Debut Release – “Escape from Behruz” by Judy Meadows

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Congratulations to Judy Meadows with her debut book, Escape from Behruz.  It was released on April 21st. I’m sure she had an exciting book birthday.

You can find Escape from Behruz at:

The Wild Rose Press: http://catalog.thewildrosepress.com/search?controller=search&orderby=position&orderway=desc&search_query=escape+from+behruz&submit_search=

Amazon: http://a.co/8tGdf43

Blurb:   Rashid will help Olivia and the baby escape the violence in Behruz, but he must guard his heart. He can’t risk being hurt by her again.

Olivia has her own reasons for keeping her distance from Rashid. If Rashid learns that the baby is actually hers—and his—the sultan of Behruz will make sure she loses everything that matters to her.

Their escape involves traveling with a group of nomads across the mountains into Iran. As they trek together by day and sleep beside each other in a nomad tent at night, the attraction that has always drawn them to each other grows ever stronger.  Can Olivia survive the trip without revealing her secrets and without losing her heart to Rashid once again?

Excerpt : He could scarcely remember his reason for coming to her room. It had been overridden by an overwhelming urge to kiss those lips, to touch her. Her feminine softness pulled at every cell in his body. “I’ve brought your bag and your puppy. Can I come in for a minute?”

“Oh.” Her eyes shifted uneasily to the empty hallway and then to the corner of the room, to something out of Rashid’s sight. “I don’t think it’s a good idea. I was getting ready to go down to dinner. I…”

She seemed almost too flustered to speak. Why? He wanted to grab her, use force, do anything he had to do to get her out of Behruz, but there would be no sneaking across the border with an unwilling hostage, especially if the border officials had been put on the alert to watch for that hostage.

“I’m sorry, Livie. I need to talk to you. Let me come in for a few minutes, and then we can go down to dinner.”

“All right.” She let him push his way past her into the room and close the door. “Let me see the puppy first.” She reached to take him from Rashid’s arm.

“No. I don’t think… Your dress—”

“Never mind the stupid dress!” She reached for the puppy, and Rashid let her take him. She was shaking. He felt the tremor on his arm when she slid her hand under the puppy.

What was wrong with her? The outburst about the dress was completely out of character, and it was also impossible to understand. How could she not like such an exquisite dress? There couldn’t be a woman alive who wouldn’t love the dress.

“He’s beautiful.” She held the puppy cupped in her hands against her breasts. “How did you get him clean?”

“A woman named Mina in the palace laundry washed him. She fed him, too, and she’s also washing your chador. She said to tell you it will be ready tomorrow.” He set the bag on the floor. “She didn’t want to touch the puppy, but I gave her fifty tokhans and that changed her mind. How much is fifty tokhans anyway? I’m not used to the new exchange rate.”

“It’s about twenty-five dollars.” A half-smile softened Olivia’s face. “It was far too much. She probably doesn’t earn that much in a month.”

“She did seem quite pleased.”

“You were always too generous with the servants. I remember how mad it used to make Abu-Khan.”

“Yes, well, avoiding Abu-Khan’s anger wasn’t always my top priority.”

“What kind of dog do you suppose he is?” she asked.

“I would say he’s a Lhasa Apso, judging by his long hair and the pompon tail. You said they got him in Nepal, didn’t you? I know they raise Lhasa Apsos there.”

There was a little thud behind Rashid. Olivia’s eyes darted from the puppy to the source of the sound and then to Rashid.

What? He swung around. A baby boy was using the bedpost to pull himself up from the floor.

Olivia went stony still and pale.

About Judy and where you can find her:

Judy grew up and went to college in Minnesota. She and her husband Jim now live in a Judy Gabriel Meadowssmall town in Oregon. When not writing (well, she’s nearly always writing), she likes to read, travel, swim, garden, and spend time with her grandchildren.

Judy’s first career was designing computer software. Since retiring from that field, she’s worked as a childbirth educator, doula, and now, writer.

Website: www.judymeadows.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Judy-Meadows-Romance-Writer-1556763401023522/

Twitter: judymeadows44

Email: judymeadows@gmail.com

Release Day for Tina Susedik

Today is a special day for a special friend. Today, The Trail To Love, Tina Susedik’s contribution to The Soul Mate Tree Collective, went live. This is her first historical.

Tell us a little bit about this collective. The Soul Mate Tree is an ancient tree that appears to someone when they are at their deepest, darkest point in their life and shows them who their soul mate will be. Of course the person doesn’t believe what he/she is hearing. The poem created for the collective is printed below.

An ancient legend spanning eras, continents, and worlds. To some, it’s nothing more than a dream. To others, a pretty fairy tale handed down through the generations.

 For those in critical need of their own happy ending, a gift.

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Buy link: http://a.co/fx8fIWf

I am old, I am ancient, my purpose is clear

To give those who are needy a treasure so dear.

They who come to my roots, touch my bark, stroke my leaves

Find the soul of their lives if they but believe.

When I call and you listen, your prize will be great

If your heart remains open and you don’t hesitate.

Do you yearn? Be you lonely? Is your time yet at hand?

Reach for me and I’ll give to you. I’m yours to command.

For your trust, for your faith, keep my secrets untold

And I’ll gift you forever, to have and to hold.

How did you come up with the idea for “The Trail to Love?” Last year I was approached by Char Chaffin and Cheryl Yeko to be part of their new project with Soul Mate Publishing. Called “The Soul Mate Tree.” It involves an old, ancient tree that appears to someone who is at their deepest, darkest part of their life. 

I was incredibly excited to be part of this adventure. They chose thirteen of their authors. Each of us could write in any time period, any genre. Each month from January, 2017 to January 2018, one book would be released. The Trail to Love is being released on April 12th.

A few days after being contacted by Char and Cheryl, I was watching my grandkids. I told them about this new project and how I needed to figure out what I wanted to write. I had never written a western or an historical, so I mentioned that to the girls, Alli, then eleven, and Emmi, then eight.

Alli was in sixth grade and yelled out: “The Oregon Trail. You need to have your characters go from Independence, Missouri to Oregon City, Oregon.” I figured they must have been studying the Oregon Trail in school for her to jump on this.

For the next few hours those two little stinkers decided on my characters, plotted the book, researched horses, dogs, and clothing – and took notes. Emmi researched the clothing and found all these beautiful dresses from the 1850’s. (The story is set in 1859). I had to explain to her what it was like for the people on the Oregon Trail. It only took her a few minutes to find other clothing.

Here is a note Emmi (third grade) wrote – and I’m writing it exactly as she wrote it: “Sarah’s ded husband, peter Nickelson, he died of rasing and the hores nockted him of and he brock his knek.” This was her idea and included her twisting her neck and making a broken neck sound. And – this is exactly how I had Sarah’s husband die.

I had so much fun listening to these two create my story. I have all their hand-written notes – which I’ll never, ever get rid of. At one point, I let Alli read some of the story and she said, “It reads just like a movie!” Man, I love that little girl.

I dedicated The Trail to Love to Alli and Emmi, but unfortunately, since they are only thirteen and ten, they can’t read it because of the love scenes. Someday, I’d love to be a fly on the wall when they are old enough and realize what Grandma writes.

This sounds like such a neat experience for you and your granddaughters. Now for a taste of “The Trail to Love.”

Blurb:  Jack Billabard, mourning the loss of his wife and baby in childbirth, vows to never to love again. After their funeral at Fort Laramie, he rides into the Wyoming hills beyond the ranch he built for his wife. Through his grieving tears, an ancient tree appears, giving him the hope he doesn’t believe is possible. For the next four years, he acts as a guide on the Oregon Trail, taking families to a new life while his looms lonely and stagnant.

The night before her abusive husband’s death, an ancient tree appears in Sarah Nickelson’s yard as she agonizes over how to survive her marriage. The tree gives her hope she can’t help but reject. After all, a tree doesn’t just appear out of nowhere. After her husband ‘s death, and with no options as a widow in Independence, Missouri, Sarah decides to travel to Oregon City as a Mail Order Bride.

During their trek west on the Oregon Trail, Jack and Sarah encounter one another, each afraid of being hurt again. Can they survive dogs and puppies, wind and rainstorms, Indians and unfavorable fellow passengers, while their love blossoms? Will the tree fulfill its promise?

Excerpt:  Cold seeped into his bones. Something warm blew across his face and ears. Jack swatted at his ears and peeled one gritty eye open.

“Papaya!” He pushed at the horse’s nose. “Go away.” Papaya continued prodding at him. “Damn horse.” He rubbed his cold hands together.

In the dim light, he wasn’t sure if it was morning or evening. The previous day’s events came back to him. He sat up and wiped a hand over his stubbly chin. Tears burned behind his eyes.

Papaya tugged at his sleeve until the only thing he could do was stand. “Dammit, horse, leave me alone.” He pushed the horse to the side. The sun rising behind the mountains from the east cast a shadow on a tree Jack swore hadn’t been there the night before.

Standing at least twenty feet high, the trunk was twisted and gnarled like the arthritic hands of his grandfather. Several roots rose from the ground making it look as if it would walk away. Some of its massive branches drooped close to the ground, like arms dragging across the grass.

As the sky lightened, he realized that, unlike the rough bark of the pines at this altitude, the tree’s light brown bark was smooth. Was it the lighting, or did some of the bark actually seem golden while in other places it was rough and dark brown? The surrounding trees paled in comparison.

Jack stepped closer. Pale green, oval leaves reminded him of an elm tree, only much smaller. When the wind blew, the undersides shimmered with a silvery glow.

Had he been so distraught yesterday he’d missed the massive structure? The tree seemed to beckon, calling him to its embrace. He dipped beneath its branches.

His hand shook as he reached out to touch the trunk. The instant he came in contact, his icy fingers warmed. Then his arm. He tried to pull away, but he couldn’t move.

Warmth spread through his body then settled in his aching heart. Was he hallucinating or was the tree humming? Had the tree actually whispered, “Love will come.”

A calmness settled over him and the darkness of the past few days diminished.

Between the hanging branches a person, surrounded by a foggy haze, appeared. Actually, two people. One tall, the other waist high, with a smaller version of Jack’s hat on its head. Suspenders held up too-short pants over the little one’s plaid shirt. A woman and a boy? They held hands, swinging them back and forth as if they hadn’t a care in the world. The woman’s bonnet hung down her back, loose hair flowing to her waist.

Was the tree showing him what Lily and his child would have been like if they’d lived? His heartbeat pounded in his ears, and he swore his heart cracked. As quickly as the despair washed over him, the tree hummed again and his heart warmed and peace settled through him.

Then the woman looked over her shoulder. This wasn’t Lily. The sun struck the vision. Instead of his wife’s dark hair, this woman’s shimmered like gold. Even from this distance, her sparkling blue eyes pierced through him.

Her smile beckoned him, and when she crooked her finger, all he could do was follow. The closer he came, the farther away they moved, until their bodies faded and nothing stood before him except the large boulder he’d slept against.

The tree. What if he touched the tree again? He pivoted on his foot, ready to run back and feel the twisted branches. What the hell? Maybe he’d lost his bearings while chasing the woman and boy. He spun in each direction. Nothing. The tree was gone. Poof. Was he losing his mind and dreaming the whole incident?

Something light brown on the ground caught his eye. Jack picked it up, his fingers warming at its touch. Bark from the disappearing tree? Had it all been real after all? If so, then where had the woman and boy gone?

Jack retraced the steps he’d taken to follow them. Only his own impressions in the dirt showed. He was going crazy. That was it. Crazy from grief. Maybe what he needed was to get away from the land and the memories it held.

Papaya pushed against Jack’s back, nearly knocking him to the ground.

“What do you think, old boy?” He ran his hand over the horse’s soft nose and recalled Samuel Hunt’s offer of a job from before he’d married Lily. “Should I see if Sam still needs someone to help take those crazy emigrants to Oregon?”

As if he understood what Jack was saying, Papaya nodded his large head.

“Well, since I’m already crazy, I might as well listen to you.”

After a quick breakfast of cold biscuits and hard tack, he swung onto Papaya’s back and headed back down the mountain. Back to his empty home and future.

Book Trailer for The Soul Mate Tree: https://youtu.be/VjxyyD3TVoA

Trailer for THE TRAIL TO LOVEhttps://youtu.be/WUm0whWw1Z0

Where to find Tina:

Website: https://tinasusedik.wordpress.com./

Twitter: @tinasusedik

Website: TinaSusedik.com

Facebook: Tina Susedik, Author

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/17908316-riding-for-love

Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/tinasusedik/

“A Sweeter Spot” by Donna Simonetta

Today I have Donna Simonetta with her newly released book,  A Sweeter Spotthe first book in her Rivers Bend Trilogy.  Donna and I shared a release day.  My book Surprise Me Again and hers were both released on February 10th of this year. I feel honored to have shared this day with her. I love the cover of her book. It makes me think of warm summer days…and…love.

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Blurb:  Magda knows a 28-year-old shouldn’t run away from home, but Rivers Bend is the ideal escape. Helping out her best friend will get her away from her uber-wealthy, controlling grandmother and duplicitous ex. She doesn’t expect the quirky little town to feel so much like home. Add in hotter-than-the-sun Jeff and his daughter, and leaving seems as unthinkable as it is inevitable.

Raising Sam alone, Jeff knew he wanted her to grow up in his supportive hometown. The arrival of a feisty new tenant sends Jeff’s world spinning. Magda fills a void in his life that he’d like to make permanent.

Will love triumph over the most powerful woman in the country, and can they figure out how to make this happy-for-now in Rivers Bend into their happy-ever-after?

Excerpt:   “Being cheated on is no fun. It happened to me once. Up here,” he tapped his forehead. “You know it’s not your fault. But here,” he tapped his chest over his heart. “You feel like it has to be your fault – like you could’ve done something to prevent it. But you couldn’t have. It’s all on him, Maggie. Not you.”

She picked a dandelion, whose flower had turned into a puffball, and blew on it, scattering the fluff to the wind. “Maybe. Maybe not. But thanks for the support.”

She pushed to her feet and took a couple of steps toward the river. Jeff rose and followed.

How could he be so angry at a man he didn’t even know? How could this Pierce jerk have slept around on a woman like Maggie? And the prick had even made her doubt herself in the process. It was written all over her anguished face.

He stood behind her and gently kneaded her shoulders. He turned her to face him and cupped her face in his big hands.

“This Pierce guy is the biggest fool on earth to go to someone else when he had you at home, Maggie.”

She blinked away tears, and he felt his heart constrict. Before he could think it through and decide it was a really bad idea, Jeff dipped his head and captured Magda’s lips in a gentle kiss.

Buy Links:  All the places to find Donna’s book. While there, check out her other books.

Amazon:   https://www.amazon.com/Sweeter-Spot-Rivers-Bend-Trilogy-ebook/dp/B01N1S1K06/

The Wild Rose Press: http://catalog.thewildrosepress.com/all-titles/4862-a-sweeter-spot.html

Barnes & Noble:   http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/a-sweeter-spot-donna-simonetta/1125338511?ean=2940157374921

Amazon UK:   http://amzn.eu/14pwrnP

Donna Simonetta author photoAbout Donna:   After years working in the business world, my love of reading led me to get my MLS, and I currently work part-time in a school library, a job that allows me lots of time to explore my other love – writing romance! I live in Maryland, with my husband, who is my real-life romance hero. We both enjoy traveling to visit our far-flung family and friends, and spending time on the beach with an umbrella drink and a good book.

Where you can find out more about and follow Donna:

https://www.facebook.com/donnasimonettaauthor

https://twitter.com/donna_simonetta

https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/15422407.Donna_Simonetta

https://www.amazon.com/Donna-Simonetta/e/B06X415TWW/

 

 

“Lapses of Memory” by M.S. Spencer

Today I have the talented and well-traveled author, M.S. Spencer. Her life traveling around the world was used a a background for Lapses of Memory, which was newly released on March 15th. I’d have to say I’m a bit envious of her adventures. Tell us a bit about your journeys and how you incorporated them into your book. By the way, I love the cover.

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My traveling life began at the age of six months, when my family moved from upstate New York to North Carolina. From there we went to Maryland, and soon thereafter were winging our slow way halfway across the world to Turkey. I once counted up the number of significant moves in my life…and stopped at twenty-five. I have lived or traveled in Europe, the Middle East, Africa, the US, Central America, and South America. I’ve seen the Peacock Throne in the Golestan Palace in Iran and ridden a stallion across the Egyptian desert. I’ve swum with pink dolphins and gone fishing for piranha. I’ve watched as thousands of migrating cranes land on my roof in Istanbul. I’ve even begged for cigarettes from the sailors on a battleship in the Port of Tangier J (See Excerpt below.)

It’s been an adventure.

Lapses of Memory incorporated bits of those adventures, or uses impressions I have of the exciting events occurring during those years. It follows the exploits of two journalists, Sydney Bellek and Elian Davies, as they travel the globe reporting on various world catastrophes. The first time they meet as adults, Elian is about to infiltrate a fictional Greek revolutionary group, and Sydney is off to Cairo to study Arabic. The next time, however, they are both covering the initial stages of the revolution in Iran and only barely escape. Again a few years later we find them rivals in the search for a scoop on the Lebanese Civil War. During their journey, their love grows and deepens.

Blurb:  Sydney Bellek first meets Elian Davies in the 1950s on a Boeing 377 Stratocruiser when she is five and he is seven. They run into each other every few years after that, but while he knows from the start that she is his true love, she does not. Later, as rival journalists, they vie for scoops on international crises from the Iranian revolution to the Lebanese civil war. The handsome and intrepid Elian beats her out at every turn, even while keeping his love for her secret.
Only after years of separation does she finally realize they are meant to be together, but this time, in a twist of fate, it is Elian whose memory of her is gone. Will he remember her before she loses heart or will their new love be enough to replace the old one?

 Excerpt: The Couples First Kiss: Port of Tangier

Port of Tangier where Eddie & Sydney kiss

By luck or accident, Eddie’s parents had chosen the hotel next to Sydney’s apartment building, so they saw him every day. She and Eddie spent hours scouting the beach for what Eddie dubbed valuables—shells and sharks’ teeth and interesting flotsam. They kept their treasures in a shoebox under Sydney’s bed. Life seemed as good as it would ever be, or so Sydney told her diary.

The day before he had to leave for Marrakesh, Eddie met her at the front door of the hotel. “Let’s go down to the port. Ali says he has a surprise.”

They made their way to the bustling docks. Dwarfing the usual jumble of fishing boats and ferries at the wharves, a huge gray destroyer lay at anchor, its American flags flying proudly. “Wow, what’s that?”

A sailor passing by them said, “It’s the USS John Paul Jones of the Sixth Fleet. She’s come in for a weekend’s leave. See that little kiosk over there? You can get tickets for a tour if you like.”

Sydney started to head toward the kiosk, but Eddie held her back. He pointed at a gaggle of local kids standing near the ship pointing and yelling. “There’s Ali. Let’s see what’s going on.”

They ran along the pier, gawking at the sailors in their brilliant white uniforms who stood at attention on the decks. A couple of the other kids waved their arms, calling the sailors. Eddie grinned at Sydney. “You wanna jump in and see if they’ll throw us something?”

“What? Eew!”

“No, it’ll be fun. Ali says he and Yusuf do it all the time.” He took a flying leap and landed butt first in the oil-ringed water. He came up spluttering and waved at her. “Come on in, the water’s disgusting!”

When you’re thirteen years old and in love, you sometimes do the darndest things. Holding her nose, Sydney dove off the pier. She made the mistake of opening her eyes before she surfaced and was nearly blinded by a silt soup thicker than the Nile at flood stage. Something nipped her toe. She shot up out of the depths, kicking frantically at whatever slimy sea creature lurked in the muck. Together they swam over to a couple of brown-skinned boys and waved and shouted along with them. “Hey, sailor! Throw us sumpin’!”

“Hey, mistah!”

Pretty soon, they had a crowd of uniforms hanging over the railing, tossing cigarettes to them. Sydney wondered what her mother would do if she saw her little Pollyanna screeching and spitting out scummy water while she fought over soggy Winstons. To be on the safe side, she yelled in French. That way the headlines wouldn’t read “Underage American girl caught fraternizing with the Sixth Fleet.” One sailor leaned far out, pointed at her, and sent his Dixie cup hat floating out. She lunged for it, but instead her head slammed into Eddie’s. Dazed, she threw her arms out hoping to find something to grab on to and hit a bare chest. Two arms went round her, and before she could struggle out of them, two lips came in contact with hers. A moment later, they were gone. A hand took hers and guided her to the dock. “You okay?”

“Eddie!” Then she couldn’t think of anything else to say.

He grinned at her. “We’d best get back.” He pulled her out of the water.

They picked up their towels and walked home. Sydney kept her mouth closed, the better to savor the tingling feeling the kiss left on her lips. At the door to her building, he stopped. “We’re leaving tomorrow morning early. I’d…I’d like to see you tonight. Can you get out?”

She shook her head. “I’ve used up my three late nights. I have to stay in.” She hoped the tear that welled up wouldn’t fall.

Eddie’s face fell instead. “I don’t want to say goodbye, Sydney. What happens if…”

“If we never see each other again?” A sudden weight crushed her sternum, reminding her of that first climbing ascent in a plane when she was five. Never?

“Look, I’ll figure something out.” He checked the sun. “I’ve got to go. I promise, I’ll see you tonight.” Before she could move, he bent forward and kissed her again, then threw his towel over his shoulder and strolled jauntily away.

Now for the all important question: “Where can I find this book?”

TWRP: http://catalog.thewildrosepress.com/all-titles/4896-lapses-of-memory.html

I Tunes: https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/lapses-of-memory/id1196959922?mt=11

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Lapses-Memory-M-S-Spencer-ebook/dp/B01N5P9FTU

Barnes and Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/lapses-of-memory-ms-spencer/1115291373

KOBO: https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/lapses-of-memory-1

Bookstrand: http://www.bookstrand.com/lapses-of-memory-0

More about Ms. Spencer:  Although M. S. Spencer has lived or traveled in five of the seven continents, the last thirty years were spent mostly in Washington, D.C. as a librarian, Congressional staff assistant, speechwriter, editor, birdwatcher, kayaker, policy wonk, M. S. Spencer Authornon-profit director, and parent. After many years in academia, she worked for the U.S. Senate, the U.S. Department of the Interior, in several library systems, both public and academic, and at the Torpedo Factory Art Center.
Ms. Spencer has published ten romantic suspense novels, and has two more in utero. She has two fabulous grown children and an incredible granddaughter. She divides her time between the Gulf Coast of Florida and a tiny village in Maine.

Be sure to look her up at her various sites:

Blog: http://msspencertalespinner.blogspot.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/msspencerromance

Twitter: www.twitter.com/msspencerauthor

GoodReads:http://www.goodreads.com/msspencer
Pinterest: http://pinterest.com/msspencerauthor/

Google +: https://plus.google.com/u/0/+MSSpencerauthor

Linked in: www.linkedin.com/in/msspencerauthor

For her calendar of events:

Romance Books 4 Us: http://www.romancebooks4us.com/M.S._Spencer.html

 

Release Day for “A Kiss to Build a Dream On”

Congratulations to Katie Baldwin and her new release of A Kiss to Build a Dream on.

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The book is available at: Amazon/The Wild Rose Press/Barnes & Noble

Blurb: Bethany Michaels leads a fairly isolated existence, but she longs to be an outgoing and sexually confident woman. When her celebrity crush comes to town, and literally falls at her feet, her prayers seem to be answered. But can she protect her heart while still experiencing true passion?

Hollywood celebrity Aidan Shannon, drunk and lost in small-town Virginia, finds himself in the home of a beautiful woman, and he finds her more than just a little alluring. Bethany is voluptuous and nurturing, fragile, yet steely. And that is a problem for a man who never wants to be tied to another woman again.

Living in the now is good enough for Aidan and Bethany for the short term. When the universe steps in and shows them what’s important, will Aidan take a chance on love a second time around when his girl needs him?

Excerpt:

Well, either she was a crazy fan about to poison him or she was a shapely woman who was about to save him from a diabolical hangover. In for a penny, in for a pound. He eyed the tea one more time before making a decision.

Aidan carefully sipped the tea, unsure what to expect. Before the liquid touched his lips, his stomach clenched. This was going to be dreadful. Not even someone with his acting skill could pretend this tasted good.

“Drink it all, Mr. Shannon, or it won’t help,” the sweetly militant voice cautioned.

“It tastes worse than it smells,” he said, trying not to whimper. But then he realized she had said “Mr. Shannon.” He sighed. “It appears you know who I am.”

“Are you kidding?” The woman before him giggled softly. “The entire town is in ecstasy because you guys are filming your movie here.” She paused as she narrowed her eyes. “Wait a minute. Don’t try to distract me; drink your tea. How about this…? If you drink it, I will make you some eggs.”

He considered arguing but drank the whole thing down like a shot of whiskey.

“Good!” She looked as if she were trying not to laugh when he immediately grabbed the bottle of water and drank a giant slug from it.

“I left a towel and a new toothbrush in the bathroom. Why don’t you take care of yourself, and I’ll meet you in the kitchen.”

“Well, thank you, Ms…?”

The woman smiled. “I’m Bethany Michaels, Mr. Shannon. You are in my home. I found you singing away last night on a bench by the library where I work. I didn’t recognize you right away, I’m sorry to say, but once I did, I tried to get a cab to escort you back to your hotel, but you refused to go. You see…” She paused, as a sweet blush bloomed on her face. “You apparently thought that you and I were going to…to…well, you know. After convincing you that I did not want to “ride the Aidan train,” as you so delicately put it, you somehow convinced me to take you to my place—I’m still not sure how you did that—and you ended up asleep in my guest bed.”

Aidan grimaced. “Ms. Michaels, I—”

“Call me Bethany,” she said, patting him soothingly on the shoulder.

“Bethany, thank you for taking care of me. It means more than you can possibly know.”

“You’re welcome. I admit I’m a fan and am happy to help. I’ll give you some privacy now.”

“Bethany, you’re to call me Aidan then, right? I’m terribly sorry about the ‘train’ remark. Whiskey makes me incorrigible,” Aidan said, smiling.

“Let’s pretend it never happened, shall we? I’ll leave you alone so you can shower.”

“No need to leave, I mean…”—he glanced beneath the sheets at his unclothed body—“you’ve seen me naked so…”

“No! Mr. Sh—I mean Aidan, I most certainly have not! You disrobed yourself after I had already closed the door.” Then she paused, her face reheating. “I mean, well if you don’t count seeing you naked in Robot Warrior. But of course, you don’t mean that. I should go.”

“Bethany, a movie or last night, you’ve already seen me. No need to leave.”

“Are you still drunk? Because you still seem pretty incorrigible to me.”

About Katie:

katie-baldwinKatie Baldwin has a secret life. During the day she is a mild-mannered administrator at a University. By night she writes fantastical tales of romance and mystery. When she is not pacing her home working out dialogue in her mind, she is baking scones and working out dialogue in her mind. Aside from writing, she has a ferocious passion for the Green Bay Packers and Nutella. She can be found on twitter waxing eloquently about all of her passions. Go Pack Go! She can be reached via twitter @katiebwrites.

http://www.authorkatiebaldwin.com

New Release – “End of Lonely Street” by Alicia Dean – Plus an Awesome Giveaway

EndofLonelyStreet_w9180_300 (1)On The 80th anniversary of Elvis Presley’s birthday, Alicia Dean is releasing “End of Lonely Street” with The Wild Rose Press. This is a Vintage Romance short story set in 1957, in the era when Elvis first burst on the scene. Like the heroine in her story, Alicia is a diehard Elvis fan. She took the title from a line in Heartbreak Hotel, which was Elvis’ first million selling record.

Alicia is having a great GIVEAWAY from today, January 8 through noon on January 22nd. There will be three prizes: An Elvis gift basket including DVD, CD, plus more; $25.00 Amazon gift card; and a $10 Amazon gift card. First place winner will have first choice, second place second choice, and third place third choice. Here is the Raffecopter Code:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

The Amazon buy link: Amazon Buy Link: http://amzn.com/B00QQO3BK0
*** 10% of all of Alicia Dean’s net royalties for End of Lonely Street will go to
The Elvis Presley Charitable Foundation (http://www.elvis.com/about-epe/giving.aspx) ***

Blurb of “End of Lonely Street” – Can she let go of the past, before it destroys her future?

All Toby Lawson wanted was to go to college to pursue her dream of becoming a teacher and to be free of her alcoholic mother and the painful memories of finding her and the guy Toby loved kissing. But when her mother nearly burns the house down, Toby must put her dreams on hold and return home to care for her. The only time she isn’t lonely and miserable is when she’s listening to her heartthrob, Elvis Presley. His music takes her away, helps her escape from everything wrong in her life.

Noah Rivers has always loved Toby, but no matter what he says, and even though she knows her mother initiated the kiss, and that he didn’t kiss her back, she can‘t seem to get past what happened. He soon realizes that the true problem lies in Toby’s belief that she’s not good enough for him and in her fear that she will be just like her mother.

What will it take to prove to her that she deserves to be happy, and that he would give anything to be the man to make her dreams come true?

Excerpt of “End of Lonely Street”
Chapter One

Mapleton, Tennessee, November, 1957

Toby Lawson closed her eyes and shut out all sounds of the diner, except for Elvis Presley’s voice. He was crooning about how she was the only one for him…no matter where he went or what he did… he’d spend his whole life loving her…

Rough hands landed on her waist and shattered the fantasy. She caught a whiff of hair tonic and too much cologne, and she snapped her eyes open. Wes Markham’s hateful face replaced the image of Elvis’ beautiful, crooked smile and smoldering blue eyes.

“Let me go.” She gritted her teeth, keeping her voice low. If her boss, Mr. Winstead, knew there was trouble on account of her, he’d explode. He’d barely let her have the job in the first place. Everyone in Mapleton knew the Lawson women were trouble.

“Come on, honey. If you like that hip swivel, Presley ain’t the only one who’s got it. I got it too.” He released her with his left hand so he could run it over his slicked down hair and gave her a big-toothed, wolfish smile. “Only we’d be naked.” He shot a cocky grin over to his two companions—Chuck Stenson and Billy Garfield—who were leaning against the jukebox making kissing and whooping sounds.

Toby gripped his right wrist with one hand, tightening her hold on the utensils she held in the other. “I said let me go. Now!”

“Aw, be a sport, Green-Eyes.”

The bulge of his pelvis pressed into her abdomen, and she gasped in shock. Nausea tightened in her esophagus. “Wes Markham, I’m warning you…”

She shoved against him, but he didn’t budge.

He pulled her tighter. “Your momma’s a whole lot friendlier than you are. They say the apple don’t fall far from the tree, so how’s about you cut the pretense and we go someplace quiet? Winstead won’t miss you for a few minutes.”

Her cheeks heated. She didn’t dare look around. No doubt the customers were watching, listening. Elvis had stopped singing and everyone in the place could hear what he’d said about her mother. It wasn’t like they didn’t all know, though. Constance Lawson hadn’t exactly kept her escapades a secret.

Toby clenched her teeth and brandished the utensils. She spoke loud enough for everyone to hear. “Release me this instant, or I swear, you’ll be pulling this steak knife out of your eyeball.”

He held her gaze for a split second, then gave a laugh that was somewhere between nervous and furious. “Sure, sure. Okay.” He released her and stepped back. “I was just foolin’ around anyway. I got better things to do with my time than waste it on a used up chick like you.”

Muffled laughter rose around her. Oh God, she could crawl into a hole.

“How about you apologize to the lady, then beat it?”

Toby whirled at the male voice. Noah Rivers stood behind her, looking handsome and sharp in his police uniform—even with his dark hair in the military buzz cut. Her knees weakened, and tingles swept over her skin. She swallowed against the sudden dryness in her throat. She’d heard he was back, but hadn’t seen him until now. And what a time to have a reunion.

Alicia Dean Tin Man Color (2)Bio:
Alicia Dean lives in Edmond, Oklahoma. She has three grown children and a huge network of supportive friends and family. She writes mostly contemporary suspense and paranormal, but has also written in other genres, including a few vintage historicals.

Other than reading and writing, her passions are Elvis Presley, MLB, NFL (she usually works in a mention of one or all three into her stories) and watching her favorite televisions shows like Vampire Diaries, Justified, Sons of Anarchy, Haven, The Mindy Project, and Dexter (even though it has sadly ended, she will forever be a fan). Some of her favorite authors are Michael Connelly, Dennis Lehane, Lee Child, Lisa Gardner, Sharon Sala, Jordan Dane, Ridley Pearson, Joseph Finder, and Jonathan Kellerman…to name a few.

Find Alicia here:
Website: http://aliciadean.com/
Blog: http://aliciadean.com/alicias-blog/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100008364070487
Twitter: https://twitter.com/Alicia_Dean_
Pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/aliciamdean/
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/468339.Alicia_Dean

Welcome Erotic Romance Author – Kate Allure

I was given permission by my friend, Tina Susedik, to re-post her blog interview with Kate Allure. We both met Kate a few years ago at the Romantic Times Convention, but at different times and places. It was only recently that we realized we both knew her. Tina told me Kate’s new book, “Playing Doctor” was going to be released in a few days, on January 6, 2015, so I asked if I could share that interview. Both Kate and Tina agreed.

Congratulations, Kate, on your first book and good luck with your sales. Here is the interview:

basket red hat b&w 2x2ishThis month I’m introducing an author I met two years ago at The Romantic Times Convention. I can’t recall exactly where we were when our paths crossed, but we’ve been friends ever since. Even though she lives in California, her husband has family only thirty miles from my house. This past spring we were able to have lunch together in Wisconsin.

Kate is soon-to-be published. When I first met her in 2012, she was looking for an agent and publisher to publish her “Meeting Men” series. Her first one, “Playing Doctor”, will be release January 6th, 2015. I’m sure I’ll be one of the first to purchase it. She has another one to released soon after. Help me in welcoming author, Kate Allure. Playing Doctor bookcover new 300

What or who inspired you to write? I’ve created stories my entire life. A few years ago I stumbled upon my first recorded story about a sailor, written when I was eleven years old. My mother had typed it up and a fellow 5th grader had created illustrations. Surprisingly it wasn’t half bad. I also created dances and wrote plays in my youth. As an adult, much of my career involved nonfiction writing (reports, proposals, newspaper articles), so it was an easy leap back to creating stories. The actual kick-start happened a few years ago when I was laid up for two months following surgery. I had my first short story completed by the time I was up and walking around again. It was so much fun that I haven’t stopped writing since. My current career as an erotic romance author started about two and half years ago.

How do you handle rejections? I was incredibly blessed that my first forays into fiction we’re embraced, but I am working on a nonfiction project that has received rejections from every main publishing house. I try not to take it personally, but it helps that the feedback has been positive.I know the project you’re talking about and it’s an interesting one. Hopefully someone will pick it up.

Have you found trying to get published frustrating?
The entire process from pitching to publication is nerve-wracking on some level, but I love it…love every minute that I get to sit and write!

What do you do to keep yourself from giving up? I’m way, WAY, to stubborn to give up. Just not in my nature. Hmmmm. Why is that not surprising? LOL

What do you like to read? Everything, but mostly romances because I’m trying to stay abreast of all the new writers. I’m a very slow reader and it takes me forever. Partly this is because I like getting a feel for the cadence and the voice, which is hard for me if I’m speed-reading. I also like to reread entire pages that I like. Often I skip through every other page to the end of the book because I can’t stand not knowing what’s going to happen and then go back to reread the book from the beginning slowly.

Who are your favorite authors? That’s a hard question to answer—I love the written word in all its forms. I love the classics (everything from Shakespeare to Georgette Heyer to as odd as the limericks of Ogden Nash). If I had pick just a few from current romance authors, I would say Lorraine Heath and Sabrina Jeffries for historic, Jennifer Crusie for sexy contemporary humorous. For erotic, Lisa Renee Jones, Tiffany Reisz, P.C. Cast, the list goes on… I’ve just started reading J. Kenner, and I recently discovered Delphine Dryden and enjoyed her Theory of Attraction very much. It is, perhaps, closest to what I strive for in my writing—realistic, light-hearted stories about real-world archetypes, women meeting men and the fun they have behind closed doors. I’ve read many of your favorites and have to agree with you.

??????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????What’s on your keeper shelf? Everything. I can’t part with books. Keep them all, even the ones I don’t particularly like. It’s a real problem. Ask my DH! Maybe we should get a storage unit? I recently read this about having so many books: “You know you’re a book-a-holic when your house starts looking like a library!” I have a hard time parting with mine, too.

Do you enter contests? Have you won any? Early on, I entered the American Idol “Voice” Competition at the 2013 RT Booklovers Convention. I was thrilled to be a finalist, and, while I didn’t win, one of the judges asked for the “full” manuscript. She is now my wonderful agent Louise Fury of The Bend Agency. At the time, just being a finalist felt amazing—it was my first indication that my writing was acceptable on some level. Before that I was in a total vacuum with only feedback from my admittedly biased friends and family. Beth James and I were in the audience, cheering you on and were excited you made it into the final round.

What is your Work in Progress? Book one of Club Exotica, due in late 2015. It’s about a posh, exclusive, luxurious, ultra-private club in London where a woman’s every fantasy can be realized. Of course, what ultimately gets realized is true love. Sounds delicious.

What will you do to celebrate when you get a contract? What I did (past tense) to celebrate is now a sentimental memory. In May 2013, about two weeks after I submitted my manuscript, I got “the call.” I almost didn’t answer—didn’t recognize the area code—and when I did pickup I thought I was being “punked” by a friend…it was just too surreal to be believed. Deb Werksman of Sourcebooks was on the phone telling me they wanted to buy the Meeting Men series, and I was sitting there listening but not really comprehending. A few minutes into the call I suddenly realized—THIS IS REAL! Then I got really excited, my heart racing and my palms sweaty. So when I hung up, it was official. I was now a professional author who would write under the penname Kate Allure.
Now to the mini-celebration that still tingles when I think about it.???????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????? My DH, who’d been staring at me in suspense the whole time, gave me a hug and wanted to hear all about it. I told him there was a bottle of sparkling wine in the fridge, leftover from a party and never opened. I didn’t know what it was called, but said, “It’s the pink bottle.” A couple minutes later, he asked, “Did you do that on purpose?” and I said, “Do what?”
He held up the bottle and showed me. Across the label in big letters read, “Allure.” I laughed and told him that I’d had no idea what brand it was. It gave me the shivers but in a good way. It felt like a good omen, like the fickle universe had given me the thumbs up. And now, of course, any writing milestone has to be celebrated with a glass of Allure sparkling wine. That is so cool! I hope you kept that empty bottle as a souvenir.

How did you choose the genre you write? I find it funny, but I used to read historic romance almost exclusively. However, when I began writing it was contemporary, not even sure why. The erotic part happened because when I started that was what came out… I’ve been told that I’m very good at writing the “naughty bits.”

Are there any genres you wouldn’t write? I write erotic romance and am planning an erotic suspense eventually. I’m driven by what inspires me, what’s fun for me to write.

Where do you like to write? Mostly at the large desk I share with my DH, really more of a table with me on one side and him on the other. Sometimes on the couch. Sometimes in the back yard on a nice day. Sometimes on an airplane. When I get those few sparse minutes to write I’m happy pretty much anywhere.

notebook-computers-green-grass-background-42808325Do you write long-hand or use a computer or both? I only write on computer. I’ve tried using the voice to text feature. Would like to get better at that, then I’m freed up to do other things with my hands. Multitasking, you know. I’ve thought about using the voice feature, but then I’d have to listen to myself all the time. I’m not sure I could handle that!

What is on your desk right now? This very minute: Our sleeping, grumpy, orange cat (yes, we have cats…it seems one can’t be an erotic writer without cats), also a vase with six pink roses that are a little past their prime, and a whole lot of messy papers everywhere.

??????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????If you could write anywhere you wanted, where would it be? I fantasize about having a month in a tiny little shack on an island somewhere with the sparkling blue water stretching out before me. (Maybe my DH will read this. Hint, hint) Sounds like my dream place. No phones, no television. Just me, my notebook and my hubby. Oh, and don’t forget someone to bring us drinks.

Do you go to conferences? Yes: RT Booklovers, RWA, and, in my first ever appearance as published author, I’ll be participating in the 50 Shades of Romance conference in Seattle, February 13-15, 2015. If you love erotic romance, this is for you. http://www.50shadesofromance.com

At Romantic Times Convention

At Romantic Times Convention


What are your outside interests? Travel, travel, travel, and conducting research for my books with my loving husband (wink, wink).I bet people ask if you use your “real life” as your inspiration. I know I get that all the time.

Do you have a day job?No. And yes, one that doesn’t pay money…three teenagers (two with mild autism that require much of my time).

Does your family support or understand your dream? Yes, very supportive.

Do you have a degree? B.S. in Dance with a minor in Arts Administration.

Do you listen to music when you write? What kind? All kinds. Current hits, classical, and the piano when my teens and DH are practicing—love that!

What happens when you get a story idea? I try to type an outline as soon as possible. Earlier this week I discovered I could record into my cell phone, and made two recordings while driving of ideas I’d thought about while at the gym. Then I emailed them to myself. What a great idea. I’ll have to remember that.

Are you a morning, afternoon or night person? Definitely a night person. It’s 11:30pm after working straight through the night last night till 5:30am on a deadline, but now that it’s night again I’m bright eyed. It’s my curse!

I often have people say, “It must be nice to work at home, you can work in your pajamas,” which I don’t, but what do you wear when you write? Whatever I have on. I’ve found myself still typing madly away at 3 pm in my bathrobe. Embarrassing when I have to answer the door.

Do you set goals? Mostly, I’m deadline driven; otherwise I procrastinate. Usually I allow myself a brief respite from writing after a deadline for such things as planning trips or watching sci-fi with my guys. Any specific ones? To sell enough books to help pay for kids’ college education, then maybe some for retirement too!

Do you have any pets? Yes…cats!!! Erotic writers have to have cats. Check it out…every website features their cats. Also, we have a dog, giant rabbit (really I mean huge…bigger than a small dog), and a hermit crab. Thankfully my future zoologist teen cares for all the animals.

Thank you for joining me today, Kate. Here is the back-cover blurb for “Playing Doctor,” to be released January 6, 2015: Playing Doctor bookcover new 300

The doctor will see you now…
In “The Intern,” the temperature of Dr. Lauren Marks’s office quickly rises when her new medical intern Courtney turns out to be a passionate and sexy young man.

Valerie realizes all of her fantasies when her sexy surgeon and her loving husband team up to offer her some extra-special treatment in “My Doctor, My Husband, and Me.”

Nikki gets more than she bargained for in “Seize the Doctor” when the hot guy she recently met at a bar walks into her exam room wearing a white coat. Good thing she wore her sexiest lingerie.

Three sizzling-hot erotic romance stories to stoke your mood.

Links to buy: Pre-Order now at these retailers:
Barnes & Noble
iTunes
Amazon
Books-A-Million
Indigo
IndieBound

giveaways1Join Club Kate: For exclusive insider access and be entered in a giveaway drawing for Something Naughty and Something Nice! …including a nice Kate Allure beach bag, a naughty little surprise, and a copy of her debut, Playing Doctor. Come at check it out at http://www.KateAllure.com

Links to contact Kate:
http://www.KateAllure.com
https://www.facebook.com/KateAllure
Twitter: @KateAllure