Watch #RWISA Write Spotlight Tour with Joan Curtis #RRBC


RWISA TOUR

 

Only a few days left on the Rave Writers-International Society of Authors month long spotlight tour highlighting the diversified talent in this amazing group. Today’s special guest is Joan Curtis.

Welcome to the blog, Joan!

 

Joan Curtis

 

A Gift of Silence

By Joan C. Curtis

 

 

The man stood outside the store window, shifting from foot to foot. I’d have probably gone right by him, but as I passed, he looked me straight in the face, sending a chill up my back. Mystified, I found a place in the shadows and watched.

 

He wore a black golf shirt with a Nike swoosh. His black slacks were neatly pressed, but scuffs covered the toes of his dark shoes. As he paced in front of the store, as if waiting for something or someone, his left foot dragged. Maybe that was where the scuffs came from. A girl passed by him without so much as a glance. She wore flip-flops and short shorts. He turned away from her. Why look me in the face and ignore this young girl with long flowing blond hair?

 

After an interminable twelve minutes, he entered the store. I crept to the side window to get a closer view. A saleslady approached with a big hopeful smile. He jerked away as if he might flee, but she persisted. Probably learned that in Sales 101.

 

Peering inside, I could make out the blurry image of the saleslady as she crouched down to retrieve a box. While she bent, the man grabbed an item off the counter. He pocketed it so fast if I’d blinked, I’d have missed it. Gasping in surprise, I nearly collapsed into the window. So neat. So fast.

 

While I recovered from the shock of having witnessed a theft, the man exited the store. He hurried in the direction of downtown. Hands tucked in his pockets and his head lowered, he wove along the sidewalk, avoiding moms with kids, students with backpacks, and cyclists. I followed. What did he plan to do with his ill-gotten gains?

 

My friend, Rose, would give me a lecture. Why didn’t you go inside the store and raise the alarm? What were you thinking, watching, witnessing, and doing nothing? No wonder we pay so much money for our trinkets. Thieves get away with it, and it’s all because of people like you. But, I never intended to tell Rose about this. Not if I could help it.

 

Instead, I hastened to follow the man, avoiding other shoppers and site-seers. My sole purpose was to find out what this strange person was up to. My watch read two-fifteen. I had missed the coffee date with my cousin. She’d forgive me. I’d have to make up an excuse about traffic or something equally lame, but I couldn’t think about her now. I had to see where this man led me. My curious nature would never let me rest otherwise.

 

Moments later he entered the parking deck. He was going to his car. Darn! Once he got in a car, I’d lose him for sure. My Honda was parked here as well, but on the top level. With my luck, his was probably on the first level. It was impossible to imagine we’d be parked close enough for me to follow him.

 

He entered the elevator. The light flashed up to level 4. I raced up the stairs like a madwoman. Huffing and puffing, I reached the fourth level just as the elevator doors opened. I caught a glimpse of his black form walking to a red Kia. I made a quick turn and hightailed it up to the fifth floor to retrieve my car. Then I plowed down toward the exit, round and round, hoping, praying. Eureka! The red Kia was just in front of me, waiting to pay. The Universe was on my side.

 

Mr. Thief drove with caution, obeying all the traffic rules, making it easy for me to keep him in sight. Nonetheless, I stayed one car back, not wanting to risk him seeing me. Maybe he’d remember me from the street! A shiver ran through me. What would he do, this thief? Stop his car, jump out, and murder me? Absurd.

 

The light changed. We moved down the road. A strange thought filled my head. Had the Universe wanted me to witness this thievery? Everything seemed to be falling into place. “Don’t be stupid.” Rose would say and would add I was being melodramatic.

 

We turned into the parking lot for the Hermitage Nursing Home. This made no sense. Why not a pawn shop? Didn’t thieves go to shady establishments on busy street corners with flashing neon signs to hock their merchandise? Not to a nursing home. Maybe he worked here? Maybe he was some sort of klepto and couldn’t help himself? Maybe he had no intention of hocking the stolen article? He pulled into a parking place a few steps from the entrance. I chose one farther away. From my rearview mirror, I spied him getting out of the car and entering the building.

 

Once he disappeared, I made my way inside and approached the information desk where a girl of about twenty had her head buried in a People magazine. When she finally looked my way, her eyes filled with wonder, as if I’d dropped from the sky, “Can I help you?” she said.

 

“The man who just came in. He dropped a five-dollar bill in the parking lot. I ran after him, but I missed him. Do you know where he might be?”

 

“Oh, that’s Jerome. He’s visiting his mom. Comes every day at least once. Want me to give it to him?”

 

I hesitated. She blinked. “Well… I guess it won’t hurt for you to go down to room 212. It’s the last room on the right, down that corridor.” She pointed the direction.

 

I moseyed away as if I had all the time in the world. Once out of her view, I picked up my pace. Conversation came from room 212. Mr. Thief was talking very loudly. Apparently his mom had hearing issues.

 

At the door, I peered inside where Mr. Thief perched on the edge of the bed near an attractive woman with cottony white hair.

 

“You shouldn’t have, Jerome. I know how much this place is costing you,” the woman said.

 

“But, Mom, it’s your birthday. I wanted to give you a little something.”

 

“Just having you here is enough. But, I do like bracelets. You know how I like bracelets. Remember when your dad gave me a diamond bracelet—of course, I didn’t know it wasn’t diamonds then. It wasn’t till later. Remember? After he died and left nothing but bills and debts, I tried to sell the bracelet and found out it was worthless. I flushed it down the commode.”

 

“I remember, Mom. You told me that story. I wanted you to have a real diamond bracelet before… well, you know.”

 

She hugged him. “This is the best gift ever.”

 

I backed away from the room, my heart racing.

 

Back in my car I didn’t wait for Mr. Thief, a.k.a. Mr. Nice Son, to come out of the building.  I started the engine and drove home.

 

Thank you for supporting this member along the WATCH “RWISA” WRITE Showcase Tour today!  We ask that if you have enjoyed this member’s writing, to please visit their Author Page on the RWISA site, where you can find more of their writing, along with their contact and social media links, if they’ve turned you into a fan.  WE ask that you also check out their books in the RWISA or RRBC catalogs.  Thanks, again for your support and we hope that you will follow each member along this amazing tour of talent!  Don’t forget to click the link below to learn more about this author:

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The Cowboy’s Runaway Bride by Laurie LeClair #WesternRomance #amreading @ExpressoReads @LeClairBooks


The Cowboy’s Runaway Bride
Laurie LeClair
(The McCall Brothers, #3)
Published by: Tule Publishing
Publication date: August 24th 2017
Genres: Adult, Romance

When Dallas society bride Elizabeth Eve Barrington discovers her intended’s financial ulterior motives for marriage, she hightails it out of the church in her wedding gown and hops in the back of a parked and beat-up pickup truck.

Happy to leave the big city, sexy cowboy Connor McCall jumps in his truck, revs up his engine, and then heads home to Honor, Texas with the goal of saving his family’s failing ranch. Hours later and miles down country roads, Connor discovers the stowaway bride, and he’s pretty sure she’s feigning amnesia.

What’s a cowboy to do? Cowboy up, of course. He takes Eve home, determined to solve her mystery. What he discovers is a lot of smoke–and where there’s smoke, there’s fire, with the heat generating between them hot enough to burn. Will Connor be damned if he falls for the beautiful runaway bride or will he be damned if he doesn’t?

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EXCERPT:

“Look at that, Gramps. Another sucker getting hitched.” Conner McCall sat behind the wheel of his old truck in the thick, Saturday Dallas traffic.

He nodded to the long line of sleek, black limos clogging the opposite side of the lane as they inched down the busy city street.

Horns honked at the entourage taking up nearly a block and not allowing anyone to pull in or out. A few colorful shouts peppered the warm, summer air. People on the sidewalks stopped and stared.

“Pretty fancy stuff, if you ask me.” Gramps, with one hand securely on his sleeping pet miniature horse, Sweet Potato, craned his neck to see. “Maybe that will be you soon. Following in the footsteps of Cody and Caleb.”

“Oh, no. My brothers may have succumbed, but not me. Not yet. I have a long, long way to go before I settle down.” If ever. “First, we make it through this season and then we get the McCall ranch secure for the future.”

“From your lips to God’s ears. About the ol’ homestead, that is. But, you. I want for you what your Grams and I had and what your brothers found.”

“Not likely.” Conner had strong doubts their small town of Honor, Texas could provide the love of his life. Most likely he’d never find her. A little pang hit his ribs.

How many girls did he know who wanted to work and toil away on a ranch for decades to come? None he knew. And you can’t separate a cowboy from his horse, either. Not this one, at least.

Some had tried. None had succeeded. And never would.

He’d come dang close once, though, three years ago. Somewhere along the line, Conner finally figured out he’d always be her second best. Not getting stomped on again by some girl who fancies herself a cowboy for a rebound romance.

Maybe it just wasn’t meant to be for him. The love part. Somewhere deep inside, he worried he’d end up falling head over heels and losing her—like Gramps did with Grams. Conner didn’t think he could stand the crushing pain. Better to not even go there…

“Miss Peaches is single.”

His grandfather’s suggestion made him laugh. “She’s older than you, Gramps.”

“Her sister Clementine?”

Conner shook his head at his grandfather’s antics. “Not of child bearing age, may I remind you. No great-grands there.”

They shared a chuckle.

“Scratch them off the list.” Gramps grabbed an invisible pencil from behind his ear and made a horizontal line in the air.

“No matchmaking, understand?”

“Me? Why I let Cody and Caleb make up their minds, didn’t I?”

“Not that you didn’t help their romances along.”

“Now, I didn’t say that.” He admitted what they’d all known.

“Gramps, you’re a romantic at heart. Do me a favor and don’t butt in when it comes to me.” Pestering him about finding someone might just be on the top of Gramps’s list now that Conner’s brothers had tied the knot recently.

“If you say so, Conn.” Gramps sighed.

“We’ve got better things to concentrate on. I think we need to get an in with the biggest grocery store chain in Texas. We get a contract and a decent price, we can hold on to the ranch. It’s a guaranteed future income. Maybe even stop talking and start doing that more resilient breed of cattle you’ve always wanted.”

“You’re talking my language there. I like that. No exclusives, though. We need some options open. Plus, we don’t want to stop supplying the local restaurants in our own hometown. That breeding thing will take some time, though.”

The heat of the early afternoon drifted in through the open windows. And the heavy scent of fumes came with the breeze. Give Conner the country any day. “I’ve got the time and I can learn.”

“Son, hurt me something fierce when you had to drop out of college when Grams got sick.”

“Don’t dwell, Gramps. I’m working right where I want to be. The McCall ranch.” Taking care of his beloved grandfather, too, was right where Conner wanted to be.

“Light changed. They’re on the move. Uh, lookee there, must be the bride’s veil peeking out the window of the first one.”

Conner glanced in the side mirror. A gust of wind caught the sheer, white veil and sent it flying. He watched it float in the air. It landed in the crook between his truck and mirror. The lace-edged, delicate fabric fluttered and lifted.

Without thinking, he reached out, snatched it up, and then rolled it in a loose ball.

“Good catch, son.”

“I guess she’ll be wanting this back.” Conner shoved the gear in park and then undid his seat belt. “Be right back.”

In seconds, he popped open the door and then half ran down the street to catch the vehicle. His boots hit the asphalt with heavy thuds. The veil unfurled, streaming behind him. He gripped the bunched-up fabric he still held tighter. The red tail lights came on, sending a shot of relief through him.

This cowboy isn’t about to trot a mile though Dallas trailing her limo. That would be a sight to see.

He caught up to the shiny car and shoved the delicate material through the half open rear window. A feminine hand appeared at the same time, grabbed for it, and accidentally brushed her fingers along his wrist.

A current of electricity rushed through him.

Conner heard her loud gasp. She withdrew her hand instantly, along with the veil, reeling in the long fabric.

“Thank you.” Her soft voice whispered over him.

Low. Seductive. Or was the last just his imagination?

He could barely make out several shadowy figures in the dark interior before the power window rose. It shut with a smooth click.

Now, he only saw his wide eyes and slack jaw staring back at him in the reflection. He tipped his cowboy hat back and stepped away. The limo took off. The others followed.

Whoa! What the hell was that? He’d run into an electric fence with less charge than that and that was saying something.

The sound of his horn beeping over and over brought Conner back to the realization he stood in the middle of the street with moving cars charging by in front of him. Turning, he rushed back to Gramps and his truck, hopped in, slammed the door shut, and then shoved it into drive to keep up with the moving traffic.

His hand burned. He shook it, trying to rid himself of that feeling.

“You okay, Conn? About gave me a heart attack when they started up again.” Gramps calmed Sweet Potato, coming awake and rearing his head up. “Easy, little fella.”

Blowing out a breath, Conner shot his grandfather a grin, trying to smooth out the fresh worry lines gathered on the older man’s face. “Harder than dodging our charging cattle, Gramps. City folks. Never mind that, let’s get us some good barbecue before heading back home.”

“Now you’re talking. Just up ahead two blocks.” He smacked his lips. “Don’t tell your Uncle Jeb this place’s brisket is almost as good as his.”

“Not on your life. Aunt Sissy would have both our hides.”

Gramps chuckled along with him. “I appreciate you letting me ride along, son. Gives me some more time with you before you head out to the base camp tomorrow.”

“Good company. Long drive in the early hours. Picked up the part we needed—a little later and a little more than we wanted.” Conner cringed inwardly at that.

The ranch barely survived at the moment. If this season didn’t go well, they’d lose it all. Dread sat deep in his belly every time he thought about how they lived on the edge this last year. With his Grams dying, it rocked their world, especially Gramps, who kept too much from his three grandsons until it was almost too late.

Now, Caleb, Cody and he were doing everything in their power to save the family homestead and their legacy.

“Thought we’d have some daylight left to start fixing the trannie on the old rust bucket.” Conner shrugged and then quickly checked on the loose corner rope holding down the tarp covering the transmission. Tighten that baby up before we head out.

The last-minute repair on the ranch truck took more than a little coaxing this time. No, the part needed replacing and the closest place they could find the vintage model in Texas was Dallas.

Conner had volunteered since his two older brothers and their new brides either had second jobs outside the McCall ranch or were out on the range helping with the cattle. And their foreman and crew were too busy this time of year. Single, biding his time with packing up the last of the supplies to ride out on his horse tomorrow, he’d been the obvious choice.

“Should be home in time tonight to tuck in this little fella, though.” His voice held a smile. Gramps treated the miniature horse like a pet instead of a ranch animal.

“Don’t you be going and making wisecracks, too, Conn. I get enough of that from the others. He adopted me, not the other way around. You hear?”

“Loud and clear.”

“Just so we’re square and all.”

“Got it.”

The cars ahead stopped at the quick light. Connor braked. He glanced to the side mirror, half hoping to catch a glimpse of that limo and the mystery bride. No such luck. Nothing but trucks, cars, and SUVs chugged along—brakes squealing and exhaust coughing out the tail pipes.

She was gone.

A tiny rope of disappointment went through him.

You’re sick, McCall. She’s a bride on her wedding day. Her groom is waiting for her. Or she may have even gotten married already and he’s sitting beside her.

But he couldn’t forget the sound of her sharp intake of breath.

And the current that rushed through him…

 

Author Bio:

Bestselling author Laurie LeClair writes romantic comedies, contemporary romance, romantic suspense, and women’s fiction. Laurie has a not-so-secret love for characters who make her laugh, cry, and who linger in her mind long after the story ends. Laurie’s habit of daydreaming has gotten her into a few scrapes and launched her to take up her dream of writing. Finally, she can put all those stories in her head to rest as she brings them to life on the page.

Laurie loves to write, read, bake, travel, and discover new adventures. She considers herself a New Texan (New England born and raised and now living in Texas). She lives in Central Texas with her husband, Jim. Laurie loves to hear from her readers.

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She’s waited a lifetime… Vaughn’s Pride by @selenalaurence #Romance #NewRelease @Barclay_PR


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A damaged cowboy full of pride must find a way to be the man his childhood sweetheart’s always needed, or come to terms with losing her forever.

Follow the release and enter to #win one of five copies of the first California Cowboys book, Cade’s Loss

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Title: Vaughn’s Pride

Series: California Cowboys #2

Author: Selena Laurence

Genre: Contemporary Romance

Release Date: August 21, 2017

Length: 235 pages

 

Blurb:
She’s waited a lifetime. Can she stop him from wasting one?

Vaughn Jenkins is the youngest in a long line of proud men. But he was only seventeen when his parents were killed during a storm on a California highway. Seven years later, another stormy night nearly took Vaughn’s life. Now he’s half a leg lighter, full of shame and doubt, and taking it out on everyone around him, even the woman he’s loved most of his life.

T.J. Brisco is the girl next door. She and Vaughn grew up together, inseparable friends, then high school sweethearts. But when tragedy strikes, Vaughn retreats, and this time is no different. She’s determined to help him recover from his devastating amputation, but Vaughn’s not going to make it easy. When his anger becomes too much for T.J.’s shattered heart, she decides their story is over for good.

Now Vaughn is faced with the rest of his life—as an amputee, as a brother, as a man—and as T.J. moves on, Vaughn falls farther and farther behind. Can he learn to run fast enough to catch up to the only woman he’ll ever love? Or will his pride stand in their way forever?

Find out more at: Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes & Noble | iBooks | Kobo

 

 

Excerpt:
He waved over his head and kept moving, looking down to make sure his leg didn’t get caught on anything in the crowded space. While the trajectory of his leg could be controlled well because he had an intact knee joint, he couldn’t feel if anything below his knee got knocked or caught when he was in close quarters. It made the navigating somewhat more difficult, and since he preferred not to fall on his ass in front of half the town, he kept his gaze down.

Which was why he knocked right into something, eliciting a squeak that jolted him out of his hyperfocused state. His hands shot out in reflex, and he caught whatever—whoever—it was as they stumbled. The other person’s weight pulled him off-balance, and he was forced to take another step, planting his good leg to keep upright. The extra step meant that his victim was now virtually under him, bent back in a slight dip as he held what was definitely a her.

His gaze moved up from a set of perfect breasts snug in stretchy azure fabric with a deep V in the front, and on to a neck that was smooth and slim. And then he reached the face, that face, the face that haunted him day in and day out, even when he wanted nothing more than to be free of it.

“Sorry,” he murmured as they stayed frozen in their embrace, T.J.’s big brown eyes blinking at him. But then his gaze dropped, against his will, to her breasts again, and he jerked both him and T.J. upright, setting her away as much as he could in the middle of the tables, stools, and people.

T.J. cleared her throat and smoothed her tight, short dress. Vaughn was caught speechless at the vision of his wholesome, lifelong best friend wearing something that looked like it belonged in a Los Angeles nightclub. The brilliant shade of blue contrasted with her black hair and golden skin, making her glow like some sort of goddess.

Fuck, she was beautiful.

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About Selena Laurence:
Selena Laurence is an award-winning and USA TODAY bestselling author who loves Putting the Heat in Happily Ever After. Her super sexy stories take place everywhere from rock concerts to family ranches, and her books can be found around the world in four languages, at libraries, bookstores, online, and in audio.

Selena lives in the foothills of the Rocky Mountains where she can often be found at a local coffee shop, hiking the trails, or watching soccer. At home Mr L, her kids, “goldendoodle” and “demoncat” keep her busy trying to corral chaos. A veteran Indie author, Selena also coaches writers through her blog and workshops on turning #Passion2Profession.

If you’d like to get to know her better, join Selena’s reader/reviewer group on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/groups/180909955632263/

Or subscribe to her newsletter and get FREE books: http://www.subscribepage.com/JoinSelena

You can connect with her online at: Website | Facebook | Twitter | Amazon | BookBub | Goodreads

 

Follow the release and enter to #win one of five copies of the first California Cowboys book, Cade’s Loss

Aug 21st
I Love Romance – Review
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Kari’s Book Reviews and Revelations – Review
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Romance Reviews Today Blog – Spotlight
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OMG Reads – Review
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