is not adhering to the terms of the peace accord.

Near the tribal border, Shandro and his troops have come under direct attack from unknown forces. He digs deeper into Chinata’s background to find strong ties to the New Empire. Is it too dangerous to bring Princess Chinata into Jiran? Or as her escort, does Shandro become her defender against the Emperor’s troops?

Amazon buy link

AUTHOR BIO
Sylvie Grayson loves to write about suspense, romance and murder and has published contemporary romantic suspense novels, all about strong women who meet with dangerous odds, stories of tension and attraction. She has also written The Last War series, a sci fi/fantasy adventure, the fifth book, Prince of Jiran, newly released.

She has lived most of her life in British Columbia, Canada, in spots ranging from Vancouver Island on the west coast to the North Peace River country and the Kootenays in the beautiful interior. She lived for a year in Japan. She has been an English language instructor, a nightclub manager, an auto shop bookkeeper and a lawyer. She lives in southern British Columbia with her husband on a small piece of land near the Pacific Ocean.

Sylvie loves to hear from her readers. You can reach her at sylviegraysonauthor@gmail.com, on her website at www.sylviegrayson.com or on facebook.

Wednesday, January 10, 2018

A Very #Wicked Character by Heather Weidner


Wicked Wednesday


Wicked is as wicked does! Please welcome my guest, Heather Weidner, with her Wicked Wednesday fun.

Thank you so much for letting me stop by and chat with your readers about my wicked character, Chaz Smith, and my new book, The Tulip Shirt Murders. It’s the second in my Delanie Fitzgerald mystery series.

Chaz is despicable and infamous in Central Virginia. He is notorious for driving his flashy Humvee, covered in bikini-clad models to advertise his sleazy strip club.  Charles Wellington “Chaz” Smith, III, a trust-fund baby descended from a distinguished Virginia family, first appeared in Secret Lives and Private Eyes. He’s a local strip club owner who hired my private investigator, Delanie Fitzgerald, to uncover some dirt on the mayor of Richmond. Chaz Smith had purchased some property that he wanted to turn into a second gentleman’s club, but the grassroots’ resistance to his effort got the attention of city hall. He thought if he had some dirt, he could use it as a bargaining chip in his permit negotiations. But he gets more than he bargained for.

Chaz has the worst table manners and no filter. He speaks whatever he thinks in the moment, but he grows on Delanie after a while. And it doesn’t hurt that he always pays in cash. Delanie reluctantly takes the case, but she has to spend most of her summer trying to clear Chaz’s name when the mayor ends up murdered in front of Chaz’s club, the Treasure Chest (which happens to be located in downtown Richmond on the site where Edgar Allan Poe used to write for the Southern Literary Messenger). And Chaz, who mouthed off and threatened the local politician, is the prime suspect.

The contemptible businessman reappears in The Tulip Shirt Murders with more requests for Delanie and her partner, Duncan Reynolds. He believes the police have the wrong man in an open and shut murder case. He believes the boyfriend of the victim, granddaughter of his family’s long-time housekeeper, isn’t the killer, and he wants Delanie to investigate. Delanie and Duncan’s research uncovers other similar cases, and they have to put the pieces together to find the real killer before someone else is murdered.

Chaz is always full of surprises. In The Tulip Shirt Murders, Chaz asks Delanie and her firm, Falcon Investigations, to research other property in the suburbs for a new idea he has. He wants to open a restaurant with all-make revue. When Delanie recovers from the surprise of being Chaz’s confidant, he also asks her to do some campaign opposition research for him because he’s decided that he’s what Richmond needs. He plans to run for mayor in a special election to replace the murdered mayor. Book three will include Chaz’s campaign adventures.

Chaz is a fun character to write because he is unconventional, gross, and often sleazy. My sleuth is sassy and spunky and gets herself in and out of all kinds of trouble, and Chaz is a good foil for her. He represents the underside of humanity and allows her glimpses into his world.

But the sleazy strip club owner isn’t a total villain. We learn in the first book, that his elderly neighbor adores him because he cat-sits for her when she goes to visit her sister in Cincinnati. And he is a loyal fan and supporter of Delanie.

The Tulip Shirt Murders –  Heather Weidner
Private investigator Delanie Fitzgerald, and her computer hacker partner, Duncan Reynolds, are back for more sleuthing in The Tulip Shirt Murders. When a local music producer hires the duo to find out who is bootlegging his artists’ CDs, Delanie uncovers more than just copyright thieves. And if chasing bootleggers isn’t bad enough, local strip club owner and resident sleaze, Chaz Smith, pops back into Delanie’s life with more requests. The police have their man in a gruesome murder, but the loud-mouthed strip club owner thinks there is more to the open and shut case. Delanie and Duncan link a series of killings with no common threads. And they must put the rest of the missing pieces together before someone else is murdered.

The Tulip Shirt Murders is a fast-paced mystery that appeals to readers who like a strong female sleuth with a knack for getting herself in and out of humorous situations such as larping and trading elbow jabs with roller derby queens.


Author Biography:

Heather Weidner’s short stories appear in the Virginia is for Mysteries series and 50 Shades of Cabernet. She is a member of Sisters in Crime – Central Virginia, Guppies, and James River Writers. The Tulip Shirt Murders is her second novel in her Delanie Fitzgerald series.

Originally from Virginia Beach, Heather has been a mystery fan since Scooby Doo and Nancy Drew. She lives in Central Virginia with her husband and a pair of Jack Russell terriers.

Heather earned her BA in English from Virginia Wesleyan College and her MA in American literature from the University of Richmond. Through the years, she has been a technical writer, editor, college professor, software tester, and IT manager. She blogs regularly with the Pens, Paws, and Claws authors.

Author Links:

Website and Blog: www.heatherweidner.com 

Monday, January 8, 2018

What Awaits YOU in 2018 #Gifts #Prizes #Suspense

MUSE MONDAY

It's the start of another grrrreat year. I've got so much planned that I'm already running 50 miles an hour with ten goals dangling a carrot to keep me on the treadmill.

I've got several new promotions planned, joined a couple of great groups, and I'll write about those in upcoming posts.

I've began writing a new series, yet to be named. The books are inspired by Jerome, Arizona. In fact, I'm writing two books at the same time for that series. I jump between 1970 and 2018 on any given day. This series has me so excited. It's romantic suspense with a mystical twist.

It's also a new year for my Quarterly Newsletter Group. And like the last couple of years, I'm giving a gift each month to someone from the group. All that's required is you remain a loyal newsletter member. Not only are do my members have a chance at a monthly gift, but they receive a quarterly report on what's new in my writing world, what's might be new in the reader world at large, and other interesting tidbits. Four times a year...and if you want to hear from me more often, all you have to do is give me a holler via email.

Hurry on over and click here to join my Quarterly Newsletter Group.

Here are this year's prizes:
Jan       $10 AMC Movie Gift Certificate
Feb      Costume Jewelry
Mar      Shell Spreading Knives
Apr      $5 Amazon Gift Card
May     Costume Jewelry
Jun       Southwest Style Bathroom Set
Jul        $5 Amazon Gift Card
Aug     Bug in a Bag with Knife
Sep      Costume Jewelry
Oct      $5 Amazon Gift Card
Nov     Holiday themed
Dec      $10 Amazon Gift Card



Sunday, January 7, 2018

THE LAST TORTUGA THURSDAY, Revisited #farming

For the balance of the year and the first week of January, 2018, I'm reprinting some popular posts dating back to 2013. Hope you enjoy again or for the first time.
January, 2016

The Farmer has left the farm.

Those of us left behind do not want to pick up the hoe and continue…that would be retired hubby and me.

Four years ago when we started this adventure:
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.

We didn’t know if it would be a success or not. It’s not easy living under the same roof with relatives. Add
Red Okra and Soy Beans

to that, trying to come up with a plan to make a living off the land and feed the family. That was my son’s plan.

In spite of changing directions this year, our adventure was a success.

Black Tomatoes

We ate well. I’d always loved fruits and vegetables, but had never tried, much less seen, some of the varieties my son grew. Red okra? Black tomatoes? And we contributed mightily to the local food bank. Hubby vowed from day one he didn’t play in the dirt, but he came up with some pickle recipes that rocked the world of many pickle enthusiasts who we sold to at the farmers’ market.
Frank's Recipe


We learned some life skills…survival in many forms. And we did it without killing each other in the process. Like I said, two families under one roof has pitfalls to avoid. We did it. In the four years, we had a marriage and added a new member to the family. You might have heard me talk about my granddaughter—just a little! We also lost a member, Rusty. We’ve missed him horribly.

Rusty
So, if it was going so well, what happened? Money happened, and an offer he couldn’t refuse. We’d learned a new lifestyle, but hadn’t yet found the way to make a very good living. Then out of the blue, a friend of a friend offered the Farmer a job. Actually, more than a job, a piece of a new business. He wasn't looking for it, yet there it was. He thought long and hard—we all did—but in the end, a man can’t turn his back on an outstanding opportunity.The future is bright.

Turn the page. The next chapter has started.  Hubby and I will be making it up as we go for a while. Although our son’s family had to relocate, we’ll watch over the property and split our time between there and the RV. I’m turning Tortuga Thursday into Thrifty Thursday. In this world, at least in our world, we need all the help we can muster for living on the cheap. I’ll mold Thursdays into a helpful account of our adventure. I hope. You let me know as it goes. I changed my mind after this post went live. I'm not sure what I will call it, but Thursdays will continue with the adventure/misadventures of retiring, sort of, and just where this new chapter is headed. Yes, any hints I can come up with for creative living will be included.

You can still check the blog on Monday for Muse Monday, on Friday for Fearless Friday, and I’ve added Wicked Wednesday.

Thanks for following along on Tortuga Thursdays. You can still read those past posts since they are archived right here. I hope you follow along and enjoy the new face of the blog.

Saturday, January 6, 2018

SO YOU THINK YOU CAN DANCE by Peggy Jaeger, Revisited

For the balance of the year and the first week of January, 2018, I'm reprinting some popular posts dating back to 2013. Hope you enjoy again or for the first time.

August, 2015

FEARLESS FRIDAY
Please welcome my guest, Peggy Jaeger and enjoy her fun post!

I used to think I danced well. I always had fun at weddings and parties when the music played, as long as it had a recognizable beat. So last year when I was asked to take part in our town high school’s fundraiser Dancing with the Keene Stars, I said “yes” without a moment's hesitation. The event is patterned after the television show where 10 stars or people active in community affairs are partnered with 10 pros or people with dance experience. I agreed because it’s a wonderful fundraiser for Project Graduation. Plus, I knew I could dance.

Turns out I can't. Not according to Ballroom rules.

I was assigned a much younger partner (read 24 to my 55), given the Cha-Cha to learn which we would dance to CeeLo Green's Forget You. Snappy, upbeat tempo song, perfect for a fast cha-cha.

And someone who could actually dance.

From the first day of rehearsals I tried to put on a good game face. I listened to all the instructions given by the dance director, only managed to step on my partner's toes three times and fell down flat on my a** twice.

Yeah, I thought I could dance.

The closer we got to the actual performance, the lousier I danced - if what I was doing could be called dancing. In reality my partner guided me around the dance floor while I tried to keep up and not fall...or come out of my shoes. I put my good, game face on again, answering people who asked if I was nervous, "of course not. What’s to be nervous about? It's a fundraiser, so everybody wins. Besides, what's the worst that could happen?"

I realize now I didn't think that statement through.

At dress rehearsal the night before the first performance, I glanced around at all the other stars. None of them looked like me, were as old as me, or seemed as scared as I did. What was I doing here? I was a 55 year old, bottled blonde, menopausally chubby (read: fat!) woman, sweating like a farm animal from non-relenting hot flashes, trying to compete with girls half my age, NOT going through menopause, and who all looked model-amazing in their skimpy dance costumes, while I was wearing a black Amish schmatta with fringe covering me from my neck to the bottom of my knees. Not a good look. On anyone.

My rehearsal did not go well. It fact, I was pretty certain they were going to pull me from the line up. Of course they didn't (no such luck!). I wanted to run out of the auditorium, straight to Dunkin Donuts, and drown my self-doubt in Boston Cremes and chocolate munchkins. I didn't have a month to drop 67 pounds; I didn't have time to get a new costume; I didn't have any more time to practice the dance. Tomorrow night I would be forced to make a complete and utter fool of myself in public with friends, family, and business leaders watching me, look sweaty and fat-jiggly doing it, and have to face the community afterwards.

Driving home from the debacle, I realized I had two opposing forces working inside me: a truckload of fear and a lifetime of attitude. The fear was from pure performance anxiety. I don't like being the center of attention on any day, so what the heck had I been thinking when I'd said yes to being in the cast? It must have been a menopausal brain synapsis misfire moment. Well, aside from food poisoning, running away, or sudden death, I was committed to performing, so I decided to put the attitude to work, in spite of being scared to death.

FDR said, "The only thing we have to fear is fear itself." Tell it to the chick in the black dancing shoes, shaking like she's going through an earthquake and sweating enough to raise steam from her body. But I digress.

The night of the first performance I was scheduled to go on second to last - sheer torture for the nerves- and stayed back stage, running the routine in my head a thousand times, a smile tinged with a boatload of crazy of my face, my hands folded in front of me so no one could see them shake. Never let them see you sweat...remember that one?

The curtain rose, the music started, and my partner and I danced out.

We were...okay. I didn't fall or forget my routine. I did come out of a shoe at one point though, but I stomped my foot back in and kept the maniacal smile on my face. When we were done there was even applause. Thunderous applause. So much applause I looked around the stage to try and see who everyone was clapping for. Well, jeez: it was me! (and my partner).

During the interview phase after the dance the 3 judges all commented on how fabulous my legs looked - the only skinny part of me - and how I kept my smile in place through the routine, which they all agreed, I seemed to be enjoying. If they only knew. I'd been detailing my comical woes of dancing on my website blog throughout the week as a way of promoting the event, and one of the judges had been following my entries. I got teary-eyed when she quoted something I'd penned the night before after the rehearsal disaster. She read aloud to the audience, "...challenges come in all forms, and in order to grow and thrive as humans, we need to take them up from time to time. Learning how to dance the cha-cha has been an enervating and exhausting thing for someone as sedentary (both in mind and body) as myself. I have to think logically, count (not my strong suit!) and concentrate on so many aspects - head up, don't look down, keep your shoulders square, smile. It's a lot for someone like me who basically hibernates in a solitary writing room."

It felt a little weird having my written thoughts repeated back to me, but in a way it was empowering as well. Since the first performance was over and I'd succeeded in not breaking a leg or doing some serious damage to my partner's toes, the fear of performing in public ebbed a tad.

Less than a tad, actually.

Night two went...okay also. Same thunderous applause again, and this time the judges said the toe-tapping song, my dance routine, and my happy smiling attitude had energized the audience who'd begun to wane a bit. Imagine!

I may never dance in public again but I was able to put my self-doubts and fears of not looking perfect and of not performing flawlessly aside for a good cause. The take away lesson for me was to just do the best you can with anything you attempt, smile through it, and...never let them see you sweat.

Oh, and one other thing I learned: I did know how to dance...freestyle, that is. I'm leaving the ballroom stuff to the pros from now on.


BIO:
Peggy Jaeger is a contemporary romance author who writes about strong women, the families who support them, and the men who can't live without them. 

Her current titles, available now, include SKATER'S WALTZ and THERE'S NO PLACE LIKE HOME, books 1 and 2 in her 6-book The MacQuire Women Series, published by The Wild Rose Press. Book 3, FIRST IMPRESSIONS releases on 9/23/15.

Tying into her love of families, her children's book, THE KINDNESS TALES, was illustrated by her artist mother-in-law.

Peggy holds a master's degree in Nursing Administration and first found publication with several articles she authored on Alzheimer's Disease during her time running an Alzheimer's in-patient care unit during the 1990s. 

In 2013, she placed first in two categories in the Dixie Kane Memorial Contest: Single Title Contemporary Romance and Short/Long Contemporary Romance.

A lifelong and avid romance reader and writer, she is a member of RWA and her local New Hampshire RWA Chapter.






Friday, January 5, 2018

Classic Lit Inspires Cowboy Sexy by Lexi Post, Revisited

For the balance of the year and the first week of January, 2018, I'm reprinting some popular posts dating back to 2013. Hope you enjoy again or for the first time.

August, 2015

MUSE MONDAY
Please welcome my guest, Lexi Post!

Brenda, thank you so much for having me! I’m thrilled to be here on Muse Monday.
I like talking about the inspiration for my stories. My erotic romance is inspired by classic literature and though that may sound counter intuitive, it really works for me. My most recent release COWBOY’S MATCH is book two in my Poker Flat series. The whole series is inspired by Bret Harte’s 1869 short story “The Outcasts of Poker Flat.” I always post the original story (or link) on my website for those who are interested http://www.lexipostbooks.com/bret-harte/
In Harte’s story, four members of Poker Flat society—a gambler, a prostitute, a madam, and a drunk--are banned from the western settlement when a sudden urge to be virtuous overtakes the citizens. On their way to the next settlement, they meet with an innocent couple, a young man and his fiancĂ©e (a tavern waitress). This cast of characters explores the relationship between the innocent and the tainted in Harte’s story. In the first book in my series, COWBOYS NEVER FOLD, I paired up one of the innocent, a cowboy, with one of the tainted, a female professional poker player and owner of Poker Flat Nudist Resort.
In book 2, COWBOY’S MATCH, I delve into a different theme: judging who is tainted and who is innocent. Cole Hatcher is a cowboy who became a professional firefighter to help support his horse rescue ranch. He decided to be a firefighter because his first girlfriend in high school had been accused of arson and then later the fire was ruled accidental. Lacey Winters, the said girlfriend, has always been a good girl and was hurt by the arson charge, but devastated by Cole dumping her because of it. She goes off to college, earns a degree in accounting and then chooses to work at Poker Flat as their bookkeeper.  When Cole arrives at Poker Flat to put out a fire and sees Lacey again, he immediately assumes the worst. I hope by the end of the story, not only is a reader satisfied with a happy, sexy ending, but also thinks about how we judge
people. I know, way too deep for an erotic romance. What can I say, I was raised on classic literature, but read romance voraciously. The whole theme is buried in the story, so it’s still just a fun, hot read.
COWBOY’S MATCH is currently available in the 12 ALARM COWBOYS box set that just released August 4th for only 99 cents. This is a limited time price. It’s 12 brand new cowboy firefighter stories by 11 amazing authors and myself and they are all hot ;-) Hope you enjoy.
Always, Lexi
Here’s an excerpt from COWBOY’S MATCH.
Finishing her last bite of taco, she took another sip of tea and headed for the kitchen with her empty glass. She refilled her iced tea, narrowly avoiding Rachel.
The last thing she wanted was the staff gossiping about her and Cole. No, her and John. Sugar, she needed to push Cole Hatcher out of her head.

She strolled through the main room with the huge fireplace, pondering whether to do the state taxes or the bills next. As she turned the corner to the back hall, she walked straight into a clothed man. She grabbed her glass with both hands as strong hands on her shoulders kept her from falling. She didn’t need to look up to know it was Cole. His cedar scent and his bulk told her.
“Are you all right?” The concern in his voice mirrored that in his gaze as it roved over her face.
No, she wasn’t all right. She was a complete mess. “Yes, I’m fine.” Her breath came out as a whisper and she cleared her throat. Darn, but he had the most beautiful eyes. The bright green was streaked with tiny flecks of blue, making them hypnotizing.
“Lacey?” He lowered his head, bringing those breathtaking eyes even closer.
She could lose herself in his gaze, especially as it turned dark and his face tensed. She remembered that look. He was going to kiss her.
She tried to make her mouth form the word her heart craved, but her mind triggered a warning bell as loud as a fire alarm. As he lowered his strong chin with his firm lips toward her own, her throat finally opened.
“No.” The word came out more like a caress than a command, but he stilled, his lips only inches away from hers. She swallowed. “Please don’t.”
He pulled back as if she’d slapped him. “Am I so odious?”
She shook her head. “I can’t go there with you again, unless you can honestly tell me you believe I didn’t start the fire in Orson.” A glimmer of hope flamed to life in her heart as he hesitated.
Turning his hat in his hand, he met her gaze and sighed. “I can’t, Lacey.”
That stubborn flame of hope extinguished quickly in the pool of hurt in her chest. “Then please leave me alone.”
Indecision flashed in his eyes before he nodded. Without saying another word, he donned his hat and strode out of the building.
Amazon Pre-Order Links:
US -
http://tinyurl.com/12AlarmCowboysUS
UK -
http://tinyurl.com/12AlarmCowboysUK...
AU -
http://tinyurl.com/12AlarmCowboysAU
CA -
http://tinyurl.com/12AlarmCowboysCA
Barnes & Noble (Nook)
http://tinyurl.com/12AlarmCowboysNook
Kobo
http://tinyurl.com/12AlarmCowboysKobo
iBooks
https://itun.es/us/9JMo7.l
ADD to Your Goodreads List:
http://tinyurl.com/12AlarmCowboysGoodReads

About Lexi
Lexi Post is a New York Times and USA Today best-selling author of erotic romance. She spent years in higher education taking and teaching courses about the classical literature she loved. From Edgar Allan Poe's short story “The Masque of the Red Death” to Tolstoy’s War and Peace, she's read, studied, and taught wonderful classics.
But Lexi's first love is romance novels. In an effort to marry her two first loves, she started writing erotic romance inspired by the classics and found she loved it. Lexi believes there is no end to the romantic inspiration she can find in great literature. Her books are known as "erotic romance with a whole lot of story."
Lexi is living her own happily ever after with her husband and her cat in Florida. She makes her own ice cream every weekend, loves bright colors, and you will never see her without a hat.