Monday, March 28, 2022

Research...Necessary Even in Romance by Jennifer Wilck #romance #MuseMonday #cybersecurity


Please join me in welcoming Jennifer Wilck back to Discover... It's a modern day Muse Monday.

Thank you, Brenda, for hosting me on your blog today. I loved writing Unlock My Heart. The hero is the CEO and founder of the top cybersecurity firm in the country. He’s successful and brilliant and hard of hearing. Because of how his father viewed him when Ted was a child, he goes to great lengths to make sure his employees and his clients don’t treat him differently because of his lack of hearing. And when it comes to love, he’s tired of meaningless sex where he's only valued for his wallet. The heroine is an incredibly talented computer programmer who values her independence. Abby grew up poor and watched her mother chase after men for their money, but then squander it all away. She wants financial independence and doesn’t want to depend on a man. Obviously, the two of them are made for each other. J 

Unlike other books I’ve written, I had to do quite a bit of research for this one. First, I needed to be able to write about the technology they used. For that, I interviewed an old high school friend of mine who is a tech wizard. She broke everything down for me and figured out how I could write about it. Her help was invaluable, and I’m so glad I was able to talk to her. If you buy the book, you’ll see I dedicated it to her. I also blame all mistakes on me, not her. 

I also had to work on the hard of hearing part. I am also hard of hearing, so I was able to use some of my own experience, but in order for it to work in the book, I needed to make Ted’s issues more severe than mine. And this required me to make use of social media—to gently ask questions of complete strangers who were more than willing to help me. Again, all mistakes are my own. The humor is mine, though, and comes from some of my own mishaps. 

I hope you enjoy getting to know Ted and Abby! 

Blurb: Abby Marlow, computer security expert, lands a job at the best IT security firm in the country. Her sole focus is financial independence so she never has to rely on others again, especially a man. But why does her boss make her wires short circuit? 

Ted Endicott, CEO and founder of the IT security firm, is hard of hearing. Although an expert in his field, he’s still uncomfortable admitting his difficulty hearing to his clients or employees. So why is he willing to accept Abby’s help? 

As Ted and Abby work together, barriers fall away, and soon the lines blur between colleagues and lovers. But a security glitch in a client's system indicates one of his employees is the hacker, and all signs point to Abby. Can they get past the suspicion and find a future together?  

Excerpt: She’d bragged about his success to her mother? For a man who’d grown up with a dad who called him stupid, Abby’s brag was more of an aphrodisiac than any sexy model ever could be.

He hugged her to him on the pretense of making sure she remained upright and waited for her to pull away.

Her lips moved, and he studied them, unable to hear her with the background music, the whoosh of air as they glided, the voices of the skaters, and traffic noise. He thought she said “thanks,” and he nodded. When she started to speak again, he took his finger and placed it over her lips. They were velvety soft and pink, and he would have given anything to kiss them.

Instead, he shook his head. “I can’t hear you. And lip reading is exhausting.”

He expected the usual shame to creep in. Maybe because she was out of her element here on the ice and relied on him. She clutched his hand as he guided them slowly over the ice. Maybe it was because he saw no pity. In fact, desire flashed. She blinked, and it was gone. But he’d seen it.

He could spend their entire time together wondering what conversations he missed. He could worry about what she thought, or about whether or not the CEO of the company should skate this close to his employee.

Or he could skate. 

Buy Links: 

Universal Link: 


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Jennifer Wilck is an award-winning contemporary romance author for readers who are passionate about love, laughter, and happily ever after. Known for writing both Jewish and non-Jewish romances, her books feature damaged heroes, sassy and independent heroines, witty banter and hot chemistry. Jennifer’s ability to transport the reader into the scene, create characters the reader will fall in love with, and evoke a roller coaster of emotions, will hook you from the first page. You can find her books at all major online retailers in a variety of formats. 

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Friday, March 25, 2022

Character Interview and $.99 Sale

If you haven't read my Love and Murder Series, now is a great time to start. The first book in the series, The Art of Love and Murder, is on sale for $.99 for another week only.

In The Art of Love and Murder, Sheriff Chance Meadowlark is the man who holds it all together. He’s not one to be in the spotlight, but let’s try to get to know him better. 

Q: Thanks for sitting down with us today. You’re a sheriff by profession. Did you always want to go into law enforcement?

A: My father expected me to work on the ranch with him, but I was more inclined to follow the creed of my Hopi grandmother. I’m a peacekeeper, the Coconino County Sheriff in Flagstaff, Arizona. 

Q: You’re single. Widowed or divorced and any children?

A: Widowed. I have a daughter in college. 

Q: I’m sorry about your wife. Anything more you’d like to add?

A: No. My wife’s murder isn’t something I like to discuss. 

Q: Anyone special in your life right now?

A: I’ve been dating Kitty Katz, but it isn’t special. There’s a new woman in town, actually just a visitor I bumped into as she was running out of a dark alley. She thought she was being pursued. 

Q: Now, that sounds intriguing. Tell me more.

A: Our second meeting was less eventful but certainly more interesting. Turns out Lacy is researching her birth parents and the murder of my wife is tangled up with the true identity of her mother. But you'll have to read the whole story to find out more. 

Q: Let’s try some flash questions to get to know you more personally.

A: Hmmm…be careful. 

Q: Night or Day?

A: Day. A motorcycle ride in the pines with the sun on my back and Lacy cuddled behind me makes for a good day. 

Q: Love or lust?

A: I wouldn’t short-change lust, but I’ve missed having love in my life since my wife’s death. 

Q: Boxers, briefs, or commando.

A: You do like it personal, don’t you? Commando when it’s comfortable, but always boxers under my jeans. 

You can find out even more about Sheriff Meadowlark here: Meet the Characters

You can find a $.99 copy of The Art of Love and Murder here: eBOOK SALE

Wednesday, March 23, 2022

Sexy, Wicked Heroes by Robecca Austin #WickedWednesday


There is wicked and then there is Wicked...those bad boys we love to peel the layers from and see what's underneath.

Thank you, Brenda, for hosting me today. 

I one-click books with wicked characters every time. They are also my favorite to write. There is an allure about them that’s dangerous, forbidden, and sometimes just out of reach.

They are as compelling to read as they are to watch on TV, and they feed into the secret fantasies we would never talk about openly. 

So what makes these alpha characters so delectable? All that brooding angst brewing under the surface. That’s what gets me, anyway. They give off that “nothing can hurt me” vibe. But we know that’s not true. 

Then, there is the mystery. Let’s face it, the mystery surrounding these characters draws us in like a bee is drawn to nectar. We want to know what makes them tick. 

And what makes these characters more swoon-worthy, is when we finally know what makes them who they are: the trauma, the hurt, the pain. When they finally let us in. Trust us with their softer, vulnerable side, knowing those traits don’t make them weak, but stronger. And they do it with a character who fought for that trust. 

In Courted by the Billionaire, Heath and Latricia get into a wicked game of revenge. 

I love writing characters that are a little wicked, with a touch of daring. Heath is no different when he goes after Latricia to avenge his brother. 

He’s the overprotective big brother. The no-nonsense family member that’s got your back. So when his little brother gets injured, Heath does what he always does. Protects. 

Except, he can’t find the true culprit, and Latricia isn’t the cold-hearted villain he has made her out to be. The one thing he didn’t expect? She’s just as loyal to her brother. 

She’s sweet. Sensual. Innocent.

Latricia plays his wicked game but refuses to give up her family! 

So what’s a hero to do when he can’t take revenge against the person he wants? He takes the biggest risk, even when it might rip out his heart! 


Family comes first.

The sentiment has been drilled into Latricia’s mind since birth.
When she’s forced to choose between self-respect or her family, what would she sacrifice?

The first time she saw Heath McCreath, he was out for blood. Her brother’s blood.

At their second meeting, he vowed to make her pay for her brother’s crimes.
As if his promise to destroy everything she loved isn’t bad enough, the threats come from the sexiest mouth she’s ever seen.
He’s her blackmailer and she shouldn’t feel anything for him, so why does her body betray her?

Now she has to decide, him or her?


Find all of Robecca's books here: AMAZON AUTHOR PAGE

Find Robecca here:



Friday, March 18, 2022

Fear, Courage, and Fictional Characters by C. C. Harrison


Please give a hearty welcome to C. C. Harrison as she regales us with a great Fearless Friday tale for Discover...

Have you ever been frozen in fear? So paralyzed by fright that you couldn't think clearly enough to take decisive action?

I've never considered myself a particularly courageous person. Actually, I'm extremely risk averse. But I've come to realize that everyone's level of fear is different. I say this because of the number of times I've done something in my life that others tell me they would be afraid to do.

In the early days of my marriage, my husband often traveled for business leaving me alone, and later on alone with a newborn. I was quite surprised at how many times I was asked by other wives if I was afraid while he was gone. No, I always replied. I kind of like it.

Later on when I bought my first Jeep I spent hours and days four-wheeling in the deserts and mountains of California and Colorado by myself. And again, I was taken aback at the number of times I was asked that same question. Wasn't I afraid? My answer was always the same – No. What is there to be afraid of? Most of those days in the backcountry I never saw another living creature the entire time.

I quickly realized that people were asking me that because they would be afraid to do those things even though there is nothing inherently dangerous about any of them.

When I took early retirement and left the corporate world (hooray, more time to write!) I put my household and all my belongings in storage and moved to a place where I didn't know anyone and no one knew me! 

First stop was the Navajo Indian Reservation where I was a VISTA Volunteer working on a school-to-work program at the high school there. I lived in a converted restaurant (the bell still rang over the door when I went in and out) and I had to drive 75 miles to a laundromat and supermarket.

When my assignment was over, I moved to a tiny town in Southwest Colorado. I didn't know anyone there, either, and that fear question came up again and again. No, I was NOT afraid. In fact, this is something every woman should do at least once in their life if they want to know what freedom really feels like. Just think! You can totally reinvent yourself!  I thoroughly enjoyed it. That's where I wrote my first two books.

I'm not saying it was always easy. Of course, there were problems and challenges along the way, but being alone I had to figure out how to make it work.

Which brings me to writing fictional female characters and courage.

I wrote my first book during a time when it was no longer popular for female characters to be portrayed as timid, helpless and fearful. (There's that word again – fear.) So I was determined to write fictional women who were courageous and could take care of themselves (like I had learned to do over the years.) They didn't scream and runaway when they heard creepy  noises in the basement or thumpy bumps in the attic. No! They went to check it out even if they were afraid!

And to me, that's the very definition of courage—being afraid but doing it anyway.

At the time, I and other authors were mildly scolded about this by some writers and readers who called those characters TSTL. Too Stupid To Live.

In my first book, THE CHARMSTONE, Amanda broke her engagement and left her comfortable family home to go to the Navajo Indian Reservation to catalogue a carload of Navajo artifacts, and to look into the circumstances of her father's death. When she arrived, she found that she had no place to live and no place to work, and someone didn't want her there.

In SAGE CANE'S HOUSE OF GRACE AND FAVOR, Sage Cane mistakenly ended up in a
fledgling rough and rumble Old West mining town. With no money to return home, she had to figure out a way to make a living and survive in an environment that had little respect for women.

In RUNNING FROM STRANGERS, child advocate Allie Hudson and a child in her care had to go on the run from both bad guys and the police.

In PICTURE OF LIES, my female character found herself threatened while searching for a long missing child as well as her own kidnapped daughter.

In my ukulele themed book DEATH BY G-STRING, Viva Winter was caught between the police who wanted to arrest her and a killer in her social circle who wanted to murder her.

None of my female characters are kickass super hero women like Lara Croft in TOMB RAIDERS or Sarah Conner in TERMINATOR 2 or Ellen Ripley in ALIENS. They are everyday women like you and me who find themselves in danger or in trouble because of someone else's mistake. Well, okay, sometimes it's because of their own dumb decision.

UPDATE: When COVID hit, I did it again. I left the city and moved to a small community of summer homes in the mountains. For much of my time there, I was the only one in the entire log cabin community. Was I afraid? No! I got a lot of writing done.

Don't let fear get in the way of your life, or your fictional characters' lives. Just remember. Whatever you want to do, you can totally do it. Once I learned that about myself, my life and experience expanded.

And the bonus of that is, I have lots of things to write about.

Thank you, Brenda, for having me in on this Fearless Friday.

Amazon Buy Link for Death by G-String

Mystery author C. C. Harrison says, "I like writing books set in small towns, the kind of small towns people run away to or hide out in. The secrets and misbehavior there are so much more interesting. I know. I've lived in them."

“Death by G-String" is a Colorado Humanities Book Award winner, an American Fiction Award finalist, and was short-listed for a Mystery and Mayhem Book Award.

Harrison, who had no previous musical training, came to the ukulele later in life and fell in love with it instantly. She plays at her book signings, so now she can honestly say she was BORN TO BE A ROCK STAR, BUT WRITES BOOKS INSTEAD.

She's currently at work on a new mystery, "Death of a Two-Timing Man," and her next ukulele themed book, "Don't Fret the Small Stuff." Harrison is also a reviewer for the New York Journal of Books. When she's not writing, Harrison can be found in the desert, the mountains or some far-flung corner of the Southwest.

Find out more about C. C. Harrison here:


Web Site

Thursday, March 17, 2022

Reading and #Reviews (Winters, Womack)

I'm an author, but I'm also a reader. Each month, I'll share with you reviews of present and past reads. My available time to read is limited because I write, but I love to curl up with a paperback or an eBook at night for the last hour of my day. 

I tend to read what I write, but not exclusively. Besides Romantic Suspense, I read crime and law novels, once in a while a true story, WWII historicals, mysteries, and mainstream character driven books.

Here are some of the books I've read recently or in the not-too-distant past. Maybe you'll discover a new book or author.


Grave Testimony by Larry A. Winters 

When a drug dealer reaches out to assistant district attorney Jessica Black with information about a case that has gone unsolved for over a decade—the brutal murder of a little boy—Jessie sees an opportunity to bring long-delayed justice to the murdered child’s family. But convicting the boy’s killer won’t be easy. Much of the evidence is old or lost, the detective who originally investigated the crime seems to have secrets of his own, and someone is willing to kill to ensure that what happened fourteen years ago remains an unsolved mystery forever. 

Jessie’s not the type to give up easily, though. Especially when she’s seeking justice for a child and his family. 



This book, a prequel, has so much more going on than the blurb above from Amazon—a daughter who believes her mother killed her brother, ripping the family apart. An assistant district attorney whose one night of indiscretion is causing her a heap of trouble, and the search for the real murderer in the cold case. It’s a short, fast read, and the author crams an exciting story into a few pages.  


Nobody’s Chain Lays Straight by Steven Womack 

Nashville P.I. Harry James Denton always suspected there was a seamy, dark underbelly to the bright lights and rhinestone glitz of Music City. But until he's hired by an aristocratic, old-monied Belle Meade family to find their runaway daughter, he had no idea of just how sleazy and smarmy the It City could be...

Stacey Jameson is troubled, drug-addled, and haunted by a history of family abuse and secrets. To say she's hooked in with the wrong crowd is an understatement of deadly proportions. When Harry goes after her, the pursuit takes them both into darker places than either of them have ever seen.


First off, isn’t that a great title? It caught my attention. The cover caught my eye also. The characters are intriguing and quirky, which I love in a story. His search for drug-addled rich girl keeps you reading. The relationship between Denton and his girlfriend Marsha hit me as a little off. Doesn’t read true on the page, and is the only problem I had with the story. There is lots of sleaze in the story. The ends and outs of the strip clubs and who owned what and who is a bit convoluted. Or maybe I just had trouble keeping up. But it’s a decent story, with a unique voice. I’ll probably try another book in the series.

Monday, March 14, 2022

Drawing from #Inspiration to Create the Small Town for “The Warlock of Westland” by Jack Brightside


This tale of where the inspiration came from for my guest, Jack Brightside, is so interesting. Please welcome him to Muse Monday and enjoy his post.

I drew from my own experiences growing up in a small affluent town in southern Connecticut to create the fictional town of Westland” for The Warlock of Westland.” The place I grew up was a weird combination of affluent and rural. There were almost no businesses. Residents let the trees overgrow the road signs so that strangers couldnt find their houses. During winter the trees lose their leaves and you can see your neighbors houses for the first time. The isolation was part of the appeal. I remember my friends and I once looked up the requirements for a place to be considered a town” and discovered we didnt meet the criteria. The place we lived was too small and would technically be classified as a village.” 

What makes southern Connecticut unique is the element of affluence. It was a strange place to go to high school. For starters, nobody seemed to notice how rich they were. I remember this one time a girl wore Manolo shoes to school. I didnt know about brand names and she explained to me the benefits of high-end footwear. This girl made a compelling case for only buying designer, and I later tried to make the same case to my mom. She had to inform me that those shoes werent just expensive they were like, probably a thousand dollars. People would get new cars regularly like it was nothing. Id go over to peoples houses and theyd give me a tour that would last a half-hour because thats how long it took to walk from one end of the house to the other. I remember the first time I met a maid I was super awkward about it because I didnt know if I should say helloor not. I included some of these awkward moments in the books. Theres a scene where a teenager from the local high school goes to New York fashion week and one of their social media posts goes viral. That was a thing that happened to someone I knew. She wore a vintage Led Zeppelin t-shirt but hashtagged Pink Floyd” because she didnt actually read what her own shirt said. Kids teased her about it. This is what I mean, people didnt get bullied for normal reasons it was like, you put the wrong hashtag on your fashion week post.” 

My parents bankrupted themselves trying to fit in. Afterward, they attempted to assimilate into the community in other ways. Theres this south Korean movie called Parasite” where an entire poor family gets jobs working for this rich family. The dad is their chauffeur, the mom is their cook, and so on. My family did that. My mom always got in first, usually as a dog walker. She got my Dad and sister hired as like, the assistant dog walkers.

 A few years ago I went home for a visit and at the time my mom was caretaking the house of a girl I went to high school with. My mom made dinner for her and her family and I got to come. She was cooking like they were her own family. You cannot imagine how awkward this was. She worked for them for over a year and it got pretty insane. The girls family eventually moved into a smaller house and my mom was planning on moving into one of the guest bedrooms permanently with my father. Turned out the new house was small enough they didnt need my familys extensive services. Its a bummer because I know my parents miss the perks of that job.

When I created Westland” it was easy for me to add the unlikable elements. It was much harder to make any of the residents sympathetic. I could probably write uncaring rich people all day, but that couldnt be the whole book. The sympathetic elements ended up coming from empathic character traits, like making the characters care about each other. Adding humor to the story also helped. The Westland” that I created helped me reconcile how insane that part of my life was.

Book Blurb 

Sam is an immortal warlock whose life revolves around a failing hardware store in rural Southern Connecticut. His self-imposed isolation is interrupted when the Warlock Council assigns him to help an evil warlock living in his village. The desperate warlock happens to be Sams ex-boyfriend from two thousand years ago, Cailte the Cruel. 

Cailte hasnt used that name since the iron age. Now hes Kevin MacCormack, a recently unemployed stockbroker. Kevin spends his days bewitching the villagers and making potholes for fun. The last thing he needs is a good warlock like Sam cramping his style. 

The warlocks must work together to track a dangerous ghost that Kevin accidentally released in Westland. Meanwhile, Sam has fallen in love with Kevin all over again. Hes ready to do anything to make it work, including tolerating Kevins self-serving magic. Kevin isnt as sure that its meant to be. Sams small-town charm starts to grow on Kevin just as they realize the ghost's devastating power. 

This is a HEA, enemies to lovers contemporary paranormal small town male/ male romance. 

This is the first book in the Warlock of Westland Series

1.      The Warlock of Westland 1

2.      The Warlock of Westland 2

3.      The Warlock of Westland 3



“As an evil warlock, I get offended when good warlocks take credit for doing basically nothing,” said Kevin. “Can you name even one thing you’ve done for this village recently?”

“What do you want, a scorecard?” asked Sam. “Good magic is discreet.”

“Discreet!” Kevin crossed his arms. “You don’t do anything!”

“Get out of my hardware store.”

“Alright! I’ll calm down!” said Kevin. “Look, I’ve lost something. I asked the Warlock Council for help and they sent me here.”

“What did you lose?” asked Sam.

“A ghost,” said Kevin.

“You lost a ghost?” asked Sam. “Who gave you a ghost?”

Kevin recited the speech he prepared in his BMW, “I bought one by accident at a charity fundraiser. I was trying to support my community.”

“What community?” asked Sam. “The median income in Westland is $300,000, they don’t need ‘support.’ What are you not telling me, Kevin?”

“It was an auction for the Witch’s Council of New England,” said Kevin. “You could make the argument that money is a better way to support the villagers than ‘discreet magic.’”

“I’ve heard this argument before,” said Sam. “Something about how building yourself a castle will make your village a better place to live. This is great, Kevin. Tell me more.”

“Are you going to make fun of me, or can I finish telling you what happened?”

Sam leaned his arms on the counter, “There’s more? What did you do, Kevin?” 

This is a three book series:

Warlock of Westland 1 Amazon 

Warlock of Westland 2 Amazon 

Warlock of Westland 3 Amazon 

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Amazon Author Page