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my books, new authors, tips from the latest chapter in my life, people, places, and fun tidbits.
Tune in for
Muse Monday, Wicked Wednesday, Trippin' Thursdays,
and Fearless Friday as told by my guests and me.

Monday, April 24, 2017

Love and War in Any Element by Colleen L. Donnelly


MUSE MONDAY
Please welcome my guest, Colleen L. Donnelly with a very entertaining post...

It’s movie night in front of the DVD player and the males are voting for action movies – conquests, fighting, and chest-thumping winners bloodied from their victories. The females argue against two hours of unrelated sequences of brutality and heroic feats, hoping for a more tightly woven saga involving a hero and a heroine on an adventure riddled with conflict and camaraderie until they ultimately wind up in a chest-to-chest loving embrace. Two different…wait…are those two types of scenarios actually different? Can the story of two fighters in a ring parallel the conflicts of a boy and a girl on their way to becoming a couple? “Ewwww” and “No” are the most likely reactions from the moving-watching crowd, but I beg to differ.

I looked at what I write and the movies I watch (or am subjected to) and discovered relationships are the basis of almost any story told – a boy pitted against the elements in order to survive, a girl finding herself loved in spite of self-doubt, a country vying against another for power, aliens and other planets warring against earth, animals forming unlikely bonds to overcome obstacles, thieves trying to outsmart the law… All of them hinge on relationships in one form or another – one being encountering another or themselves, and clambering toward a hopefully positive outcome.

My writer’s eye watches for conflict, seeking out what will make or break a relationship, and ultimately a good story. Even though none of my characters resolve their issues with guns or soccer balls, the wars are there – the unloved wife accused of infidelity in “Asked For,” the young woman whose heart belonged to another instead of to the man her family had arranged for her to marry in “Love on a Train.” Or, the conflict searing enough to split a family into two warring factions, unforgiveness vs forgiveness, in “Mine to Tell.”

So, can peace and harmony reign in front of the television between the two factions warring over physical vs emotional conflict? Can those with romantic notions see heroes vanquishing and vanquished by more than a heroine’s heart? And can those with non-romantic notions concede John Wayne did win and lose less manly sorts of battles, and did so without a gun? To a degree, yes. Because, no matter what our pleasure, there is a relationship buried in any encounter somewhere.

“Mine to Tell” is the story of the Crouse family shame, three generations accepting great-grandfather Isaac’s claim that his wife, Julianne, had done the unthinkable when she disappeared for two weeks. Great-granddaughter, Annabelle, on the cusp of her own marriage, decides to do the unthinkable herself and give Julianne a chance to tell her side of the story. With both great-grandparents long since deceased, Annabelle unboards the closed-up house Isaac had relegated Julianne to, and moves in, believing the truth is there somewhere and it will set the Crouse family women free. Annabelle’s actions further split her family as well as her own engagement as she determines to find the truth, her only faithful companions in her venture being her great-grandmother’s hidden story and the quiet young man down the road she’d ignored while growing up.

Excerpt:
“Mine to tell,” Kyle said suddenly. It was a jolt. I was yanked from my mental tumble into a pit of unredemption. Alex looked up too, a quizzical expression on his face. “Julianne left a story behind,” Kyle continued. “Some of it speculation and rumors by people who don’t know, and the rest of it by her own hand. It was a love story. One that was countered with suffering.” 

We were all quiet. I looked at him, my heart melting as I heard his masculine voice speak of love and suffering. I wanted to lean across the table and hug him, but I was too afraid. 

Alex leaned back in his chair. “What my father went through didn’t feel like love when we were little.” 

“But maybe it was,” Kyle persisted, his tone smooth and even. “Does love always turn out the way we want it to?” Then he looked at me. “Julianne Crouse was a fine woman. We haven’t finished her story, but she suffered, and she was fine indeed.” 

Tears came to my eyes. “Thank you,” I squeaked. Kyle stood and walked around the table to me. He helped me stand as he thanked them for their time. He retrieved Julianne’s picture, took my hand, and together we went to the door, Alex and his wife following us. 

“I hope you’re right,” Alex said, running his hand through his thin, brittle hair as we stepped outside. “My father had some things to come to terms with, but he was a good man. A better man later in life, when he told us he was sorry. I never knew for what.” 

Buy link to “Mine to Tell”   http://amzn.to/1PNJo4S
Buy Link to “Love on a Train”  http://amzn.to/1m9eYCx
Buy Link to “Asked For”  http://amzn.to/1TyflEu




Thursday, April 20, 2017

Wildlife Meets Wild Life

Kiss is coming to Laughlin

TRIPPIN' THURSDAY

The RV Life
Wild Saturday, wild life, and wildlife. April started off with Wild Saturday. The Happy Hour Gang pool the spoils of the hunt, and the Williams host this feast every year at the RV Ranch. This year we had dove, quail, and elk. Last year,
FDW caught an 8.5 lb striper
they talked Frank into keeping some fish leading up to Wild Saturday, but they weren't successful this year. I made some wild beans and bacon.

This last week, we spent a few days in Laughlin, Nevada. A few years ago, back in the farm days, we would go

Clowning on the River Walk

several times a year. One of the casinos started sending us free nights. We still get them and try to make use as often as possible...that is when it's good fishing weather. We go on the cheap with free rooms, take our breakfasts and lunches in a cooler, tote a small coffee pot with us, and use coupons for dinners at various casinos. During the day, Frank fishes and I write. This trip, the wild life and wildlife were an added benefit. Sharing pictures!

Thumbs up coming in to Laughlin
Another gesture leaving Laughlin





Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Sinners and Saints by Gemma Snow


WICKED WEDNESDAY

Please welcome Gemma Snow as guest blogger today. She's talking all kinds of wicked. Enjoy!

            In the case of It Takes Three to Waltz, I wanted my setting to be as wicked as my heroes. Lords Lucien Sinclair and Gabriel Montague are co-owners of London’s most notorious dance hall, The Garden of Eden – a location rife with opportunity for bad behavior. My love for art history and erotic romance manifested into the design of The Garden of Eden, also referred to as The Garden. In stained glass and upon canvas, I twisted traditional biblical scenes to set the mood of the salacious club, where lords and ladies find no end to hidden shadows and secret rooms.

            The Original Sin Masquerade Ball, where a whole host of wicked behavior occurs, takes the reimagining of pious scenes to an entirely new level, with painted human statues in lascivious poses and half-nude acrobats suspended high above the lush gardens.

            The idea of original sin appealed to me as a concept, because there is so much ripe history and imagery to create from. For centuries, art was focused upon biblical scenes, and my heroes – and I! – have no qualms about perverting those traditional images to allure and entice, as Lucien and Gabriel are supremely fond of. In the course of art history, I am certainly not the first – nor will I be the last – to find original sin a seductive concept. But my debonair Lucien and rakish Gabriel are both wicked, depraved men with a taste for all sorts of sin. I couldn’t think of a better place for them to find it, except, perhaps, in the arms of the woman they love. 

It Takes Three to Waltz is not yet available for purchase, but get your FREE copy of Boardroom, Bedroom - Get it here: https://www.instafreebie.com/free/r7rS2 - and check out my most recent release, Good Little Teacher! 

Good Little Teacher 

New teacher Emmy Lange is adjusting to life at the Redding Boarding School. She can’t shake the giddy feeling that the handsome headmaster, Marcus Powers, is attracted to her. Underneath his stern and commanding demeanor is a spark that beckons to her. When he asks her to his office to review her progress, she can't help but wonder if the intimate setting could lead to some sinful discipline, especially when he takes her to task for her improper usage of his title. His deep voice makes her shiver, and Emmy might find it all too easy to enjoy a "hands-on" lesson on how to properly address the handsome headmaster. 

Except: 

But it might not be the letter that’s making me shiver. Marcus is standing so close to me now that I can smell him, a delicious combination of coffee and book pages and fireplace, and the scent of his body is so overwhelming that I nearly lose my balance.
“Are you quite all right, Miss Lange?” He cups his hand on my shoulder.
The warmth of his hand has a less than calming effect, and I feel hot and slightly dizzy with his proximity. He reaches for the letter and places it on a side table, but leaves me trapped between him and the desk. I’m starting to think that the nature of this evening has changed completely, and that it’s unlikely that this is all in my imagination.
At that passing thought, Marcus runs his hand down the length of my upper arm. I try to suppress a shudder, but it comes anyway, my whole body responding to the surprisingly delicate touch of his hand.
“Marcus,” I whisper, and his name seems to echo around the room like a prayer.
He caresses the skin on my other arm, and I feel like I’ve stumbled into some crazy dream, because there is no way that this gorgeous headmaster is touching me, looking at me like he’s hungry.
“I admit,” he says slowly. “I find myself quite drawn to you, Miss Emily Lange.”
Buy Links: The Wild Rose PressAmazon   Nook   Kobo 

About Author: 

Gemma Snow is the author of several works of erotic and romantic fiction in both the contemporary and historical genres, and enjoys pushing the limits of freedom, feminism, and fun in her stories. She has been an avid writer for many years, and recently moved back to her home state of New Jersey from Boston, after completing her education in journalism and creative writing. 

In her free time, she loves to travel, and spent a semester abroad living in a 14th century castle in the Netherlands. When not exploring the world, she likes dreaming up stories, eating spicy food, driving fast cars, and talking to strangers. 

Check me out on social media and visit GemmaSnow.com for your FREE download of Boardroom, Bedroom.








Monday, April 10, 2017

A Novel Born From Desperation by Gary Guinn


MUSE MONDAY
Please welcome today's guest, Gary Guinn and his debut novel. Read to the end and enter his giveaway!

Sacrificial Lam, my first genre novel, a mystery/thriller featuring a liberal English professor teaching at a small, conservative southern college, released by The Wild Rose Press on March third, was born out of desperation. Two years ago, my writing had stagnated. On a beautiful day in October, while my wife and I were visiting friends at their beach condo in New Smyrna Beach, Florida, I realized I had been revising older work
for months, while creating nothing new. I felt discouraged and became convinced that I was failing completely as a writer.

Then a serendipitous thing happened. An ad for NaNoWriMo popped up in my email box. I had heard of it, but never taken it seriously. But I grabbed onto NaNoWriMo as if it were a lifeline. I had to do something, and I knew it had to be something new. All my writing to that point had been literary fiction, purely character driven, avoiding formula like the plague. “Well,” I told myself, “what good is literary purism if it’s stuck in a Slough of Despond?” So I turned to my favorite genre, mystery/thriller. Almost as a lark, I decided to write about a protagonist very much like myself—a liberal English professor who taught in a small, conservative southern college. My protagonist, Dr. Lam Corso, looked a lot like me, and the school where the novel is set looks a lot like the small university where I taught. Writing the novel turned out to be liberating and fun.

I spent the last week of our visit to the beach working on a detailed outline, and during the month of November cranked out fifty-five thousand words. After a year of feedback from my writing group and six months of working with my editor at The Wild Rose Press, Sacrificial Lam was ready to go.

But the genesis of the novel entailed much more than simply stagnated writing and NaNoWriMo. On page one, Dr. Lam Corso receives a note threatening his life, from someone who doesn’t like his beliefs. Fairly early in my career at the university, a disturbing incident occurred, which stuck with me through the years. Three of my colleagues at the university, who were all liberal, progressive professors like myself, received anonymous threats couched in violent terms, aimed specifically at their liberal positions on social issues. The university was a very conservative place, and liberal professors like ourselves were in a real minority and sometimes found teaching there an uncomfortable fit. At the same time, we felt a sense of purpose, of mission, in being the source of divergent, more open, views in the areas of politics, social issues, and religion.

The threats created a tense environment. As it happens, nothing further came of them, but that situation has become the kernel for developing the series of mystery/thrillers featuring English professor Lam Corso. Sacrificial Lam is the first in the series. The second, which I am close to finishing, has the working title Lam to the Slaughter.

And I guess the thematic material in the novel, has emerged at a fitting time historically. In the novel, there is a strong strain of religious and political fanaticism and intolerance of difference and divergence that drives some of the characters. We live in a world where the destructive results of fanaticism and intolerance leap out at us every day. Though the novel does not attempt to promote any particular ideology, I do hope the story is a voice for tolerance and respect and the importance of the dignity of every human being. 

  Sacrificial Lam Blurb 

When English professor Lam Corso receives a death threat at work, he laughs it off.  A liberal activist at a small Southern conservative college, he's used to stirring up controversy on campus.  It's just part of the give and take of life.  Even when violently attacked, Lam is convinced it must be a mistake.  He can't imagine anyone who would want to kill him for his beliefs. 

When his home is broken into and his wife's business vandalized, Lam is forced to face the truth. His wife—a passionate anti-gun crusader—is outraged when Lam brings a gun into the house for protection. The police can't find a single lead. Left to their own devices, Lam and Susan are forced to examine their marriage, faith, and values in the face of a carefully targeted attack from an assailant spurred into action by his own set of beliefs. 

What will it cost to survive?  

Excerpt 

When he dropped Lam back to the pavement, he said, “You dodged a bullet Friday afternoon. My bad. But I won’t miss this time.” And then the attacker stepped away and waited, breathing hard.

Another shock of fear and clarity ran through Lam. The car had been trying to kill him. He’d been a fool. He thought of Susan, sitting with the boys on the sofa, watching TV and sipping a glass of wine. He couldn’t let go of her, he couldn’t bear to leave her and the boys, lying there in an empty parking lot. It wasn’t supposed to be this way. He had imagined dying hundreds of times—cancer, car wreck, drowning, plane crash—but never this, beaten to death by a lunatic who didn’t like his politics.

A desperate sound, short, high, and strained, broke from him. Blind without his glasses in the dark, he was helpless, but he refused to lie there and be killed without a fight. He tried again to stand. But as he struggled to his knees, a blow to the side of his head sent him sprawling against the bike rack, and he thought he was passing out.

The voice came again, “Time’s up, Lambert.”

When Lam looked up, the man stood above him with something, a knife Lam thought, in his hand.

The voice said, “You were warned.”

Buy Links for Sacrificial Lam, by Gary Guinn 





TWRP:

 Social Media Links:



Website/Blog: https://garyguinn.com 

Giveaways:

Rafflecopter  http://gvwy.io/46kqj5b

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

THE DIRTY 30s by Sylvie Grayson


WICKED WEDNESDAY
Please welcome my guest Sylvie Grayson today. She has a wicked story!

This story is set in the dirty ‘30’s when times were very tough, and people were on the move looking for opportunity, or just food to feed their families. Julia Butler, a widow, has two small children and is barely hanging on. When two young strangers happen by her farm, she feels compelled to let them in. But they don’t come without connections that make things dangerous for the whole family.  Here is an excerpt –

“Ben, quick! Around the corner!” Ollie grabbed his brother’s sleeve as he whipped past, heading for the side of the school building. Ben looked startled but Ollie kept going, his head down and legs pumping. Alarmed by the panic in his brother’s voice, Ben abandoned his game of ball and ran after him, past the duty teacher and into the shadows of the woodpile at the back of the school.

“Ollie, hold it! Where are you going? What is it?”

His brother had stopped, holding his side, his eyes wide and unfocussed. “Ben, he’s here, we have to hide!”

“What are you talking about?” Ben shook his shoulder and peered into his face. “Who’s here? Ollie, stop it!”

Ollie shook, holding his arms against his thin chest. “He’s here, Pa’s here. I just saw him.” He pointed a wavering finger in the general direction of the front yard.

Ben’s jaw dropped. He lowered his voice. “Are you sure? Was it really him?”

Ollie nodded, staring into his eyes, panic written on his face.

Ben’s head swiveled around and he looked back the way they’d come, then he moved to the corner of the building and peered cautiously around.

“Ben, don’t do it. Come back, he’ll see you!”

He waved Ollie back and stuck his head further out.

“I don’t see anyone,” he whispered. He slowly eased around the corner.

“Ben, he’ll notice you more than me. Don’t go out there!”

They stood still, breathing shallowly as Ben scanned the schoolyard, then he snuck back toward his brother. “What should we do?”

Ollie shook his head, “I don’t know.” His legs suddenly wobbled under him and he sat heavily on a stack of firewood.

Ben crouched beside him. “Do you want to see him, Ollie?”

He shrugged, uncertainty shining in his eyes. “I’m afraid he’ll take us back there. Back home.

“That’s not home, not anymore,” Ben said fiercely. “We’ve got us a new home, a real nice one, with a Mum and everything.”

Ollie whimpered. “We had a Mum before, didn’t we?”

Ben shook his head, “Not really.” They fell silent.

When the bell rang by the schoolhouse door, both boys jumped, then rose and cautiously joined the throng of children lining up at the entrance. Their heads turned this way and that, but they couldn’t find their father.

“Are you sure, Ollie? I can’t see him.”

Ollie hung his head. “I don’t know. I’m pretty sure, but I don’t know.”

Ben’s arm snaked around his shoulders for a quick hug, then dropped to his side.

BUY LINK:


Monday, April 3, 2017

Do You Hate to Ask Favors?

Muse Monday...if I have a Muse, she's chomping at the bit wanting me to finish the last book in my Love and Murder Series, The Deep Well of Love and Murder. Chomping at the bit is appropriate since it takes place on a ranch and involves horses. I'm at the point in my novel when I can see the rest of the story stretching before me, completed. It's in my mind like a movie, but I can't write fast enough to keep up. I need to invent a machine to stick my head in, I think the rest of the book, and it flows through tubes and onto the page.

Meanwhile, books three and four, A Legacy of Love and Murder and The Power of Love and Murder, garnered 4-Star reviews from InD'Tale Magazine. I'm thrilled, but I'm also full of anxiety. These great reviews put me up for two RONE Awards. The reason for the anxiety is the process. The next step is in a couple of weeks, the books will appear on the website and voting begins. The books with the most votes will then go to Industry Professionals to be judged. That last part I'm good with. My getting out and asking for votes makes my skin crawl. I really hate it. But I'll have to do. I don't have much hope. Why? Cause I'll ask once and then cower in embarrassment. It's not that I don't believe in the books, I just hate to ask for favors.

For now, I'll rejoice with the reviews.

A LEGACY OF LOVE AND MURDER
Crafting a connection to present day political unrest and history, Ms. Whiteside knocks it out of the park with her style...you have a stellar story that stands firmly alone, while complimenting the series.

THE POWER OF LOVE AND MURDER
...utterly addictive...enough thrills, romance and audacious surprises to make ones head spin. A superb story with an explosive ending.

Here's the link if you'd like to read the entire reviews or check out some other reviews from authors you might want to add to your to be read list.

http://magazine.indtale.com/magazine/2017/april/

Friday, March 31, 2017

FEARFULLY EMBARRASSING by Barbara Bettis


FEARLESS FRIDAY
Please welcome Barbara Bettis as guest blogger today.
Finding a topic for Fearless Friday was a little daunting—I’ve always considered myself boring. But then I remembered my days as a reporter for a small daily newspaper (the only daily in three counties, so we had a wide circulation.)  A person can be fearless in physical situations, but one must also call up fearlessness in potentially embarrassing ones.

A small town is a microcosm of the world. That statement is a truism, but no less accurate. I covered stories that ran the gamut from traffic fatalities to bank robberies to murders. From hot air balloon championships to state Miss America finals to national political conventions. Every day was different.  

One morning while I was preparing to cover an announcement from the area U.S. Congressman, a call came in about a fire at a well-known farm. I grabbed the camera and dashed to my car, estimating the time I had to make it to the fire, get details and photos, and get to the political meeting. I didn’t want to miss it.

Smoke from the fire was visible for miles. The farm was huge, the house sitting back from the main road. Leading to it were equipment barns, livestock barns, grain facilities, family vehicle garages and finally, the residence.

When I arrived, the sheriff and other law enforcement personnel were there, along with several fire vehicles, some at the house, some directing attention to the outbuildings. And an ambulance. I had to park a distance down a side road, then I grabbed my camera, slung over my shoulder a bag with notebook and extra film and lenses. (Yes, it was a few years ago J )

The house was ablaze, sending out visible waves of energy. Dogs were barking, fire hoses roaring, and Mrs. homeowner sobbing in the front yard. Downed powerlines lay along the ground, curling like huge black snakes. I’d covered enough fires to know power was always shut off immediately. Still, I didn’t want to tromp on them. I had on my heels, not having had time to change from my U.S. Congressman-meeting suit.

Already I was late for that gathering where I knew he planned a major announcement, so I ran to the house blaze, hopping on my toes into the empty spaces between the slick, fat lines. I got to the lady of the house, whom I knew, and began to speak with her. And I knew I couldn’t hurry this interview.

So I remained, taking a few photos but mostly talking with her until her husband arrived. At last I judged I could leave. I’d be late to the meeting, but I’d had no choice. Besides, I knew I could call his assistant for the details when I got back to the office.

Returning to the car in much the same way I’d come, I approached the downed lines, seeing the sheriff on the way. “Careful, Barb,” he called. “The electric company hasn’t come yet. All those lines are live.”

The mental image of the head-long hopping run I’d taken coming into the scene stopped me cold. All I could think of was what if I’d slipped, or carelessly tromped on one with a vagrant heel.  The quarter-mile of hot lines suddenly looked like ten miles. I switched my route to the road, but more lines lay there. So very slowly and very carefully I picked my way back to my car.

I threw my material in the passenger seat and backed out, trying not to think of the live power lines I’d hop-scotched through—or of the local man who’d been electrocuted the year before when he stepped on a broken power line after an accident.

Fortunately no one was injured in the fire that day. But I had nightmares for a while afterward.

 Oh, and the meeting? I was late. The Congressman and his assistant, a friend of mine, were still around, along with his Washington D.C. aides. Everyone else was gone. I got the story and a personal interview with extra facts, to boot.

As I prepared to leave, I again apologized for being late. “I was tied up at a fire,” I explained.

“I know.” He smiled. “I can smell it.”

I’d not realized the residual odor of the fire remained on my clothing.

What else could I do? I laughed and he joined in. He enjoyed reminding me of that incident afterward.

We authors must be fearless, too. Writing isn’t always a calm walk on a summer afternoon. Sometimes it’s jumping between hot wires, trying not to get burned.

 I wish for my fellow authors and our wonderful readers a fearless year ahead. Thanks for joining me today.

My current fearless entry into the book world is The Lady of the Forest, a medieval romance with (no shock to anyoneJ) an HEA.

Say Hi to me at:






Buy link for my book: AMAZON;   TWRP;  B&N

Here’s a peek at the blurb:

He must pursue his enemy; she must protect her people. Can their love survive the duties that drive them apart?

When her elderly husband dies, Lady Katherine fakes her own death and disappears into the forest with others escaping the brutish new lord. Determined to protect her people, she knocks the wrong man senseless. But Lord Henry isn’t an enemy, he’s the brother of her childhood friend. Although his tender confidence tempts her, she’s bound by duty.

Henry of Chauvere has found the one lady he wants for his own, never mind she’s tied him hand and foot. When he learns the king has ordered her to wed Stonehill’s ruthless new master, he insists Kate seek haven with his sister. But she won’t desert her friends. Henry vows to solve her problem, provided he catches a traitor before the threat from Kate's past catches her.https://ssl.gstatic.com/ui/v1/icons/mail/images/cleardot.gif



When a daring rescue compels Henry and Kate to join forces, their attraction grows into love. If only duty didn’t drive them apart.

Monday, March 27, 2017

Using every emotion—good or bad—in your stories by Rachel Brimble


MUSE MONDAY
Please welcome back one of my favorite guests, Rachel Brimble. She's always a good read!
So many readers and aspiring writers ask authors where they get their ideas from and I find this a really hard question to answer. For me, ideas are everywhere…but never more so than when I listen to the way I feel about something or, better still, how I react to it.

Every day we experience a whole host of emotions – if you stop and listen to your head and heart, you’ll be surprised just how often your day will be a mix of happiness, disappointment, fear, laughter, love and frustration. My advice? Hone those feelings into your work and your readers will be able to relate to your story and, hopefully, become wholly invested in it.

As I write romance, emotion is key and so is that all-important Happy Ever After.

My first book was published in 2007 and since then I have written at least two books a year. Today, I’m starting to plan my twenty-second and third novels. To say I am running out of ideas would be a lie. That’s not to say I don’t experience the same panic of stretching an idea into an 80,000 word novel!

So how do I ensure I provide my readers with an emotional ride and a satisfying ending?

I look deep inside of myself and think of something that bothers me, makes me happy or scares me. That’s the beginning. That’s the emotion I will run through the entirety of the book and not let go until I type ‘The End’.

My latest release, Saved By The Firefighter, was due to my editor at the end of 2015. I had no intention of writing a firefighting hero when this book was contracted, but at the time I was due to start planning the book, I lost my beloved black Lab, Max.

I was devastated. Distraught. Depressed…unable to climb out of my all-consuming grief. This dog had been my constant companion for ten beautiful years. I, literally, didn’t know what to do with myself.

Then I stopped.

I allowed what I was feeling to wash over me instead of fighting it.

I knew I had to write a book about bereavement, grief, climbing out of the black hole to invite love back into your life…to put your heart on the line once again despite knowing the risks.

Writing Saved By The Firefighter became my therapy, my solace, my healing and readers and reviewers have been so lovely about the result. So many people have told me that I was brave to tackle this subject, even braver to tackle it in a romance novel.

I couldn’t disagree more – what better gift to a grieving reader than to provide them with a story where two characters have experienced heartbreak and through their love for one another found true happiness and love again. This book fixed me! I hope it will you, too  :D

Happy Reading!

Rachel x

Saved by The Firefighter (Harlequin) is out now – this is book 6 in Rachel’s popular Templeton Cove series (all books can be read stand-alone)…

Blurb & buy links:

How can she forgive him for what he didn't do? 

Photographer Izzy Cooper feels as frozen as her pictures. Trent Palmer might be the hottest firefighter in Templeton Cove, but she can never face him again. Not after he failed to save her brother. But when they're forced together by a calendar shoot, the sparks between them are undeniable. 

Izzy knows it's not fair to blame Trent for the tragedy, but opening herself up to loss again isn't something she's prepared to do, no matter how determined Trent is to show her that pain is part of life and that love—their love—can make any suffering bearable.



Buy Links:







Bio/links:

Rachel lives with her husband and two teenage daughters in a small town near Bath in the UK. After having several novels published by small US presses, she secured agent representation in 2011. Since 2013, she has had six books published by Harlequin Superromance (Templeton Cove Stories) and recently signed a contract for two more. She also has four Victorian romances with eKensington/Lyrical Press.

Rachel is a member of the Romantic Novelists Association and Romance Writers of America, and was selected to mentor the Superromance finalist of So You Think You Can Write 2014 contest. When she isn’t writing, you’ll find Rachel with her head in a book or walking the beautiful English countryside with her family. Her dream place to live is Bourton-on-the-Water in South West England.

She likes nothing more than connecting and chatting with her readers and fellow romance writers. Rachel would love to hear from you!

Links:














Saturday, March 25, 2017

April Fool's Day Party...Huge Winners

Fool Me Once-April Fool’s Day Party with Author Alicia Dean and PA In A Pinch

and a whole lot more authors. I'll be there too. We all have 1/2 hour time slots. We're all pitching in prizes. I'll be giving away a $5 Amazon Gift Card for some lucky person that joins me during my half hour. So come on by and check in often! Go here: April Fools Facebook Party

FotorCreated
Welcome! Thank you for participating in our exciting “Fool Me Once” April Fool’s Day Party. This is a Coming Out party for Author Alicia Dean, to introduce her to the Indie Community. Let’s have a blast, PA In A Pinch style! ♥
Kindle Fire
“A Surprise Attendance Prize”
One lucky attendee will win an Amazon Kindle Fire sometime throughout the event. It may be at the end of the event, the middle, or the beginning. Who knows? Only those who go. So, join us in another fantastic PA In A Pinch party and you just may be the lucky winner. *Winner must be present at the time of announcement to win.*
The Kindle Fire is donated courtesy of authors Vonnie Davis, Author, Jannine Gallant, Brenda Whiteside, Callie Hutton, Kathy L Wheeler, Krysta Scott, Alicia Dean, Constance Bretes, Leah St. James.
GRAND PRIZE DETAILS: IT’S A HUGE PACKAGE
You can enter The GRAND PRIZE giveaway via this Rafflecopter link: a Rafflecopter giveaway. The GRAND PRIZE consist more than what it says. Lots of authors are donating. *Winner must be present at the time of announcement to win. Winner has twelve hours to claim the prize. If you do not claim your prize, another winner will be chosen via an online randomizer.* If you scroll down, where the dots are, you'll see all the prizes you could win.
*****AUTHOR LINEUP*****
All times are in Eastern Standard Time.
1:00 pm Josephine Blake
1:30 pm Jannine Gallant
2:00 pm Constance Bretes
2:30 pm Diane Burton – Author
3:00 pm Andy Peloquin
3:30 pm Leah St. James
4:00 pm Jettie Woodruff Author
4:30 pm Krysta Scott
5:00 pm Alicia Dean
5:30 pm Vonnie Davis
6:00 pm Callie Hutton
6:30 pm Brenda Whiteside
7:00 pm Sherry Ewing
7:30 pm Sarah O’Rourke
8:00 pm Kathy L Wheeler

Good Luck To All!!

Thursday, March 23, 2017

Bra Limbo Anyone?

Inside the clubhouse
TRIPPIN' THURSDAY
THE RV LIFE

The RV Ranch always has something going on.

A couple of evenings a week, you can join various card games in the clubhouse. I'm not much on playing cards for the sake of playing cards. If it's a social event with food or drinks and close friends, count me in...for the social aspect.

There's Wild Wednesdays for a couple of months during duck season. When I found out about that one, I did head over to the clubhouse. Turns out it's a man thing. For some reason, there aren't any women who want to try wild game. I felt overwhelmingly out of place even though I like men and can talk easily with them. But there just
Some wild bird wrapped in bacon
seemed to be a little too much testosterone on Wild Wednesday.

Happy Hours abound around the ranch. There aren't any two for one drink specials and if you prefer coconut water over wine, that's fine. We've found a group we like to hang with so most evenings, we'll be enjoying their company.

Enjoying food at Happy Hour
Breakfast in the clubhouse happens a couple of Saturday mornings a month. There's a group who loves to do this and monetary donations are welcomed. They use the money to buy things like the TV and other furnishings for the clubhouse. I make about half of them.

There are the yearly gatherings:

New Years Eve--I find this one humorous. Everyone brings a dish to share. It starts about 7:00 and is nearly cleared out by 8:30. Whoopee! I'm not a night owl anymore either, but New Years...come on, let's whoop it up until at least 10:00.

Pig Roast--I always make this one if we're there. It's outside, everyone brings side dishes, and the food is great. It seems to last longer than New Years Eve.

Horseshoe Tournament prior year
Horseshoe Tournament--I'm more of a Margarita and bra limbo sort of gal, but hey, a day in the sun with friends and laughing at people playing horseshoes turns out to be fun. Unfortunately, this year we had to miss it because we're house/dog sitting for our son's family.

About the week of house/dog sitting. Oh wait. Some of you might be wondering what a bra limbo is. Confession--I rarely drink Margaritas and haven't seen a bra limbo in a few years. When we
Parrothead days of the past
lived in Minnesota and belonged to St. Minnesomeplace in Paradise Parrothead Club, the annual Hotel Party would feature the bra limbo (first initiated by crazy FDW). Women would donate their bra, they would all be tied together and used as the marker to limbo under. I guess you'd have to be there.

Desert across the street from son's home
Back to dog sitting. While son, daughter-in-law, and granddaughter are on a Catalina Cruise, we are staying at their home. I intended to use it as an intensive four days of writing...no
Ranch activities to distract. I got sick the first night with some kind of uncomfortable virus and couldn't even think about writing. My head was killing me and so was my stomach. Two days were totally shot. At least I'm better and even got out of the house for a bit yesterday. If you have to be in the desert, this is the time of year to do it. With all the rain we've had, it's really green.

Hope it's green and warm where you are! And have you ever done the bra limbo?

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

When Maggie Met Captain Licky…by Jessie Clever


WICKED WEDNESDAY
Please welcome my guest, Jessie Clever with a very fun Wicked Wednesday!

My dogs come with warning labels.  Even to the most die-hard of dog lovers, I hold my fur babies back as they strain against their harnesses, eager to meet this new human with the unbelievable power of petting them!  Yes, I say, when a naïve person approaches.  Yes, they are friendly.  Very friendly.  But—I say, solemnly, - they slobber. 

I say this with the gravest of grave tones, and yet, almost always, my warning is met with a flippant hand and a carefree laugh of, “Oh, I’m a dog person.”  You are not, in fact, a dog person until you can honestly swear to love my two fur babies.  And that is why so many of those naïve “dog people” pet my babies for mere seconds before straightening, looking in disgust at their hands, and walking away with a shaky, nervous smile on their lips. 

You see, my fur babies are Basset hounds.  Loud, smelly, dirty, slimy, shedding Basset hounds.  As the saying goes, everyone should have a Basset hound puppy once in her life.  Once being the key word.  I have two such puppies, still puppies at nearly five years old.  They are stubborn hounds, driven by their noses to seek out that which they covet, paying no heed to you and anything you say.  No, they must find the source of the scent, which calls them.  This leads to the loud, the smelly, the dirty, and often, the slimy part of Bassets.  The shedding?  Well, Bassets shed.  A lot.  When I vacuum, I joke that we got a third dog based on the amount of fur that ends up in the trashcan.  That is the way with a hound dog. 

But there’s something else about Bassets.  They will irrevocably, unconditionally, unquestioningly love you until the day they die.  Never before have a met a more loyal and devoted breed.  They are lap dogs at seventy pounds, and they do not care if they squish you.  For inside of them is a well of love that must be nurtured or they will combust at the strain of trying to hold it back. 

So when I was drafting the story of Lady Margaret Folton in To Save a Viscount, I inadvertently made her entirely the opposite of a Basset hound.  She’s neat, clean, and straight as a pin.  Never does she have a hair out of place or a wrinkle in her gown.  She is perfect in everyway.  She must be for a terrible thing from her past has shut her down inside.  She cannot feel.  She cannot let go.  She keeps herself tightly wound so she will never be hurt again. 

So when Maggie walked onto the page, I knew what she needed most.  She needed a Basset hound.  She needed a Basset hound to bay at her in excitement, to ruin her dress with muddy paws earned from an afternoon chasing scent, to inflict her with the odor only Bassets can achieve.  But most importantly, she needed a Basset to slobber her.  And so it is when Maggie meets Captain Edwards, a Basset carefully crafted in the likeness of my own Basset, affectionately called Captain Licky, that the slobbering commenced.  When Captain Edwards meets Maggie, he launches his strong compact body straight at her, knocking her over so he can assault her face with kisses.  This tightly wound woman is no match for the questing tongue of a Basset, and she falls victim to his measures, getting thoroughly slobbered in a wickedly funny scene.  At precisely the same moment she meets the hero of her tale. 

Of course, that’s how it would go.  I probably should have mentioned Bassets have terrible timing as well.

To Save a Viscount buy link: Amazon 

About the Author: 

Jessie decided to be a writer because the job of Indiana Jones was already filled. 

Taking her history degree dangerously, Jessie tells the stories of courageous heroines, the men who dared to love them, and the world that tried to defeat them. 

Jessie makes her home in the great state of New Hampshire where she lives with her husband and two very opinionated (and slimy!) Basset Hounds. 

For more about Jessie and the story of Maggie versus the Captain, visit her website at jessieclever.com.