Monday, December 17, 2018

M.S. Spencer Creates a Cozy on the Island #mystery #romance

MUSE MONDAY

It's cozy mystery romance day for Muse Monday. Please welcome, M. S. Spencer to Discover...

Flotsam & Jetsam is a cozy mystery romance set on a barrier island in north-east Florida.
I first visited Amelia Island to attend the Amelia Island Book Festival, and was struck by the crazy quilt of events it had survived. Known as the Isle of Eight Flags, it had seen wave after wave of conquering armies, some big, like the Spanish, and some tiny, like the Patriots of Amelia Island who mustered nine gunboats and maybe a hundred men. Timucuan Indians, French, Spanish, pirates, Scots mercenaries, Confederate and Union soldiers, all occupied the tiny island at one point or another. It also has a sizable Geechee (Gullah) community. Faced with a setting like that, who wouldn’t want to craft a nice little murder mystery that drew on the island’s history?

Blurb:
Three corpses strewn across the sand. Who are they and how did they get to Amelia Island?  State Park rangers Simon Ribault and Ellie Ironstone must find the answers while contending with a secretive group called the League of the Green Cross. Are the deaths linked to it? Or could they be tied to the colorful history of the island, which was won and lost eight times? Mucking up the investigation is the crucial question—who will Ellie choose: Thad, the handsome local idol, and Simon, the clever, quirky bookworm?

Ellie rotated the phone to allow them both to listen. “Simon and I are at the fort. There was an event here last night, and Hosea sent us to check out what, if any, mess the participants left before we reopen to the public tomorrow.”
“Oh, right. Betty Lawrence told me it was some sort of cult initiation—torches and secret handshakes and masks and stuff. I doubt they’d leave anything behind. Wouldn’t want to divulge any clues to their Circean rituals.”
Simon whistled. “Did she just say ‘Circean’? Cool!”
Ellie put a palm over her phone. “What on earth are you talking about?”
“Circe. You know. Greek goddess of sorcery. Well, minor goddess to be precise, but she did land a pretty good gig in The Iliad. When Odysseus and his men…” Simon petered out in response to the look on Ellie’s face.
She took her hand off the phone and spoke into it. “We’re not sure our little emergency has anything to do with the attendees. The inside of the fort was reasonably tidy, but outside the walls—” 
“Get on with it, Ellie. You’re just like your father. What have you found?”
Ellie brushed the criticism aside with a wave of her hand. “A bit of unexpected flotsam washed up on the shore.”
“Where?”
“You don’t want to know what it is first?”
“I need coordinates if I’m to send out reinforcements.”
“Okay, the body is on the stretch of sand facing St. Marys River. Northeast of the fort.”
“Body, huh. Dead?”
“I’d probably call it a man if it wasn’t.”
“Good point. Does it look pruny?”
Ellie checked out the corpse, lying supine on the sand. “Not really. So that means he died recently?”
“It means he wasn’t in the water long. Stiff?”
“Stiff, vic, cadaver—whatever you want to call him, he’s dead.”
“Ellie…”
Simon sensed the increasing threat level and, on the off chance Ellie didn’t, intervened. “Hold on a sec.” He prodded the dead man’s jaw, then tried to lift his arm. “Tell your mother rigor mortis has set in. Body’s cold. I’d say he died maybe eight to twelve hours ago.” 

Mainstream Mystery, Romantic Comedy, Romantic Suspense
Rating: Spicy (PG13)
Paper 430 p.; Ebook 97,578 words 
Buy Links (ebook and print):

Will also be available at Walmart.

About the Author:
M. S. Spencer has lived or traveled in five of the seven continents and has published twelve romantic suspense or cozy mystery novels. She has two children, a wonderful granddaughter, and divides her time between the Gulf Coast of Florida and a tiny village in Maine.
Contacts:

Thursday, December 13, 2018

#Solstice #Christmas How It Came to Be

For the past six years, we've celebrated Solstice. It started when we shared the farm with our son and his wife. The holiday was very appropriate since we lived off the land, we have native American blood, and Christmas is rooted in the centuries-old holiday. Our celebration is a mixture of native American and European tradition.

We left the farm a few years ago, but we've continued our holiday celebration
Solstice 2012

on Solstice. We now have a granddaughter. Last year, she was old enough to grasp the concept and joined in for the fire ceremony. She was beyond cute and touched our hearts when she came up with her own set of things to be thankful for and what future blessings she saw. Quite a feat for a four-year-old.

Celebrating Solstice serves another purpose in that we don't have to share our son and family with anyone else that day. Selfish?
38 year-old-decoration
Yep. We do try to see them on Christmas Eve or Christmas, but it isn't always possible because they give time to my daughter-in-law's family.

I'm going to share with you the fire ceremony. Each year, one of us is the leader. This is the leader's speech as he guides us through the ritual.

The traditions of Solstice mean:
Decorating is the way we ward off the darkness of winter
Evergreens such as the tree and ivy represent the return of the New Year and new growth of both the Earth and within each of
us.

Fire celebrates the longed for return of longer days of sunshine and warmth.

Our Solstice Eve meal is a gathering to share love and foods of our ancestry.

Gift giving on Solstice morning began with the Shamans and continues with our present-day Santa Claus. They gave to us the spirit of giving which each of us embodies.

Solstice 2013
Now we will each choose a direction. We honor the directions of North, South, East, and West to help us focus on the unique nature of Solstice and the wonders that open to us on every side. Remember both the physical attributes of each direction and what is in your heart.

Each direction represents an element or part of nature. Read the general thoughts of that element, and then speak on how that relates to you and your own thoughts.

Praise what you find most precious about the season and our simple festival.

May this Solstice and turning of the season bring us love, peace, and good fortune in the coming year.

The remaining four of us each speak to the direction:

NORTH
This direction represents Earth.

When you focus on North and Earth, know:
This is the season of cold.
But there is life waiting to germinate and be born.
We are part of Earth.

Solstice 2014
WEST
This direction represents the element of WATER.

When you focus on West and water know:
We are reminded of restless seas and wandering spirits.
This brings the blessing of movement.
We are seeking new directions, and we are emotional as the new year begins.

SOUTH
The element of FIRE (think of physical fire and the fire within you)

When you focus on South represented by fire and heat, know:
Heat of life ripens the earth.
Our heat seeks the roots of our life.
With the warmth comes stability.

2016
EAST
The element of AIR (the air around us and your breath within)

When you focus on the East represented by air, know:
New life awakens with each breath and spreads through the world in spring.
This is the direction of peace.
Our spirit will triumph.

And then we roast marshmallows and make smores! Can't have a fire without those.

Happy Solstice and Merry Christmas to you all!

Monday, December 10, 2018

The Most Wonderful Time of the Year by Katy Eeten #ChristianRomance #Christmas


MUSE MONDAY

It really is the most wonderful time of the year. Good stories to read are most welcome. Please read on for my guest, Katy Eeten.

Thank you, Brenda, for hosting me on your blog today! I’m excited to share about my novella Christmas in Meadow Creek, a small-town Christian Romance just in time for the holidays.

This story was such a joy for me to write. I’ve written two contemporary Christian romance novels to date—Blast From Her Past, published in early 2018, and A Heart Held Captive, which is due out next spring. Both of these books took an immense amount of time and energy to write, edit and market. But my Christmas novella was literally written in three weeks. Probably because the subject matter was a combination of my favorite things—writing, family, romance, and Christmas.

Even though I live in Wisconsin and hate the cold winters, there’s something about watching the snow fall as I’m decorating a real pine Christmas tree in the living room with my family. I love singing Christmas tunes, sipping hot cocoa, and watching my sons untangle the wads of lights as my husband strings them on the tree. It’s a magical time of year full of peace and joy, family and traditions, gifts and goodies.

There are moments, however, when it feels like pure chaos. The kids get extra hyper as they’re hopped up on holiday treats, anticipating all the games and toys they know are coming their way. There are holiday parties to host or attend, gifts to buy, decorations to hang, money to spend. And not everyone has a family they enjoy being with. This is also the time of year when loved ones lost can weigh heavy on our minds. I remember the first Christmas after my dad passed away, and even in the midst of happy celebrations, everywhere I looked was a reminder of his absence.

But despite all that, Christmas makes me pause and remember all that I have to be thankful for.

Book Blurb:

Sarah Laughlin left her big-city life and dead-end relationship behind for a fresh start as a fourth-grade teacher in the small, Wisconsin town of Meadow Creek. And it feels like home, too, despite the persistent troublemaker in her class and the lack of familiar faces. But the holidays are going to be lonely this year. Until she meets firefighter Lincoln Thompson. Suddenly, the hope of spending Christmas with someone she cares about is within reach.

Lincoln loves his home town of Meadow Creek, but ever since his long-time girlfriend left him for a better life in the city, he wonders if he’ll ever find love in this small town where everyone knows everyone. Then he meets Sarah during her class's field trip to his firehouse, and a spark is lit. But when they discover that Sarah's troublemaking student is none other than Lincoln's beloved nephew, their newfound relationship is put to the test.

Book Excerpt:
“Y’know, it’s kind of funny how we keep running into each other.” Lincoln leaned his elbow on the table with his head resting on his hand, as if blocking out anyone behind him, and focused solely on Sarah’s face.

She was suddenly ultra-conscious of her breathing, her blinking, her every move. And was it just her, or was it getting hot in here? “Yeah,” she finally managed to say. “Three days in a row now.”

Lincoln’s lips formed a slanted smile, and for the first time she noticed a dimple on his handsomely rugged cheek. He leaned in before speaking again, his voice extra low. “I was wondering if you wanted to make sure we saw each other again? Maybe tonight—for dinner?”

She prayed he didn’t notice how hard she swallowed upon hearing his question. And what was that noise—was that her heart beating? She hoped he couldn’t hear it. Why was it so hard to think straight all of a sudden? This was the first request for a date she’d received since moving. Well, since Todd had broken up with her, really. Thankfully, her brain was finally able to send her mouth the message to smile. “Sure. Yeah, I’d like that.”

Lincoln’s crooked smile turned into an all-out beam. “Great. Can I pick you up at seven? If you don’t mind giving me your address.”

Quickly nodding, Sarah got out her phone. “I can text it to you. What’s your number?”

She sent the text to the number he recited and put her phone away.

Lincoln’s eyes crinkled as he spoke. “Well, I better get back to serving.” He stood to leave, touching Sarah’s arm gently. “I’m glad I ran into you again. I’ll see you at seven.”

Sarah nodded. “Looking forward to it.”

Buy Link:

Wednesday, December 5, 2018

Do You Love Your #Villains? By Barbara Bettis #WickedWednesday


WICKED WEDNESDAY

I love a good villain. And Barbara has a good point for us on Wicked Wednesday...there has to be something good in all that evil to make it interesting. Please read on and join the conversation.

The first thing that popped into my mind when I thought of a topic for Wicked Wednesday was—book villains.

Creating wicked villains was one of the hardest things to do when I started writing fiction. Since I write medieval, the bad guys were supposed to be pretty rough, like life then. Trouble was—and still is—I have a problem creating villains who are wicked enough to deserve the label. I don’t like to hurt any of my characters, even the bad guys (and I use that term to include gals too). So seeing they get their punishment comes hard for me.

It’s such fun creating these characters, I hate to do away with them. I keep wanting to reform them. It’s been said that every villain is the hero of his own story. So when trying to build the layers of that person, giving him reasons for behaving the way he does, I develop sympathy for him (or her).      

In an attempt to remedy that tendency, the second time I tried to develop a villain, the character turned out to be something of a stereotype. From the moment he stepped onto the page, you could tag him as ‘The Villain’. Well, that wasn’t good. So I had to work on changing up the characterization in that book.

But it took me four books to finally dispose of the one main villain threaded through them all. By the time his end came around, however, I was ready to do him in.

Not all villains have worked out that way. In my first book, I became so attached to the man who was
originally slotted for the part, I changed the plot. How? By reforming him—and bringing in the good, old reliable mean fellow from the first book. The one who went on to create problems through the next two.

I’ve come to accept this weakness and know to watch out for it so I never again have to change a plot because I’ve become too attached to a villain.

QUESTION: Does anyone else have trouble creating wicked characters?  How do you do it? Is there a wicked villain you grew attached to?

Follow my villains—good and bad—in: SILVERHAWK, THE HEART OF THE PHOENIX, THE LADY OF THE FOREST. And in the upcoming FOR THIS KNIGHT ONLY.

About Barb:
Former journalist and college professor, Barb has retired to become an editor and lady-who-likes-to-write-in-comfy-jammies.  She starts every day with tea, but firmly believe a home office isn’t complete without a coffee pot and a scented candle. And snacks.


Tuesday, December 4, 2018

How a Picture Inspired a Novel and Informed a Writer by Ryan Jo Summers


MUSE MONDAY

Please welcome Ryan Jo Summers to Muse Monday.

They say a picture is worth a thousand words, and I do believe it’s true. As writers, we have the uncanny ability to find inspiration in many ordinary things that most people might pass by. And my latest fiction novel isn’t the first book inspired by a photo. However, in my humble opinion, it might be my best to date, and definitely the hardest to write.

Years ago a friend sent me an email with a series of random photos with no real connection to one another. It was one of those chain things that seem to circle the globe once they get rolling. Some photos were nice, particularly the animal and nature shots. However, it was the photo of a man and boy that spoke to me. They did not exactly whisper in my ear, more they shouted for me to stop and notice them. So I did.

A young boy, maybe ten years old, dressed up against the cold, and holding a sandwich out to a homeless man. The boy’s back was turned to the camera so all that was clear were his mittens, scarf, and hat. And his stance. He was confident in his action. The man wasn’t so sure. Huddled on the cold street sidewalk, he tentatively reached out for the sandwich, his bewildered gaze locked on the boy. I could almost feel his to-the-bone chills and hunger, and his surprise at this sudden gift. I image he might be a veteran, back from serving, and down on his luck. The entire scene was poignant, painful, and inspiring.

Within a few weeks, the bones of “September’s Song” was born. The book changed in many ways from its early beginnings. Many initial thoughts never made it to the first draft, or into the second one. “September’s Song” was difficult to niche, and I finally settled on women’s fiction with metaphysical elements. This is the first book I wrote in multiple layers like an onion and almost had to write it backwards: ending, then middle, and finally the beginning. In truth, chapters moved around like pieces of a jigsaw puzzle, looking for the right fit. I jokingly referred to “September’s Song” as my problem child during the writing and editing processes, as it did not follow a conventional formula of any sort. It wrote itself as it wanted to be written, and as the author, I seemed to have little say in matters.

It incorporated a man (a veteran) and boy, the boy’s mother, amnesia, Alzheimer’s disease, and many other layered elements. I grew to appreciate the sacrifices our soldiers made, the challenges faced by people affected by Alzheimer’s, and the difficulties of living with amnesia.

Once it was finished, I could not find a publishing home or interested agent, so I decided to self-publish it. Last year I had self-published a blog-to-book non-fiction book based on the challenges and triumphs of my adopted PTSD dog, and I survived that ordeal. This couldn’t be much worse. Creating the cover and formatting proved to the biggest hurdles to overcome. In late September, “September’s Song” came into the world as a fully published novel, weighing in at 332 pages. I am very proud of this literary baby.

Short Blurb:


Women's fiction--Ivey London who lost her military husband, tried to move on with their son, her Alzheimer's mother, and a boss attracted to her. She finds him alive and amnesiac five years later. Armed with inexpiable abilities, he is pursued by a forceful group determined to reclaim him. Ivey is just as determined to keep her late husband.  Together, they uncover what happened to him, who is after him, and search for how to reclaim what they once were--husband and wife.

Buy Links for “September’s Song”:  (paperback and ebook)
Lulu:      http://www.lulu.com/spotlight/RyanJoSummers                         

Find Ryan Jo here:

Thursday, November 29, 2018

Reading and #Reviews (Sandford, Anderson, Henderson)

I'm a writer, but I'm also a reader. Each month, I'll share with you what I'm reading and some reviews. My available time to read is limited because I write, but I love to curl up with a book or a reader at night for the last hour of my waking day.

I tend to read what I write, which is Romantic Suspense, but not exclusively. My current read is a Romantic Suspnse by Jannine Gallant entitled Hidden Secrets. I also like detective thrillers, WWII historicals, mysteries, and some main stream character driven novels.

I'm sharing three more books with you today. Maybe you'll discover a new book or author!

Amazon Buy Link
Sudden Prey by John Sandford
It's been a couple of years since I read this Crime Thriller, but I wanted to introduce you to the series if you haven't read it. There are a ton of Prey books. You can read them out of order, which is what I did with the first couple, but you'll enjoy them more if you start at the beginning. Lucas Davenport is the main character, a cop that is tough and is a character I fell in love with. The series follows him as he climbs the ladder of success to detective and on into the political side of law enforcement. There's a new murder to solve in every book. Sandford's secondary characters are great. And Lucas has a love life that eventually has him settling down with an equally engaging character.







Amazon Buy Link
Fear Land by Rolynn Anderson
Ms. Anderson tackles a tough subject in this Romantic Suspense...emphasis on the suspense. PTSD in children is Tally Rosella's focus as an acclaimed psychiatrist. But someone doesn't want her to tie her findings about troubled children to PTSD. Tally meets Army Major Cole Messer who won't admit his Afghanistan experience and PTSD have disrupted his life. You'll enjoy the suspense and romance and get yourself educated about PTSD at the same time.









Amazon Buy Link
Undercover Nanny by Alison Henderson
This is the 3rd book in Ms. Henderson's Phoenix, Ltd. series about female bodyguards. You don't need to read them in order. I can't begin to give a quick summary of the plot of this Romantic Suspense. It involves kidnapping, extortion, antiquities smuggling, and arson. The inexperienced Casey isn't quite prepared for her body guard duties when it turns so suspenseful. She's not too prepared for handsome Alec either. And no one knows how to handle a pesky monkey. This is a fun read. Adding the monkey was a funny touch.



Monday, November 26, 2018

There is Rural, and then there's #RURAL by Julie Howard #murder


MUSE MONDAY

Please welcome my guest, Julie Howard who writes exciting stories set in rural areas.

I used to be a city person. We lived in an urban area of California, fought traffic every day in tiresome commutes, and considered the “country” anything more than a half hour away from a city. Imagine the tribulation of driving nearly an hour to find a Starbucks. Then I moved to Idaho.
There are communities in this northwest state tucked so far back in the mountains that you have to ask “why?”, followed by “how?” Many of these communities sprang up during the gold and silver rushes of a bygone century. Roads were built before asphalt and automobiles, and remain gravel and dirt. Now these places are havens for those who seek privacy and who don’t worry about modern conveniences such as an electric grid or cell phone coverage.
In California, my small hometown of 14,000 people was considered small and rural. I stand
corrected. Rural is Atlanta, Idaho, twenty miles or more down a rough dirt road and cut off from the rest of the world at least a few times a winter when the snows get deep. Rural is Yellow Pine, deep in the backwoods, home of the annual Harmonica Festival, and with a population of about 50. There are unnamed places dotted here and there where there’s no such thing as neighbors, near nor far. If you get out this far, top off the gas tank, bring your own generator, pack a lunch and check the spare tire.
These places are the inspiration for the setting of my Wild Crime series. I liked the idea that, if you get into trouble, you’re pretty much on your own. And if your spouse doesn’t like you much, you may never be seen again. The fictional Hay City, Idaho was born and my main character Meredith Lowe was in deep trouble before her husband decided they would move there.
The flip side of remote locations are the characters you can meet and the instant friendships that crop up. People are kind and generous, and children are safe to play in the front yard unattended. Life moves slower and time appears to stand still.
I’ve lived in Idaho for nearly twenty years now and am thankful to have made this my home. My husband and I have a great time traveling the back roads and marveling at the tiny towns we discover in remote locations.

Julie Howard is the author of the Wild Crime series. She is a former journalist and editor who has covered topics ranging from crime to cowboy poetry. She is a member of the Idaho Writers Guild, editor of the Potato Soup Journal, and founder of the Boise chapter of Shut Up & Write. Learn more at juliemhoward.com. 

Book one of the Wild Crime series is “Crime and Paradise”
Book two is “Crime Times Two,” released October 2018

“Crime Times Two” burb:
Meredith knows three things: First, the man in the library begged her to help him. Second, he was afraid of his wife. Third, now he’s dead.

While the evidence first points to a natural death, Meredith is certain there’s more to discover. People are tight-lipped in this small mountain village, and the man’s wife isn't talking either. Then a second death occurs, with remarkable similarities. It’s time to talk about murder. 

As a slow-burning relationship heats up in her own life, Meredith struggles with concepts of love and hate, belief and suspicion, and absolution and guilt. Nothing is clear cut…
She must decide: Is guilt, like evil, something you can choose to believe in?

Excerpt from “Crime Times Two”:

Jowls quivered under the man’s weak chin, and Meredith noted the stained and frayed shirt of someone who spent a lot of time alone in dark rooms, sending out a better version of himself into the virtual world. His eyes were anxious and beseeching at her as though she should have a clear understanding of him and his life.

Somehow, over the past hour and a half they’d been sitting next to each other – him playing video games and sharing his life story and her ignoring him the best she could – she had become his confessor and friend.

Meredith gave him what she hoped was an impartial-though-quasi-friendly smile. She reached for her purse and papers and rose from her chair. “Well. Nice talking with you.”

The man was lost in his own train of thought and seemed only slightly aware that Meredith was leaving.

He shook his head, morose.
“To make a long story short,” he summed up, “I think my wife is trying to kill me.”

BUY LINKS:
Crime Times Two
KOBO 

Crime and Paradise

Connect with Julie here:









Friday, November 23, 2018

Shattered Fairy Tale and Happy Endings by Emma Leigh Reed #suicide #fairytale

FEARLESS FRIDAY

Please welcome my guest, Emma Leigh Reed, today. This post will speak to you in the world we live in. Shattered dreams, so distraught suicide looks good, and finally the break through. Some fairy tales do come true. Thanks, Emma.

Fearless. It’s a word I would never use to describe myself. Going through struggles and obstacles in life, it is inevitable that something changes within. My life has not always been easy, nor happy. I have fought hard to get to a place of contentment where I am today. But to understand the realization of being fearless, one must understand the need for protection. We live in a world where girls at a very young age decide they want the fairy tale; a man to come into their lives and be there forever with them, no matter what...a source of strength to rely on and a partner through the good and bad times. When that dream of a fairy tale shatters, it leaves one fighting to protect themselves at all costs.

I wanted the fairy tale. The chance to love and be loved in return. It’s why we turn to romances, right? It’s why as an author we write the books that help keep these dreams in place for our readers. I’m not sure exactly when I lost sight of my dream. It could have been the night I took pill after pill, hoping to ease the pain and then waking up the next morning feeling the weight of failure. Or maybe it was going into a marriage hoping to find that love, but realizing I had entered hell instead when the abuse started. Amid these struggles, my heart died. It closed itself off to anything remotely personal. I started holding everyone at arm’s length, even friends. No one knew the personal pain I struggled with daily. I built walls around my heart and was bound and determined that no one would ever get close to me again. I swore I would never allow myself to feel the hope of what romance brings, the newness of meeting someone and feeling giddy when a text comes through, or when they make you laugh and smile more than you have done in years.

The problem with closing yourself off is you become hard and cynical. Jaded to the idea of romance and love. The thought of hope makes you shake your head in disbelief. You shut yourself away from the things you once loved -- like the magic of Christmas and the peace you once felt at the joy the season brought. For years, I have closed myself off and it became second nature. I didn’t even think of it. If I met a man, I would self-sabotage the relationship because I didn’t believe that it would last anyway. It becomes a very lonely place. Then one day, I found myself meeting someone new. A man that makes me laugh and smile. A man that believes in fairy tales and the hope they bring. A man that exudes caring. And slowly without even realizing it, I found myself wanting to open up to him, wanting to share in that hope he has. Fear. It can be paralyzing. I found myself struggling with what to say to him, but not wanting to be closed off for the first time in a long time.

When you take that deep breath and slowly exhale, allowing yourself to relax and face the fear, you can become fearless. In that moment of fearlessness, I found myself opening up and telling him about the suicide attempt, about the abusive marriage, why I’m so closed off and how hard I feel the need to protect myself. And as I sat there waiting, holding my breath, for his response -- holding fear at bay because I wanted this. For the first time in a long time, I wanted to be fearless and have hope.

As I look back though I find different times in my life that I was fearless. I have written books that have part of me in them, some of them having only small parts and my latest with the main character addressing the taboo subject of the suicide attempt. I have survived these obstacles and pivotal moments in my life. I have picked up my life and moved to a new state with only what fit in my car, with no job or place to live. These moments I have been fearless. In the moment, I felt I was doing just what I had to do to survive, but courage can hide behind our protective shield and we can call it anything but what it truly is -- fearlessness.

I’m so excited to introduce Isabelle in BREAKING THE RULES as she learns to confront her guilt and regret and become fearless. For sale now, click on Amazon.

Isabelle LaFayette tries to end her own life. Her failed attempt haunts her, along with her other past regrets and the inability to forgive herself, for what her mother calls a selfish act.

Jack Riley comes into Isabelle’s life and makes her feel alive, but believing she doesn’t deserve to be happy, she pushes him away. She must find the inner strength to confront the true source of her pain, or she’ll never be released from the bondage she’s encased herself in. 

Isabelle needs to give herself permission to heal and break the rules that have been imprisoning her. It is the only way for her to find ultimate freedom from the past and piece her heart back together again.



Wednesday, November 21, 2018

WIP Update #RomanticSuspense #series


The plot thickens, as the cliché goes. Joshua, Arizona is buzzing with the news of a body found down in The Ravine. The bones are twenty-five to thirty years old. That could mean the unsolved murder from 1990 might be related to the unidentified body. Could it be the body of the teen who went missing? Or could the teen have been the murderer of both of them? Will Magpie’s father be a suspect in two murders? I’ve dipped into all of these questions.

As for the romance side of the book…

I hit the spot in my WIP (work in progress) when it seems apparent the two main characters are not going to be able to keep their hands off each other. Yes, the sex scene loomed. Every reader of romance expects it and probably anticipates the moment the hero and heroine jump into bed…or
wherever. But the sex scene can also add to the suspense of a Romantic Suspense. It’s not the dangerous kind of suspense, but there is still the page-turning moment. Will they, or won’t they?

“What do I do to you, Zack?” Magpie ventured her first real smile of the evening. With his fingertips sending a tickling sensation along her lower lip, she couldn’t help but enjoy the moment.
He slipped his hand along her jawline and under her hair to caress her neck, and the pleasant sensation his fingertips caused traveled south.
“You make me a little crazy.” His husky voice caressed her.
She leaned into him, set her hands on his thighs, and brushed her mouth across his lips. His vanilla coffee breath was sweet. His mouth warm and soft, yet firm.
He licked his lips, and his breath came in short puffs. “You make me a lot crazy, Magpie.” He blinked, his green eyes going dark emerald with emotion.
What was she doing? She’d met this man only yesterday. “This…us…it’s crazy all right.” Her body didn’t care. Her fingertips pressed into his jean clad legs.

Magpie and Zack got their moment…only they didn’t. The timing was just too early.

This is a partial scene from Chapter Nine. I’m now halfway through Chapter Eleven. Unfortunately, it’s not been a good month for writing. Lots of personal events, including the upcoming holidays, have created obstacles. I am, at least, just over the halfway mark of
completing the first draft. Once Thanksgiving is behind us, I’ll dig in.

Happy Thanksgiving, y’all!