Guest Post- Sharon Marchisello #AuthorInterview #AuthorsCommunity @SLMarchisello


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Guest Post- Sharon Marchisello

I’m happy to introduce you to mystery writer Sharon Marchisello!

Bio:

Born in upstate New York, I moved to Tyler, Texas, when I was five years old. People called me “Yankee” until I was in high school, when I finally perfected my Southern accent. (The American Civil War, over for a century, had not been forgotten.) I earned a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Houston in French and English and then worked for the Texas Department of Human Resources. In my mid-twenties, I received a Rotary scholarship to study for a year in Tours, France, where I lost my Texas accent. About a year after my return, I moved to Los Angeles to pursue a Masters in Professional Writing from the University of Southern California, which I hoped would lead to a career as a bestselling author. When I graduated and fame and fortune didn’t happen, I got a job at Western Airlines which later merged with Delta Air Lines. I met my husband on the employee bus. In my 27-year airline career, I worked various customer service positions and even did some technical writing in the corporate office. Retired, I now live in Peachtree City, Georgia, writing what I want and doing volunteer work for the Fayette Humane Society. I’m a member of Sisters in Crime and the Atlanta Writers Club.

And if that interesting bio wasn’t enough, here’s an interview where we can get some insights into Sharon’s likes and dislikes…

What do you write?

I write novels and short stories. But I also blog about personal finance (http://sharonmarchisello.blogspot.com/) and I self-published Live Well, Grow Wealth, a primer on personal finance 101.

What genre do you favor?

Mystery / suspense, women’s fiction.

When did you realise you wanted to be a writer?

I have always been a writer. I was telling stories to myself and others before I learned my alphabet. When I was in school, I received lots of encouragement and validation from my teachers with good grades on essays and creative writing assignments.

Nevertheless, it took me a long time to get published. I was in my twenties when I sold my first travel article. I had completed four novels—and abandoned countless others before completion—before my “first” novel, Going Home, found a publisher. Going Home, actually the second mystery I completed, is a whodunnit inspired by my mother’s battle with Alzheimer’s disease. Her situation prompted me to wonder what it would be like to interview a witness or a suspect who could not rely on her memory.

Are you published?

Yes. Besides articles and short stories, I have two mysteries traditionally published by Sunbury Press—Going Home (2014) and Secrets of the Galapagos (2019) And my nonfiction book about personal finance, Live Well, Grow Wealth, was self-published in 2018.

Where can you be found on social media?

Website or blog: https://smarchisello.wordpress.com/

http://sharonmarchisello.blogspot.com/

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

https://www.facebook.com/Live-Well-Grow-Wealth-494073360780648/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/SLMarchisello

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/slmarchisello/

Pinterest: N/A

Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/in/sharonmarchisello/

What do you think is the best way to publish these days?

I think the big publishers have the most reach for obtaining advertising, reviews, shelf space in bookstores, and consideration for prestigious awards. If you’re good at marketing and don’t mind doing a lot of non-writing legwork to get your books out, self-publishing is the way to go.

As an introvert who prefers writing to self-promotion, I plan to stick with the traditional route, which unfortunately can be a long, slow process. (And, I’ve found, even authors who are traditionally published have to do most of their own marketing.)

I chose to self-publish Live Well, Grow Wealth because the material was somewhat time-sensitive, and I don’t have a background in finance, which would have helped my credibility with a publisher. The book is based on my own experience of becoming financially independent by living frugally, saving, investing, and developing a healthy attitude toward money. I’m not trying to sell classes or generate business for a financial-planning service, like most authors in the personal finance genre; I just wrote the book and post the blog to share the tips that worked for me.

What are your favorite genres to read? Why?

I like reading for pleasure in the mystery/suspense/women’s fiction genres—the same genres I write. I also like to check out bestsellers to see what makes them so special. Research!

How do you approach starting a new book?

I start with an event, an inciting incident. With a mystery, that’s usually a murder. Then I put characters into the situation, giving each motive and opportunity, and watch how they react. I’m what you call a “pantser” as opposed to a “plotter.”

However, with my only nonfiction book, Live Well, Grow Wealth, I approached it like the training manuals I created for Delta, making a very detailed outline before I began writing. I wish I could outline my fiction as well, but so far it doesn’t work for me.

What are the best writing books or blogs you’ve ever read?

One of the best writing craft books I’ve read was Don’t Murder Your Mystery by Chris Roerden. She offers lots of wonderful tips to apply in the editing phase.

What are your non-writing hobbies, or what do you do to relax?

Besides reading, I love to travel and have visited more than 100 countries; working for an airline was a perfect career for me. My husband and I have taken over 65 cruises together. We’re also Master Gardeners for the Fayette County University of Georgia Extension Office, and we enjoy helping with their many community projects. I like being outdoors, working in the yard or taking walks along Peachtree City’s extensive network of golf cart paths.

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Do you have any personal heroes/heroines?

Evelyn Marchisello, my mother-in-law, comes to mind. Unfortunately, we lost her in 2012 at age 97. She was a classy lady, always dressed to the nines, always poised and polite. She graciously allowed me to live with her for two and a half years while I commuted between my Delta job in Los Angeles and my new home in Seattle. I developed a closer relationship with her than with my own mother. (Probably because she met me as an adult and didn’t have to endure my teen years!)

Have you had any unusual or noteworthy occupations?

One of my more memorable jobs—not really in a good way—was in Cabin Service at Delta. My husband and I bought a house in Seattle and the only opening for me there required me to take a large pay cut and join the aircraft cleaning crew. One of my tasks was driving the “lavosine” and dumping the aircraft lavatories. I had just come off a career highpoint, setting up a new station in Amsterdam and training airport customer service agents, so the voluntary demotion just to move to Seattle was quite a blow to my ego.

What was your best date ever?

My week-long cruise around the Galapagos islands with my husband is certainly high on my list. The wildlife is spectacular. The setting inspired my second published mystery, Secrets of the Galapagos.

Tell us something you are really proud of.

I’m proud of the volunteer work I do for the Fayette Humane Society. I’ve been serving as Secretary on the Board of Directors for nine years. I’ve fostered dozens of cats, and while I get somewhat attached to each one, I’m always happy to find them forever homes. I use my verbal skills as the organization’s grant writer, and it’s rewarding when we receive a grant that I’ve applied for. I use my travel privileges to fly kittens from Georgia to rescue groups up north where they have a better chance of getting adopted, and to transport cats with special needs to facilities in other cities for medical care.

For the past four years, I have participated in the Alzheimer’s Walk, in honor of my mother and mother-in-law who both suffered from this awful disease. Because the mother character in Going Home was modeled after my own mother, I sell copies of Going Home at team fundraisers for the Walk and give all the proceeds to the Alzheimer’s Association. I’ve discovered I sell a lot more books when I’m giving all the money to charity than when I’m keeping it for myself!

Can you confide something you wish you were better at?

I wish I were better at public speaking. I’ve come a long way, but I only consider myself competent, not dynamic. I used to be terrified to speak in front of a group, which makes it hard to get ahead in the corporate world. Not to mention, being an author trying to promote her work. So, I joined Toastmasters, attended meetings religiously, and worked my way through the program—all the way to DTM (Distinguished Toastmaster), the highest award. But still, I’d never enter a speech contest or consider a career in public speaking.

Shattered by a broken engagement and a business venture derailed by Jerome Haddad, her unscrupulous partner, Giovanna Rogers goes on a luxury Galapagos cruise with her grandmother to decompress.

At least that’s what her grandmother thinks. Giovanna is determined to make Jerome pay for what he’s done, and she has a tip he’s headed for the Galapagos.

While snorkeling in Gardner Bay off the coast of Española Island, Giovanna and another cruise passenger, tortoise researcher Laurel Pardo, both become separated from the group and Laurel is left behind. No one on the ship will acknowledge Laurel is missing, and Giovanna suspects a cover-up.

When the police come on board to investigate a death, Giovanna is sure the victim is Laurel. She’s anxious to give her testimony to the attractive local detective assigned to the case. Instead, she learns someone else is dead, and she’s a person of interest.

Resolved to keep searching for Laurel and make sense of her disappearance, Giovanna finds that several people on board the cruise ship have reasons to want Laurel gone. One is a scam involving Tio Armando, the famous Galapagos giant tortoise and a major tourist attraction in the archipelago. And Jerome Haddad has a hand in it. Thinking she’s the cat in this game, Giovanna gets too involved and becomes the mouse, putting her life in jeopardy. But if she doesn’t stop him, Jerome will go on to ruin others.

Short excerpt: (Secrets of the Galapagos – 2019)

Chapter One:

Laurel tugged at my flipper and pointed. I pivoted through the stream of bubbles in time to see a six-foot hammerhead shark, its flat head barely rippling the water it displaced. I could have touched its coarse, gray skin had I dared. My heart pounded. In our dark wetsuits, did we look like seals? The guides said these Galapagos sharks were not dangerous unless provoked, but who knew when one might decide to add a little tourist delicacy to its diet of fish and crustaceans?

Her dark hair floating around her face, my new friend Laurel gave a thumbs-up. I returned the gesture. I sensed her radiant grin through her mask.

The shark glided away almost as quickly as it had appeared, replaced by a school of surgeonfish, their yellow tails and silvery bodies shimmering in the sunlight. I lost sight of Laurel as I floated among them like a mermaid.

I kicked my way to the surface and lifted my head to drain my snorkel tube. As I pushed a strand of wet hair out of my face, I glimpsed the band of white skin where my engagement ring had been—until last month. Don’t think about that jerk, I scolded myself. Focus on enjoying this incredible cruise. And the mission: justice. Our group had been snorkeling in the chilly waters of Gardner Bay for about an hour, and all I wanted to do now was get back on board the ship, dry off, and tell everyone over a tasty lunch of fresh seafood about our close encounter with the shark. Laurel surely had shot some great pictures.

I pulled off my fogged-up plastic mask and rinsed it in the ocean. The sea had grown rougher since we’d started snorkeling, and dark clouds gathered. A wave slapped my face, sending salty water into my nostrils. I held up my right hand, the symbol for, “I’m ready to come in.”

Where was everybody?

“Laurel?” She’d been swimming beside me moments ago, snapping photos of the vast display of marine life.

I scanned the water for my fellow snorkelers and the guides hovering in the inflatable black boats called Zodiacs. Laurel and I had not strayed that far from the group … had we?

I put my mask back on and ducked underwater to see if anyone was still swimming beneath the surface. Nothing but fish. I didn’t care about the fish anymore.

The sudden sensation of being alone in the cold ocean sucked my energy. I took off my mask again, struggling to hold my head upright and tread water while I regained my bearings.

The steep volcanic outcropping where we’d congregated was on my left. It had been on my right before. I must have drifted to the other side. Seabirds squawked at me as if I had plans to disturb their nests wedged into the jagged, guano-coated crevices.

“Laurel?” She must be wondering what had happened to me.

I dog-paddled around the volcanic rock and then sighted one of the Zodiacs—at least thirty yards away and headed back to the ship. A black speck in the distance was probably the other boat.

“What the—?” I propelled myself in their direction, but the current pushed me back. Instead of aiding my progress, my cumbersome flippers, life vest, and wetsuit—the gear that had kept me so buoyant underwater—now weighted me down. I stopped and waved my whole arm rapidly, the sign for, “Come get me now!”

No heads turned in my direction. The boats were moving farther away.

Damn that Fernando! That self-centered excuse-for-a-guide was too busy flirting and boasting about his exploits to notice two missing passengers.

Something bumped my leg. I couldn’t look.

“Hey!” I shouted at the top of my lungs. I kicked hard and sprang upward, spy-hopping like I’d seen whales do. “Hey!” I had visions of myself drowned in the Galapagos or devoured by a shark—a tragic end to this vacation of a lifetime, this attempt to escape the mess I’d made of my life back in Georgia. So much for ever doing any good in the world.

This sounds great! The Galapagos is on my bucket list. Can you imagine- Sharon and her husband have traveled to over 100 countries! How far have you gone?

Meet the Author- @jacqbiggar #Romance #Writer


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Meet the Author

You’ve probably heard it said that writing is a lonesome job, but I haven’t found it to be true. My head is filled with the characters I’m creating, the fictional places I’m traveling to and the adventures… ooh-la-la!

Here is part of an interview I recently did with book promoters Itsy Bitsy Book Bits:

Author Interview With Jacquie Biggar by Itsy Bitsy Book Bits

How Did You Get Into Writing?

  •  I’ve been a romance reader since my pre-teen years and developed a dream of writing my own novel then. I didn’t make the fantasy a reality until I was semi-retired and had time on my hands. Now I wish I’d started much sooner!

What’s Your Favorite Genre to Write?

  •  Romantic suspense- I like the action-adventure thrill of suspense novels.

Is there a genre you’ve always wanted to write in that you haven’t yet?

  •  Historical. I’m intimidated by the research it would take, though.

Who are some of your inspirations?

  •  My biggest inspiration is my daughter. She’s a single mother with a Type 1 Diabetic son who is making her way through a masters degree for biology. She’s hands down the strongest person I know.

Do any of your stories have personal experiences in them?

  • Most of them incorporate some part of my life, whether it’s a cafe (I owned and operated one for years), dealing with disabilities (my grandson’s T1D, dementia, cancer), or small town life.

Who are some of your favorite authors to read?

  •  Loreth Anne White, Emma Scott, Susan Elizabeth Phillips, Jennifer Crusie, Jill Shalvis, Kristan Higgins.

What’s your writing process look like? (Outline or go with the flow of your character)

  • I’m what is termed a linear pantser; meaning I have a general idea for the story and a character in mind, after that it’s one line at a time 🙂

What are some of your hobbies?

  • Gardening tops the list, reading, bird watching, walking my cat (yes, you read that right!)

Have you attended any signings? If so, what was your favorite thing about it?

  •  I’ve been to one signing at our local library, and while the crowd was small, it was a good learning experience for this introvert.

When reading reviews, what is something you love to see written?

  • Someone who really gets my characters and has empathy for their story. It means I’ve connected with my reader, which is the ultimate thrill!

If you could spend the day with one of your characters, who would it be and what would you do?

  • Tough question: Jared Martin from The Rebel’s Redemption. He’s a tough guy with a heart of gold. I’d love to spend an afternoon fishing with him 🙂

What are you currently working on?

  • A romantic suspense set around a female stalker of a NHL hockey player.

What’s your writing routine?

  •  I do my blog and promo work through the morning and afternoon, then spend the evening writing- approx 4-6 hours a night.

Do you have any superstitions when it comes to writing? If so, what?

  • Does three circles around my chair before I start writing count? Jk! No, I don’t have any superstitions.

You can read more of this interview here: https://itsybitsybookbits.com/2020/01/the-sister-pact-home-is-where-the-heart-is-by-jacquie-biggar/

The Sister Pact

Two sisters lose sight of what’s most important- family bonds.

Holly Tremaine is living on borrowed time. A life-threatening illness ends her promising musical career and sends her home in the hope of making amends for the past.

Levi Anderson is on the fast track to a successful year within his profession- the last thing he has time for is his twin brother’s shenanigans. But when it includes the one woman Levi hasn’t been able to forget, his conscience won’t let him avoid the temptation to see her again.

Can remorse heal all wounds? Or will past betrayals continue to ruin family ties, one thread at a time?

Early Reviews:

 I seem to gravitate toward the deep family stories lately and the emotions that go with them, this was an amazingly written book and as I said above, not sure why this is my first read by this author, but I can guarantee I have already looked at what else is available and my tbr has grown and I’ll be watching for any and everything from this point on.

AMAZON REVIEWER

This is a story that had my emotions going up and down the entire time I was reading it. Holly and Levi are likable characters and I found myself wanting them to find happiness. There are moments that tug at your heart and others that had me wondering if the past could be overcome. I highly recommend reading this story.

AMAZON REVIEWER

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B081L4SWDB/

International: https://books2read.com/TheSisterPact

Add to TBR List: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/48920512-the-sister-pact

Recommend on Bookbub: https://www.bookbub.com/books/the-sister-pact-home-is-where-the-heart-is-by-jacquie-biggar

Also Available



Everyone Has Secrets; Some More Devastating Than Others…

Everyone Has Secrets; Some More Devastating Than Others…

Presenting a brand new collection of page turning romance and suspense from NINE International USA Today Bestselling, Award-Winning Authors.

Nine stories, nine heart-wrenching soon to be revealed secrets. Can the truth really set them all free?

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B082GH6X62

International: https://books2read.com/InvincibleSecrets

TBR List: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/49803837-invincible-secrets

Recommend us on Bookbub: https://www.bookbub.com/books/invincible-secrets-invincible-women-s-fiction-book-2-by-jen-talty-and-suzanne-jenkins

Meet the Author- #AuthorSpotlight #WritersHelpingWriters @JamesCudney4


Author Spotlight- James Cudney IV

I’m thrilled to have James Cudney on the blog today! He is as kind as he is handsome, and a darn good writer to boot. 🙂

I’ve followed his blog, This is My Truth Now, for some time and appreciate his generosity as much as the informative reviews he shares. If you need a good book to read, look no further than James Cudney IV!

About the Author

James is my given name, but most folks call me Jay. I live in New York City, grew up on Long Island, and graduated from Moravian College. I spent fifteen years building a technology career in the retail, sports, media, and entertainment industries. I enjoyed my job, but a passion for books and stories had been missing for far too long. I’m a voracious reader in my favorite genres (thriller, suspense, contemporary, mystery, and historical fiction), as books transport me to a different world where I can immerse myself in so many fantastic cultures and places. I’m an avid genealogist who hopes to visit all the German, Scottish, Irish, and British villages my ancestors emigrated from in the 18th and 19th centuries.

Writing has been a part of my life as much as my heart, my mind, and my body. I decided to pursue my passion by dusting off the creativity inside my head and drafting outlines for several novels. I quickly realized I was back in my element growing happier and more excited with life each day. My goal in writing is to connect with readers who want to be part of great stories and who enjoy interacting with authors. To get a strong picture of who I am, check out my author website or my blog. It’s full of humor and eccentricity, sharing connections with everyone I follow—all in the hope of building a network of friends across the world.

When I completed the first book, Watching Glass Shatter, I knew I’d stumbled upon my passion again, suddenly dreaming up characters, plots, and settings all day long. I chose my second novel, Father Figure, through a poll on my blog where I let everyone vote for their favorite plot and character summaries. It is with my third book, Academic Curveball, the first in the Braxton Campus Mysteries, where I immersed myself in a college campus full of so much activity, I could hardly stop thinking about new murder scenes or character relationships to finish writing the current story. I can’t believe I’m already writing the sixth book in this series. Come join in the fun…

Websites & Blog

Website: https://jamesjcudney.com/

Blog: https://thisismytruthnow.com

Next Chapter Pub: https://www.nextchapter.pub/authors/james-j-cudney

Social Media Links

Amazon: http://bit.ly/JJCIVBooks

Twitter: https://twitter.com/jamescudney4

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

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

Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/jamescudney4/

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/jamescudney4/

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/jamescudney4

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/jamescudney4

Let’s Get to Know You

What do you write?

I have seven (7) published books. Two (2) are stand-alone family drama novels (Watching Glass Shatter and Father Figure) and five (5) are part of the Braxton Campus Mysteries. Both the family drama novels include some amount of romance / relationship sub-plots. The mystery series follows all the cozy rules (no graphic sex, violence, vulgar language), but they are not very light anymore… they’ve gotten complex and push the envelope. I’d deem them murder mysteries with a twist. I’m working on three books for 2020, and there will be one from each of these two genres plus a third I will share more on early next year.

Ooh, I’m looking forward to that!

What genre do you favor?

At my core, I’m a mystery guy… but I intend to write a book in all major genres within the next ten years.

I can’t help but want to try all styles and angles to fully develop my writing skills and hone my areas of expertise. There will always be twists and cliffhangers (in my series) because that’s what I love doing.

When did you realise you wanted to be a writer?

I loved writing as a child, but it wouldn’t pay the bills, so it was only a hobby. After nearly 15 years in the workforce, I took a break to begin my writing career. Almost three years later, I will have 10 books published in 2020. Now, I think about finding a happy medium – both writing and part-time work in technology and corporate operations. I don’t know how to not be busy or multi-task.

You’re well on the road to success!

What do you think is the best way to publish these days?

That’s a tough question! Couldn’t you ask my favorite drink instead? Oh, wait… that’s coming up later. LOL Let’s see… finding an agent and securing a publisher rarely happens when you look across the wider industry. I think that’s often the best opportunity to get your work noticed by the bigger sites and marketing companies; however, given the amount of time you might have to wait to even get lucky, it’s probably not ideal anymore. I tried for six (6) months, then decided to just jump in the water and navigate it myself.

Becoming ‘famous’ is fine balance of networking, strong writing, unique personality, and luck.

Sometimes you’re in a writing group and a literary agent notices you. Other times you’re writing an article or short story and the right publisher stumbles upon it. For many of us in the digital age, we build our following though book reviewing, blogging, and social media interaction. Ultimately, I think that’s the future… publishing companies don’t want to pay for expensive marketing, and if you don’t have your own following somehow, they often won’t take a big risk on you. That said, I’d suggest a compromise in between the two spectrums. Don’t do all the work yourself; you have to pay someone to help with either editing, promoting, marketing, or sales management. Know your own skills and use those first; let others with stronger talent handle the other aspects.

Good advice- obviously it’s working for you.

What are your favorite genres to read? Why?

Cozy mystery, historical fiction, and thrillers. I like suspense a lot. I’ve read a few romance novels, and as long as they are about the relationship and the drama between the lovers, I enjoy them. (Hence why I like yours!!!) I was reading something lately where the term bodice-ripper was used (any idea where that came from? LOL). I’ve heard it before, and it’s kinda funny… under the right conditions, I could be caught reading one or two. But they would mess with my head too much, so I have to balance them with lighthearted fun and massive gore! 😊

I think bodice-ripper came from historicals featuring pirates ‘capturing’ fair maidens’ hearts 🙂 This from Urban Dictionary: An historical romance where the heroine has lots of non-consensual sex, which becomes consensual. 

How do you approach starting a new book?

Outline. Outline. Outline. Outline. Should I keep going? Phew, it’s exhausting, but I first dream about it. I lose sleep until the main plot is worked out. I write it out, then edit it until I love the story. Then I can write the book based on pre-determined scenes in my chapter by chapter breakdown. Within those scenes, it’s totally on the fly. I just know where it needs to start and where it needs to end up. Whether the characters laugh, cry, cheat, or kill… it’s all up to them at that point!

Sounds like you’re a plotser- part plotter, part pantser 🙂

What are the best writing books or blogs you’ve ever read?

Oh, you won’t like my answer. Ummmm… none? I don’t mean that how it sounds. I don’t learn from reading ‘how-to’ books. I learn from experience, conversation, and reading other people’s works. I see how they write, decide what works for me, incorporate pieces into my style, and end up with my own version of an approach. On the flip side, I’ve read some of the biggies and always find advice that makes perfect sense. I just struggle to read a ‘how-to’ book without actually doing the writing work while I’m reading.

That makes perfect sense to me- I’m the same way 🙂

What are your non-writing hobbies, or what do you do to relax?

Genealogy. Cooking. Gardening. Exercising. Playing with my dog. Theater. TV. Reading. I’m more of a homebody, but I do like to travel a lot too.

Do you have any personal heroes/heroines?

Oddly enough, not really. I admire something in everyone I meet. Even when I dislike someone, they do something I think is good / acceptable enough that I figure out what I can learn from them. As a kid, I adored JFK, but as an adult, when I learned more about him, there were things I found troublesome to accept. In the end, I like personality types rather than specific individuals. For instance, JFK was a strong communicator and had amazing ideas to change the future, but if he truly had affairs, I am disappointed in some ways. I choose to focus on a person’s most common traits and actions, then I can consider them someone to admire, a hero to some degree.

I like that idea.

Have you had any unusual or noteworthy occupations?

Nothing too atypical… but I did teach people how to bowl. I worked in a bowling alley for two years and learned the entire operation from 14 to 15. My favorite job was a grocery store clerk when I was 16 to 17.

What was your best date ever?

What’s a date? I think I remember those from a very long time ago. Is that when two people do something fun before they move in together or get married? Just kidding!!! I’m not sure I have a favorite one, but I do recall my second date with W (significant other) the most. We had our first date right before Christmas in 2011, but W left the next day to visit family and then travel to Europe for two weeks. The anticipation of having our second date was intense, and I always remember how nervous I was… I worked in Manhattan but lived in Long Island. It took 90 minutes by train each way, and I kept thinking… we’re not meeting for dinner until 8… I’m not getting home until well after midnight, then I have to come right back into the city for work the next morning. It helped me decide to sell my house in Long Island and buy a place in Manhattan. And the date lasted well past midnight, so I was a very tired guy the next morning after that ridiculous commute. (Keep those thoughts clean, friends… you didn’t think I stayed over in the city that night, did you?)

Sounds like you were already committed to the relationship- a romance in the making!

Tell us something you are really proud of.

For someone as shy and nervous around other people as me, and for someone who absolutely hates conflict and being judged, I wrote and published 7 books and deal with the negative feedback in a much healthier manner now. It’s simple. If you didn’t like my book, there’s something wrong with you, right? Ha! Just kidding… about that last statement. I get angry or upset when it happens on occasion, but it takes a day to feel better now. It used to take me weeks to recover.

Readers don’t realize how much courage it takes to put our precious book babies in their hands.

Can you confide something you wish you were better at?

Relaxing. I can’t stop my mind from working in overdrive. Ever. I try to do nothing, but it never works out. I have to drink a bunch, but then I feel bad the next morning, so it’s a vicious cycle.

Chocolate or chips?

Chocolate all the way. I am a sweet dessert guy, not a salty snack guy. Feed me chocolate and I am yours forever.

Good to know 😉

If you could have a superpower what would it be? Why?

Read people’s minds or move from place to place more quickly. I don’t like not knowing what someone’s thinking, so I’d rather hear it and deal with the consequences than let the worry eat me alive. Plus, if I moved quickly enough, no one could catch me!

Fancy restaurant or picnic?

Picnic, but I do go to my fair share of fancy restaurants. I enjoy it, but there’s something comforting and thrilling about a stunning picnic in nature.

Beer or wine?

Wine. I drank beer in college. I like the occasional one now at a picnic or BBQ, but I’d rather have a glass of wine with dinner. And Jack Daniels and ginger ale as a pre-dinner cocktail. Or seven. Whatever is appropriate for the evening.

Favorite author?

Agatha Christie. Kate Morton. Henry James. Ken Follett.

Smooth or hairy?

Oh! Hmm… are you asking if I am, or what I prefer? Now this is an interesting question… Based on reading your past interviews, a majority of your interviewed authors are female. Now I’ve got a spotlight on me and have to figure out how to respond appropriately. Can we jump back to the beer or wine question?

Lol- put you on the spot, did I?

I have a little bit of hair. If you follow my social media accounts, there was a recent shirtless picture (which I hemmed and hawed over for at least thirty minutes before posting), so you know it’s just a small amount. I HATE shaving my face too, so I tend to have 3-day growth all the time. I get too itchy after a week, so the sweet spot is twice per week to shave, often based on meetings or other events.

In others… I am an appreciator of all varieties. There are days when I think smooth is much cleaner to look at and ogle from a distance. On some occasions, the rugged and rough look can really be an intense picture to drool over, right? I think I’d settle on somewhere in the middle… then it’s up to the moment to decide what to do or how naughty to be.

I think I navigated that well unless you were actually talking about furry or non-furry throw pillows on couches and beds. Did I mess up this question? Let’s see what Jacquie actually prints. I think I need to go hide now… I say with a scarlet red complexion cascading from my ashamed forehead down to my shaking toes.

You did fine, though now I want to see the shirtless photo!

Books by the Author

147 4 star ratings!

Watching Glass Shatter (Contemporary Fiction / Family Drama)

The wealthy Glass family lost its patriarch, Benjamin Glass, sooner than expected. Benjamin’s widow, Olivia, and her 5 sons each react to his death in their own way while preparing for the reading of his will. Olivia receives a very unexpected confession from her late husband about one of their sons that could shatter the whole family. Prior to revealing the secret to her children, Olivia must figure out which boy Ben refers to in the confession he left her in his will. While the family attorney searches for the mysterious Rowena Hector whom Ben says holds the answers, Olivia asks her sons to each spend a week with her as she isn’t ready to let go of the past. When Olivia visits her sons, she quickly learns that each one has been keeping his own secret from her. Olivia never expected her remaining years would be so complex and life-altering, but she will not rest until her family is reunited after Ben’s untimely death. We all need family. We all want to fit in. We’re all a mix of quirky personalities. Will Olivia be able to fix them or will the whole family implode? What will she do when she discovers the son behind Ben’s secret? Check out this ensemble cast where each family member’s perspective is center stage, discovering along the way who might feel the biggest impact from all the secrets. Through various scenes and memories across a six-month period, you’ll get to know everyone, learning how and why they made certain decisions. Welcome to being an honorary member of the Glass family where the flair for over-the-top drama pushes everyone to their limits. https://amzn.to/2ol6IHe

Father Figure (Contemporary Fiction / Family Drama)

Between the fast-paced New York City, a rural Mississippi town and a charming Pennsylvania college campus filled with secrets, two young girls learn the consequences of growing up too quickly. Amalia Graeme, abused by her mother for most of her life, longs to escape her desolate hometown and fall in love. Contemplating her loss of innocence and conflicting feelings between her boyfriend and the dangerous attraction she’s developed for an older man, Amalia faces life-altering tragedies. Brianna Porter, a sassy, angst-ridden teenager raised in New York City, yearns to find her life’s true purpose, conquer her fear of abandonment, and interpret an intimidating desire for her best friend, Shanelle. Desperate to find the father whom her mother refuses to reveal, Brianna accidentally finds out a shocking truth about her missing parent. Set in alternating chapters two decades apart, the parallels between their lives and the unavoidable collision that is bound to happen is revealed. FATHER FIGURE is an emotional story filled with mystery, romance, and suspense. https://amzn.to/2NagJiD

BRAXTON CAMPUS MYSTERY SERIES

Academic Curveball: Death at the Sports Complex (#1)

When Kellan Ayrwick, a thirty-two-year-old single father, is forced to return home for his father’s retirement from Braxton College, he finds the dead body of a professor in Diamond Hall’s stairwell. Unfortunately, Kellan has a connection to the victim, and so do several members of his family. Could one of them be guilty of murder? Then he finds a second body after discovering mysterious donations to the college’s athletic program, a nasty blog denouncing his father, and a criminal attempting to change student grades so the star baseball pitcher isn’t expelled. Someone is playing games on campus, but none of the facts add up. With the help of his eccentric and trouble-making nana weeding through the clues, Kellan tries to stay out of the sheriff’s way. Fate has other plans. Kellan is close to discovering the killer’s identity just as someone he loves is put in grave danger of becoming victim number three. And if that’s not enough to wreak havoc on his family, everything comes crashing to a halt when his own past comes spiraling back to change his life forever. In this debut novel in the Braxton Campus Mystery Series, readers discover a cozy, secluded Pennsylvania village full of quirky, sarcastic, and nosy residents. Among the daily workings of Braxton College and the charming Ayrwick family, Kellan weighs his investigative talents against an opportunity to achieve a much sought-after dream. When this first book ends, the drama is set for the next adventure in Kellan’s future… and it’s one you won’t want to miss. https://amzn.to/2JlmHMw

Broken Heart Attack: Death at the Theater (#2)

When an extra ticket becomes available to attend the dress rehearsal of Braxton’s King Lear production, Kellan tags along with Nana D and her buddies, sisters-in-law Eustacia and Gwendolyn Paddington, to show support for the rest of the Paddington family. When one of them appears to have a heart attack in the middle of the second act, Nana D raises her suspicions and asks Kellan to investigate who killed her friend. Amidst family members suddenly in debt and a secret rendezvous between an unlikely pair, Kellan learns the Paddingtons might not be as clean-cut as everyone thinks. But did one of them commit murder for an inheritance? Kellan is back in his second adventure since returning home to Pennsylvania. With his personal life in upheaval and his new boss, Myriam, making life difficult, will he be able to find a killer or will he get caught up in his own version of stage fright? https://amzn.to/2qGofKB

Flower Power Trip: Death at the Masquerade Ball (#3)

Braxton College is throwing the Heroes & Villains Costume Extravaganza to raise money for renovations to the antiquated Memorial Library. While attending, Kellan stumbles upon a close family friend standing over a dead body that’s dressed as Dr. Evil. Did one of Maggie’s sisters kill an annoying guest at the Roarke and Daughters Inn or does the victim have a more intimate connection to someone else on campus? As Kellan helps the school’s president, Ursula, bury a scandalous secret from her past and unearth the identity of her stalker, he unexpectedly encounters a missing member of his own family who’s reappeared after a lengthy absence. When all the peculiar events around town trace back to the Stoddards, a new family who recently moved to Wharton County, the explosive discovery only offers more confusion. Between the special flower exhibit that’s made an unplanned stop on campus and strange postcards arriving each week from all around the world, Kellan can’t decide which mystery in his life should take priority. Unfortunately, the biggest one of all has yet to arrive at his doorstep. When it does, Kellan won’t know what hit him. https://amzn.to/2Jm7E5r

Mistaken Identity Crisis: Death on the Cable Car (#4)

A clever thief with a sinister calling card has invaded Braxton campus. A string of jewelry thefts continues to puzzle the sheriff given they’re remarkably similar to an unsolved eight-year-old case from shortly before Gabriel vanished one stormy night. When a missing ruby is discovered near an electrified dead body during the campus cable car redesign project, Kellan must investigate the real killer to protect his brother. Amidst sorority hazing practices and the victim’s connections to several prominent Wharton County citizens, a malicious motive becomes more obvious and trickier to prove. As if the latest murder isn’t enough to keep him busy, Kellan partners with April to end the Castigliano and Vargas crime family feud. What really happened to Francesca while all those postcards showed up in Braxton? The mafia world is more calculating than Kellan realized, and if he wants to move forward, he must make a few ruthless sacrifices. Election Day is over, and the new mayor takes office. Nana D celebrates her 75th birthday with an adventure. A double wedding occurs at Crilly Lake on Independence Day. And Kellan receives a few more surprises as the summer heat settles in Wharton County. https://amzn.to/2N67tw4

Haunted House Ghost: Death at the Fall Festival (#5)

It’s Halloween, and excitement is brewing in Braxton to carve jack-o’-lanterns, go on haunted hayrides, and race through the spooky corn maze at the Fall Festival. Despite the former occupant’s warnings, Kellan renovates and moves into a mysterious old house. When a ruthless ghost promises retribution, our fearless professor turns to the eccentric town historian and an eerie psychic to communicate with the apparition. Meanwhile, construction workers discover a fifty-year-old skeleton after breaking ground on the new Memorial Library wing. While Kellan and April dance around the chemistry sparking between them, a suspicious accident occurs at the Fall Festival. Soon, Kellan discovers the true history and dastardly connections of the Grey family. But can he capture the elusive killer – and placate the revenge-seeking ghost. https://amzn.to/2Pdc5TT

Coming Soon!

Frozen Ice Bank: Death at Danby Landing (#6) – Coming in 2020

A winter blizzard unlike any other descends upon Wharton County. Everyone’s so busy preparing for the four towns to shut down that they don’t realize Nana D has gone missing until it’s too late. Madam Zenya predicted the raging storm would change the course of Kellan’s life, but the famed psychic never could’ve prepared him for this level of massive damages. Once a dead body turns up beneath the snowbanks, Kellan must turn to April to face his worst fear of all. What tragedy has befallen his beloved grandmother? Meanwhile, Kellan’s brother Hampton learns essential life lessons the hard way after his father-in-law accuses him of embezzlement. While trying to prove his innocence, Hampton digs himself a deeper hole that might lead to prison. April wants to save him, but she receives the shock of her life as the past hurtles forward with an unremitting vengeance. Between helping Kellan locate Nana D and solving the scandalous murder of a prominent Braxton citizen, April’s world explodes with more turmoil than she can handle. Too bad neither one of them knows what to do about Madam Zenya’s latest premonition—the suspicious deaths happening around town aren’t ending anytime soon.

If you enjoyed this interview, show James some support by commenting and hitting those share buttons!

I love having guests on the blog. If you have a new release, a sale or just want to chat, send me an email via the contact page and we’ll set something up. Hope to see you soon!

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Broken Angels by Russell Heath #Suspense #Reading @rslheath @SDSXX


Broken Angels

by Russell Heath

Genre: Mystery

“Heath’s debut novel is gripping from the get-go.” -Kirkus Reviews
“Alaska is almost a character all on its own:
beautiful, unpredictable, violent, and unforgiving. Broken Angels is
a compelling debut by a talented new writer.” -Elaine Ford,
winner of the Michigan Literary Award.
“This book was amazing, just as Burke brings New Orleans to life
Heath puts Alaska into your soul.” -Judy Smrdel
“Heath has tapped his
intimate knowledge of Alaska, its people, its coastal communities and
its interior uniqueness and crafted a character-rich, page-turning,
murder mystery.” -An Alaskan
She stares at her mother’s clumsy lettering on the envelope. Nine years.
Nine years since she stepped over her mother’s drunken body and into
a cold Alaska night running south, leaving her mother forever. How
did she find me? She hesitates, knowing the letter inside will drag
her home; back into the bleakness of a life with no exit. Kris
Gabriel, Alaska Native, and fierce like a wolverine, returns to
Alaska–to find her mother murdered. Guilty she abandoned her in
life, Kris only knows to fight. Relentlessly, she tracks a trail of
pain, of lost love, of lives ripped apart by the frozen north’s
unyielding laws, never suspecting that she has far more at stake than
just finding her mother’s killer.

 

Broken Angels is a fast-paced Alaskan noir filled with
richly drawn characters struggling to survive in a hostile country
where there are no second chances.

 Heath Interview: Broken Angels

 

Please give us a short introduction to what Broken Angels: A Novel is about

 

Kris Gabriel, an Alaska Native, 24, reluctantly returns to Alaska at the request of a mother she hasn’t seen in nine years. She finds her murdered; shot in the face by the double-barreled blast of a shotgun. Driven by anger and guilt and only knowing how to fight—she sets out to avenge her mother’s death. Relentlessly, she tracks a trail of pain, of lost love, of lives ripped apart by the frozen north’s unyielding law of survival, never suspecting that she has far more at stake than finding her mother’s killer.

 

What made you decide to write a novel?

Hubris. I was kayaking with a friend around Baranof Island in Southeast Alaska—a 3-week trip. She’d just finished a mystery by an Alaska author and I asked her if it was any good. She said, yes—so I read it. It was beyond dreadful. I complained to my friend—

“Yeah, I know,” she said. “But I didn’t want to influence your opinion.”

“I want my opinion influenced. I wasted hours of my life reading this.”

That night we were weathered in by a blow. I was snugged up in my sleeping bag still pissed that a book could be so bad. And then I stepped off the edge. I said to myself that I could do better.

 

 

How did the idea for the novel originate?

That was a problem. I hadn’t a clue how to start. I so hapless, it was almost comical. Thousands of books written every year and I didn’t what to do after picking up a pencil.

Then, one random day, I remembered a novel that was a scene by scene rip-off of Shakespeare’s Lear. A Thousand Acres by Jane Smiley. You’d think she’d be hauled off for plagiarism, but no—she’d won the Pulitzer. I cast about for a play where the author had been dead long enough he wouldn’t be coming after me for stealing his stuff.

Since I was writing a mystery—the play to use was obvious. The first mystery in western literature was Oedipus Rex by Sophocles. Fortunately, Sophocles has been dead for 2,500 years and I figured he wouldn’t much care that I was taking his best work. That was my start.

 

Why murder mystery? What drew you to this genre?

I have no love for mysteries—generally because they are so contrived: a bunch of unlikely events strung together to produce an outrageously improbable outcome that has next to zero psychological plausibility: she killed him because of a hang-nail? I chose a mystery because I was on automatic: the book that kicked it all off was a mystery, so I was going to write a mystery.

 

So—is Broken Angels a bunch of unlikely events strung together to produce an outrageously improbable outcome that has next to zero psychological plausibility?

No. This story is the story that I wanted to read. It’s psychologically real, the characters are driven by who they are; they make bad decisions that lead to horrific outcomes—but each step of the way you get why they are doing what they are doing. The story is rich and complex and, at times, emotionally challenging for the reader. And it rips—you will not be able to put this book down.

 

 

Tell us more about Kris Gabriel. What makes her tick?

At the outset, it looks as if Kris is driven by vengeance to find her mother’s killer. Maybe, but maybe also by guilt. She’d abandoned her mother when she was 15 and when she left, her mother’s life fell apart. Then she’s Alaska Native and she, like her mother, was cast aside by the white world. She grew up on the streets Fairbanks with an alcoholic mother, no father, and even now, she is living a meager existence on the bleak edges of society. She’s crusted by anger and resentment and all she knows how to do is fight. So that’s what she does—fight. But then, as she uncovers her past, we see that what she’s truly searching for is love, for connection, for her humanity. Because Broken Angels is taken from a Greek tragedy—you know it’s not going to turn out well.

 

 

In your teens, you hitchhiked to Alaska and lived in a cabin on the banks of the Tanana River. How has this influenced your writing?

Alaska is not a normal place; it is not like some random suburb where stubbing your toe on a busted sidewalk is the highest adventure on offer. Alaska roughs you up and scours your soul; it lifts you and rings you like a bell; it punishes you in its endless nights, its searing cold, and its vastness so threateningly silent you cower in awe.

Most novels set in Alaska caricature the state—50 below and your spit freezing before it hits the snow. Yeah, but what do you think that does to a person’s psyche? What do you think a landscape so stunning, so unrelenting, so overwhelming does to a person? In Broken Angels, Alaska it isn’t a setting, it’s is an enveloping presence that stalks each character—and no one escapes.

 

 

What have been readers’ reactions to Broken Angels?

Alaskans get the story and the Alaska portrayed in it. Some non-Alaskans are annoyed by Alaska’s presence, as if it were an unnecessary character. Kind of like Woody Allen in his later movies: what’s he doing there?

People who love the way mysteries tie everything into a tight tidy bundle—order is brought to the universe—are often frustrated by the ending. Those who revel in the psychological and the emotional are moved by the ending.

For the tight tidy bundle folks—a sequel is coming.

  1. Besides writing, what other secret skills do you have?

 

I was still a callow teenager when I decided my life’s trajectory was going to be erratic: No career, family, house in the suburbs. Since then I have been twice around the world—once in a sailboat, written novels, crusaded for Alaska’s rainforests, smuggled gems, climbed mountains, lived in Florence—whatever. My secret skills are a willingness to fly high and the foolishness—after a crash—to give it another go.

  1. Have you always wanted to be a writer?

 

I have always wanted to be a writer in the same way I’ve always wanted to be president, or Spiderman, or a supermodel. A daydream to lift me out of the daily grind.

  1. What are you working on right now?

 

I’m readying my second novel, Rinn’s Crossing, for publication—it’s due out at the end of November, 2019. And I’m working on a sequel to Broken Angels. And I’ve got a TV writer in LA intent on turning Broken Angels into the next Breaking Bad.

  1. Where can our readers discover more of your work or get in touch with you?

 

I super enjoy hearing what folks have to say about my novels even if to excoriate them—shoot me an email, give me a ring. You can find me at russellheathauthor.com

In his teens, Russell Heath hitchhiked to Alaska and lived in a cabin on
the banks of the Tanana River; in his twenties, he lived in Italy and
then traveled overland across the Sahara, through the jungles and
over the savannas of Africa and into southern Asia; in his thirties,
he sailed alone around the world in a 25 foot wooden boat; in his
forties, he wrote novels; and in his fifties he bicycled the spine of
the Rockies from Alaska to Mexico.
He’s worked on the Alaska Pipeline, as an environmental lobbyist in the
Alaska Legislature, and run a storied environmental organization
fighting to protect Alaska’s coastal rainforests. Several years ago,
he moved to New York City to dig deep into leadership development and
coaching. He now coaches business and non-profit leaders intent on
making big things happen in the world.
Follow the tour HERE
for special excerpts, guest posts and a giveaway!

 

Child of Mine by @JanaRichards #amreading #Romance @XpressoReads


Child of Mine
Jana Richards
Publication date: February 20th 2019
Genres: Adult, Contemporary, Romance

Lauren didn’t intend to sleep with her brother-in-law Cole on the day of her husband’s funeral. But now that she is pregnant, she’s not sorry. Cole’s given her a baby, a long-wished-for miracle. He’s been her friend forever, though she never told him or anyone else how unhappy her marriage to his cheating brother was. And she’s afraid to tell the small town that considered her husband a hero that the baby isn’t his.

Cole’s been in love with Lauren since he was sixteen. It kills him that everyone believes the baby is his dead brother’s. All he wants is to claim the baby, and Lauren, as his own. Though she marries him, will Lauren’s heart ever be his?

Lauren must tell the truth or risk losing Cole. Is her newly-discovered love for him greater than her fear of scandal in her hometown?

Goodreads / Amazon / Barnes & Noble / iBooks

EXCERPT:

“We asked you to come here this evening because we have something we want to tell all of you. Lauren and I are getting married.”

The room went deathly quiet. Lauren tightened her grip on his hand. Her face turned pale as she stared at her family’s stunned expressions. Cole put his arm around her waist, afraid she might faint.

He needn’t have worried. She lifted her chin at a defiant angle and turned to face the others.

“Cole and I have decided this child needs the best possible start in life and that means having a mother and a father. We’ve always been friends, so what better way to start a marriage then with friendship?”

Garrett pushed himself to his feet and came forward. “I think it’s a hell of an idea. You two will make wonderful parents.”

He enfolded Lauren in an embrace. Cole heard her murmur her thanks to her brother. “I think you’ll make a wonderful uncle.”

Charlotte was next in line. She kissed Lauren’s cheek. “I’m so happy for you, sweetie. When’s the big day?”

“In a couple of weeks,” Cole said. “As soon as we can arrange everything.”

Lauren’s parents, Robert and Grace, also extended their congratulations. If they had reservations, they kept them to themselves.

Only his mother remained in her seat, staring at them in disbelief. Cole sat next to her. “What do you want to say, Ma?”

“You can’t replace Billy.” She choked out the words.

“I know that.” He’d known he was second best in her eyes all his life. “I wouldn’t even try.”

“But to marry his wife, to raise his child? It’s wrong. They don’t belong to you. You always wanted what belonged to your brother.”

He wanted to shout at her that the baby was his, that it had nothing to do with Billy. And Lauren was his, too. He’d loved her first. His brother had never appreciated what a gem he’d had in her. He’d squandered his marriage the way he’d squandered the love that had been lavished on him all his life, from his parents, from Lauren, and even from him.

Instead he pressed his lips together and said nothing. He felt a hand on his shoulder, and saw that Lauren stood beside him.

“I know this is difficult for you, Ella. I know you’re grieving. But I have to raise my child in the best way I know how. Aside from my brother and sister, Cole is my best friend in the world. He’s a good man, and I know he’ll be a wonderful father. You should be very proud of him.”

His mother stared at Lauren as if she couldn’t believe what she was saying. Her face twisted. “Don’t you miss Billy at all? Don’t you grieve for him? Nobody understands. Nobody.”

“Ma.”

He said the word a little sharper then he’d intended, but at least it got her attention. She looked up at him in surprise.

“I’m sorry if it hurts you, but Lauren and I are getting married. We care about one another and we care about the baby. The three of us are going to be a family. I wish you could be happy for us.”

Ella dabbed at her eyes with a tissue. Finally, with a shuddering breath, she turned to look at him.

“For Billy’s baby’s sake, I’ll try.”

Billy’s baby.

The pain was swift and unexpected. If she’d stabbed him through the heart with a dagger it wouldn’t have hurt as much.


Author Bio:

When Jana Richards read her first romance novel, she immediately knew two things: she had to commit the stories running through her head to paper, and they had to end with a happily ever after. She also knew she’d found what she was meant to do. Since then she’s never met a romance genre she didn’t like. She writes contemporary romance, romantic suspense, and historical romance set in World War Two, in lengths ranging from short story to full length novel. Just for fun, she throws in generous helpings of humor, and the occasional dash of the paranormal. Her paranormal romantic suspense “Seeing Things” was a 2008 EPPIE finalist.

In her life away from writing, Jana is an accountant/admin assistant, a mother to two grown daughters, and a wife to her husband Warren. She enjoys golf, yoga, movies, concerts, travel and reading, not necessarily in that order. She and her husband live in Winnipeg, Canada with an elderly Pug/Terrier named cross Lou. She loves to hear from readers and can be reached through her website at http://www.janarichards.com

Website / Goodreads / Facebook / Twitter / Bookbub

My Dog Lou

My dog Lou is a pug/terrier cross and she’s almost sixteen and a half years old. She came into our lives fifteen years ago when she was about a year and half old, but even at that young age our vet was sure she’d already had at least one litter of puppies. When we got her, she looked a little rough. Patches of fur were missing from her tail, and she smelled terrible. We were told she lived mostly outside, which is horrifying to me considering the kind of winters we have in Manitoba. But with love and good food, which she didn’t have to hoard anymore, her coat grew sleek and she gained weight. Boy, did she gain weight!

In those early years, she was a bundle of energy. She loved to walk or even run, so we went out every day, in all kinds of weather. She was affectionate and funny.

These days, in her elderly state, she’s still affectionate, but she doesn’t have much energy. We still go outside together in all kinds of weather, though our walks are very slow and don’t cover much distance. At this point we don’t know how much longer we’ll have her. All we can do in the time we have left with her is love her and care for her.

I didn’t know how much I loved dogs until we got Lou. I had dogs on the farm as a kid, but they were outside dogs that lived in the barn; my mom didn’t believe dogs and cats should live in the house. For years before we got Lou we had cats, and I loved them, but hands-down, Lou is my favorite pet ever.

Lou has inspired me to include dogs as characters in some of my books. In my latest release, CHILD OF MINE, Brady is Cole’s Golden Retriever. He’s even on the cover of the book, which makes me very happy. When Cole and Lauren marry and she moves in, Brady falls head over heels in love with Lauren and is her constant companion.

Another dog that ended up on one of my covers, albeit in cartoon form, is Spike in CHILL OUT. Spike is a Mastiff rescued by the hero of the story. He was inspired by my friend Michelle’s dog Indy, also a rescued Mastiff. When Michelle worked in my office, she regularly brought Indy to work with her and I got to know this gentle giant. In real life, Indy (a girl, by the way), wasn’t as big as I made Spike in the book. Like Brady, Spike totally falls for the heroine. Both dogs have very good taste!

The fictional dog most inspired by Lou is Stanley in TAKE A CHANCE ON ME. This book may have my favorite cover of all my books because it features Stanley in all his adorableness. There are definite differences between Stanley and Lou; for starters, Stanley is a male dog. He’s also a pure-bred pug and Lou is a cross. But in attitude, and in shedding prowess, Stanley is all Lou. When Lou is gone, I’ll look at that cover and fondly remember my little buddy.

Do you have a pet? Do you like to read about fictional pets in romance novels?

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The Wedding From Hell Part 2: The Reception by J.R. Ward #Romance #BookReview @JRWard1


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The Wedding from Hell, Part 2: The Reception is the exciting second adventure in J.R. Ward’s three-part ebook serialization: The Wedding From Hell. This exclusive prequel to her upcoming standalone suspense, Consumed (available in October 2018) takes us to where it all started between arson investigator Anne Ashburn and ‘bad boy’ firefighter Danny Maguire. The Wedding From Hell is a sexy standalone novella that sets up Consumed‘s storyline, leaving fans hungry for more and dying to snatch it up.

The Wedding From Hell, Part 2: The Reception: As the wedding from hell continues, Anne and Danny find themselves walking the delicate balance between professional distance and explosive attraction. Will the desire they feel last through the night and change their lives? Or are they doomed to part after one night of passion?

 

Biography

J.R. Ward

J.R. Ward is the number one New York Times bestselling author of the Black Dagger Brotherhood series of vampire books. She is a winner of the prestigious Romance Writers of America RITA award for Best Paranormal Romance and is a multiple RITA nominee. A graduate of Smith College, she was a double major in History and Art History with a medieval concentration in both and she still longs at times for a return to those days sitting in dark lecture halls, looking at slides of old triptychs and reliquaries. Prior to becoming a full time writer, she was a corporate attorney, serving for many years as the Chief of Staff of one of Harvard Medical Schools premier teaching sites. Her idea of absolute heaven is a day filled with nothing but her computer, her dog and her coffee pot and the Brothers, of course.

https://read.amazon.ca/kp/card?asin=B07FMB2BSL&preview=inline&linkCode=kpe&ref_=cm_sw_r_kb_dp_FWVJBbCXEVV3X&tag=jacqbiggar-20

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Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

My Review

This story is a five alarm blaze!

Part two of The Wedding From Hell brings us to the big day for Danny and Anne’s friend, Moose, and they’re having even more trouble battling the combustion between them.

On the one hand, Danny and Anne are in agreement, they wish there was a way to convince Moose he’s making a big mistake. Meanwhile, Anne is tired of fighting her attraction to a certain hot firefighter and gives in; on the condition it’s for one night only. She’s worked too hard for the respect of her fellow crew to blow it all on an affair.

Danny has been in love with Anne for what feels like forever. When she comes to him with a proposition, he can’t say no, but will it cost him the woman of his dreams?

This #free prequel to the big event- Consumed- coming out in October is a smart idea. As a reader, I’m now fully invested in these characters and can’t wait to see how it all plays out!

I give The Wedding From Hell Part 2: The Reception 5 lovely kisses: One HOT read!

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Coming October 2.18

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From the #1 New York Times bestselling author of the popular Black Dagger Brotherhood series comes a brand-new novel about arson investigator, Ann Ashburn, who is consumed by her troubled past, her family’s scorched legacy, and her current case: chasing a deadly killer.

Anne Ashburn is a woman consumed…

By her bitter family legacy, by her scorched career as a firefighter, by her obsession with department bad-boy Danny McGuire, and by a new case that pits her against a fiery killer.

Strong-willed Anne was fearless and loved the thrill of fighting fires, pushing herself to be the best. But when one risky decision at a warehouse fire changes her life forever, Anne must reinvent not only her job, but her whole self.

Shattered and demoralized, Anne finds her new career as an arson investigator a pale substitute for the adrenaline-fueled life she left behind. She doesn’t believe she will ever feel that same all-consuming passion for her job again–until she encounters a string of suspicious fires setting her beloved city ablaze.

Danny McGuire is a premiere fireman, best in the county, but in the midst of a personal meltdown. Danny is taking risks like never before and seems to have a death wish until he teams up with Anne to find the fire starter. But Danny may be more than a distraction, and as Anne narrows in on her target, the arsonist begins to target her.

From the creator of the bestselling Black Dagger Brotherhood, get ready for a new band of brothers. And a firestorm.

 

Preorder your copy today!

 

Let the games begin… Exhume by Danielle Gerard #BookReview #Mystery #Thriller


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Dr. Annabelle Schwartzman has finally found a place to belong. As the medical examiner for the San Francisco Police Department, working alongside homicide detective Hal Harris, she uncovers the tales the dead can’t tell about their final moments. It is a job that gives her purpose—and a safe haven from her former life at the hands of an abusive husband. Although it’s been seven years since she escaped that ordeal, she still checks over her shoulder to make sure no one is behind her.

Schwartzman’s latest case is deeply troubling: the victim bears an eerie resemblance to herself. What’s more, a shocking piece of evidence suggests that the killer’s business is far from over—and that Schwartzman may be in danger. In this pulse-pounding thriller from award-winning writer Danielle Girard, a woman must face her worst nightmare to catch a killer.

 

Biography

Danielle

Danielle Girard is the author of ten previous novels, including Exhume, book 1 in the Dr. Schwartzman Series, and Chasing Darkness, as well as The Rookie Club series. Her books have won the Barry Award and the RT Reviewers’ Choice Award, and two of her titles have been optioned for movies.

A graduate of Cornell University, Danielle received her MFA at Queens University in Charlotte, North Carolina. She, her husband, and their two children split their time between San Francisco and the Northern Rockies.

 

 

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Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

My Review

This book gave me chills!

Medical examiner Dr. Annabelle Schwartzman is called upon to investigate a woman’s murder and is shocked by similarities to her own past that she can’t ignore. Is her psychotic ex-husband behind the crime?

Seven years ago, she managed the impossible and escaped the controlling man she’d married too late to save her unborn child, something she’d have to live with forever.

Now he was back.

Let the games begin.

This story is an intense thriller that will keep you on the edge of your seat until the very end. The tension amps up continually and had me gasping more than once!

I questioned Annabelle’s original weakness, for want of a better term, in staying with a man who obviously had no respect for her, but this was later explained with insight into her self-absorbed mother.

I give Exhume 5 lovely kisses- A great start to a crime series!

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“I shouldn’t have to tell you this isn’t a fairy story…” Silver Hollow by Jennifer Silverwood #Fantasy #amreading @PrismBookTours @JenSilverwood



On Tour with Prism Book Tours

Silver Hollow
(Borderlands Saga #1)
By Jennifer Silverwood
Urban Fantasy
Paperback & ebook, 429 pages
May 31st 2018 by SilverWoodSketches

“I shouldn’t have to tell you this isn’t a fairy story…”

After her parents’ car crash ten years before, Amie Wentworth trusts books more than people. She may be a writer, but she believes in reality over fiction. She ignores the unexplained mysteries surrounding her, never mind the dreams of a past life, or the fact she can fry technology with a touch. Not even a timely invitation from her long-lost uncle in England gives Amie incentive for anything other than ire.

Until she is stabbed in an alley and brought back to life by a handsome stranger. Soon Amie is dragged into the very sort of tale she is used to selling. To make matters worse, the man who saved her life keeps turning up and her would-be-murderer is still at large.

After crossing the Atlantic to her father’s homeland, she discovers a world beyond imagining. Silver Hollow is a place of ancient traditions and supernatural dangers, where everything is the opposite of what it seems and few escape sane. Faced with an impossible choice, Amie is forced to confront a deadly family legacy while remembering a life she soon wishes to forget.

**Previously published in 2012. This NEW EDITION has been FULLY REVISED AND EXPANDED. The original novel is now no longer available.**

 

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Crafting Legends

 

To quote one of my favorite movies and actors, “One does not simply walk into Mordor.”

In the same vein, you don’t simply create a fantasy story without crafting its legends. This is best illustrated through epic fantasy novels like Game of Thrones. Throughout the ongoing series you are drawn deeper into the stories behind the stories. There is legend layered behind hundreds of years of history. Even contemporary fantasy like Harry Potter is full of the hidden history of this magical world. Not every author discovers all the hidden back stories right away of course. Sometimes you discover the legends in the process of exploring your characters. George R.R. Martin, for example, compares his writing method to a garden.

 

Guest Post - It's All About the Romance Picture

 

 

Writing Silver Hollow was like The Secret Garden. I won’t say it was dead, exactly, but there was a lot of weeding to be done. Gardening aside, my love of fairy tales and epic fantasy shines brightly in this new revised edition.

 

I’ve always been drawn to movies and books about the “truth” behind legends. As Silver Hollow is a modern adult fairy tale, I wanted to do the same for y’all. While Silver Hollow centers around some heavy Arthurian elements, there are also many other myths peppered throughout, from Tristan and Isolde, to A Midsummer Night’s Dream. I tried weaving these tales together in fresh and unpredictable ways. Purists, you have been warned. For the rest of you who love refurbished fairy tales as much as I do, this is the book for you!

 

I hope y’all continue to follow along on our whirlwind tour with these lovely bloggers. See you at the next stop and happy reading!

 

― Jennifer

 

 

About the Author

Jennifer Silverwood was raised deep in the heart of Texas and has been spinning yarns a mile high since childhood. In her spare time she reads and writes and tries to sustain her wanderlust, whether it’s the Carpathian Mountains in Transylvania, the highlands of Ecuador or a road trip to the next town. Always on the lookout for her next adventure, in print or reality, she dreams of one day proving to the masses that everything really is better in Texas. She is the author of two series—Heaven’s Edge and Wylder Tales—and the stand-alone titles Stay and Silver Hollow.

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Tour Schedule

May 21st:
Launch
It’s All About the Romance
Red Pillows
Paulette’s Papers
Reading for the Stars and Moon
May 22nd:
Min Reads and Reviews
Rockin’ Book Reviews
May 23rd:
Hearts & Scribbles
E-Romance News
May 24th:
Mythical Books
The Cozy Reading Corner
K. D. Jones: Epic Fantasy Author
May 25th:
An Indie Adventure
Colorimetry
May 28th:
Jorie Loves A Story
Wishful Endings
May 29th:
Singing Librarian Books
Bri’s Book Nook
May 30th:
Nicole’s Book Musings
Becky on Books
May 31st:
Locks, Hooks and Books
What’s Beyond Forks?
June 1st:
Stacking My Book Shelves!
Ms. J Mentions…
Teatime and Books
Bookworm Lisa
June 2nd: Grand Finale

Tour Giveaway

PRIZE PACK #1: 1 winner will receive new Silver Hollow swag, themed bookmarks, stickers, bookish themed tote, and B&N Illustrated Hardcover Editions of Grimm’s Fairy Tales and The Story of King Arthur & His Knights (US only)

PRIZE PACK #2: 1 winner will receive signed swag (mainly Silver Hollow and Wylder Tales), ebooks of the Wylder Tales Collection, and a free voucher for Bound Beauty to be published later in 2018 (open internationally)

ENDS: June 6th

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The Soldier’s Homecoming by @PatriciaPotter @HarlequinBooks #Romance #Reading @PrismBookTours



On Tour with Prism Book Tours

The Soldier’s Homecoming
(Home to Covenant Falls #5)
by Patricia Potter
Contemporary Romance
Paperback & ebook, 384 pages
April 1st 2018 by Harlequin Superromance

He’s looking for roots. She won’t be tied down.

Army ranger Travis Hammond needs to heal physical and emotional wounds. A job in Covenant Falls checking out equine therapy programs for veterans is a start, but it’s only temporary. And he doesn’t need a partner, especially some reporter with the persistence of a terrier and irresistible green eyes. Like Travis, Jenny Talbot’s just passing through town. Unlike Travis, Jenny knows exactly where she’s going next—back to the Middle East, as soon as she recovers from her own war injury. But there’s a bend in the road for both of them.

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Interview with Patricia Potter

 

 

I have a tendency to fall in love with all my heroes and heroines, but Jenny Talbot in my new SuperRomance, “The Soldier’s Homecoming,” shoots up to the top.

 

When I start a book, I spend weeks thinking about the hero and heroine before even considering a plot.  When they become real to me, they write the book themselves.   They do things I never considered.

 

Although I love strong heroines, the hero is usually the catalyst in my stories, especially in a series like Covenant Falls which is based on the return of veterans to civilian life in a small welcoming town in Colorado.  But Jenny would have none of that.   She truly marches to her own drummer and has since she was a child.   She chooses books over play, a college lecture in lieu of the senior prom, jeans and a denim jacket over fashion, life in a hostile and dangerous country over comfort.

 

She was easy to bring to life because she’s a reporter and I was once a reporter on a metropolitan paper and my uncle was a war correspondent.    I understand only too well how a good story can blind a reporter to everything else.   I know the intense curiosity that drives them.  Like Jenny, I want to know everything about people I meet, even if it’s just in passing.   I want to know what they are reading, about their family, what they like and why.   I can be embarrassingly nosy.   So I understand Jenny and what motivates her.   She loves learning for the sake of learning, and absolutely nothing is boring to her, including a hat cemetery.

 

She’s prepared for everything but marriage.   She regards it as a trap.  Her own parents’ marriage is bad, as is her sister’s.   After getting her journalism degree, she worked on a small paper until she had a small stake and headed overseas where she made a reputation writing about out- of- way places for travel magazines.   When she saved enough, she headed for war zones, her true destination.   She went from one dangerous place to another until she was wounded and forced back to the states.  Her goal: to return as soon as possible.  Someone needs to tell those stories.

 

Her curiosity and hunger for a good story isn’t deterred by an injured shoulder.  Until she can go back overseas, she’s looking for a story locally and thinks she finds it in an equine therapy program for veterans in Covenant Falls.    Problem is the providers do not want publicity.   They enlist their newest member, Major Travis Hammond, to get her out of their hair.   Burned by another woman journalist, he’s not happy about it, especially when they end up on a road trip to explore other equine therapy programs in the southwest.

 

Their adventures together are just starting and neither are prepared for falling in love.

 

― Patricia

 

Other Books in the Series


 

About the Author

Patricia Potter is the USA Today Bestselling Author of more than fifty books. She has received numerous writing awards, including RT Storyteller of the Year, its Career Achievement Award for Western Historical Romance and its Best Hero of the Year Award. She is a seven-time RITA finalist and three-time Maggie Award winner. She has served as president of Romance Writers of America.The Soldier’s Homecoming is her fifteenth book for Harlequin.

Prior to writing fiction, she was a reporter for the Atlanta Journal and president of a public relations firm.

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Tour Schedule

April 9th:
Launch
It’s All About the Romance
Simply Kelina
underneath the covers
April 10th:
Colorimetry
Deal Sharing Aunt
Locks, Hooks and Books
Harlequin Junkie
April 11th:
Mello & June, It’s a Book Thang!
Nicole’s Book Musings
Inside The Mind of an Avid Reader
E-Romance News
April 12th:
Wishful Endings
Two Points of Interest
Hearts & Scribbles
April 13th:
SilverWoodSketches
Thoughts of a Blonde
Teatime and Books
April 14th: Grand Finale

 

Tour Giveaway


– 1 winner will receive a $25 Amazon eGift Card (open internationally
– 1 winner will receive signed print copies of of THE SOLDIER’S PROMISE, TEMPTED BY THE SOLDIER, A SOLDIER’S JOURNEY, and THE SEAL’S RETURN (US only)
– Ends April 18th

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The Happiness Pact by @LizFlaherty1 #Harlequin #Romance @PrismBookTours



On Tour with Prism Book Tours

The Happiness Pact
by Liz Flaherty
Contemporary Romance
Paperback & ebook, 384 pages
December 1st 2017 by Harlequin Heartwarming

The fine line between BFF and happily-ever-after…

Tucker Llewellyn and Libby Worth—strictly platonic!—realize they’re each at a crossroads. Tucker is successful, but he wants a wife and kids: the whole package. Libby knows that small-town life has her set in her ways; the tearoom owner needs to get out more.

So they form a pact: Libby will play matchmaker and Tucker will lead her on the adventure she desperately needs. But the electricity Libby feels when they shake on it should be a warning sign. Soon the matchmaking mishaps pile up, and a personal crisis tests Libby’s limits. Will Tucker be there for her as a best friend…or something more?

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About the Author

Liz Flaherty was a little nervous about retiring from her day job, but making quilts, more family time, traveling at the mere mention of “why don’t we go…” and becoming a Harlequin Heartwarming author have made the past years more fun and exciting than she could ever have imagined.

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Thank you for having me here today!

When Tucker and Libby go looking for happiness in The Happiness Pact, they find it in unexpected places, such as helping a calf be born in a barn during a blizzard.

Although that wouldn’t be my first choice for how to spend a romantic evening, I do have a soft spot for the unexpected. For instance, I grew up on a small farm in the middle of the cornfields of Central Indiana. All I wanted was to move to a city and write books. Marriage and kids? Yeah, eventually, but no hurry.

Well. I moved exactly five miles from the house where I grew up. Still in the cornfields. The marriage and kids I wasn’t in a hurry for? The third and final child was born when I was 23, and Duane and I are talking about how we’re going to spend our 47th anniversary come May.

It’s been a grand adventure—I’m so glad I didn’t get what I intended or expected.

How about you? Share some of your unexpected pleasures and be entered to win a Christmas stocking with a book in it. US only, although if the name drawn is from outside the country, I’ll be happy to send a download.

—Liz

 

Tour Schedule

December 4th:
Launch
Hearts & Scribbles
Rockin’ Book Reviews
Paulette’s Papers
Book Lover in Florida
December 5th:
Book Reviews & More by Kathy
Deal Sharing Aunt
Heidi Reads…
Remembrancy
December 6th:
The Bookworm Chronicles 
Reading Is My SuperPower
I Am A Reader
Teatime and Books
December 7th:
Nicole’s Book Musings
Christian Chick’s Thoughts
It’s All About the Romance
Getting Your Read On
December 8th:
underneath the covers
Inside the Mind of an Avid Reader
Mello & June, It’s a Book Thang!
December 9th: Grand Finale

Tour Giveaway

1 winner will receive a signed copy of EVERY TIME WE SAY GOODBYE and a Christmas stocking
US only
Ends December 13th

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Grab Our Button!

 

3 Wishes by Peggy Jaeger #MFRWauthor #Contemporary #Romance @peggy_jaeger


VBT_3Wishes_Banner copy

 

3 Wishes

by Peggy Jaeger

~~~~~~~~~~~~~

GENRE: Contemporary Romance

~~~~~~~~~~~~~

 

BLURB:

 

Valentine’s Day is chocolatier Chloe San Valentino’s favorite day of the year. Not only is it the busiest day in her candy shop, Caramelle de Chloe, but it’s also her birthday. Chloe’s got a birthday wish list for the perfect man she pulls out every year: he’d fall in love with her in a heartbeat, he’d be someone who cares about people, and he’d have one blue eye and one green eye, just like her. So far, Chloe’s fantasy man hasn’t materialized, despite the matchmaking efforts of her big, close-knit Italian family. But this year for her big 3-0 birthday, she just might get her three wishes.

 

 

~~~~~~~~~~~~~

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Excerpt:

 

At about five minutes of ten I was almost ready to turn the Closed sign on the door when it opened. I heard Janie’s breath hitch and turned from where I was sweeping up. Staying open late is always a risk, with the thought thieves will invade at the end of the day.

 

If the guy standing at the door glancing around the shop was a thief, then Dio mio, I wanted to be robbed.

 

About six foot, his hair was the color of a deer’s pelt, with autumnal golds and browns shot together in a glorious patchwork that grazed the collar of his jacket and curled a little at the ends. He wore a faded brown bomber jacket over a shirt I couldn’t see, but he had shoulders almost as wide as my doorway. A pair of well-worn jeans covered his mile long legs, and the fabric on the stress points at his knees was practically white.

 

“We’re about to close,” I heard myself say. “Can I help you?”

 

It was at that moment he looked over at me.

 

His face could have been sculpted by Da Vinci or Michelangelo. A broad, smooth, forehead housed naturally arched eyebrows I knew some of my gay guy friends would have paid a fortune to have on their own faces. His cheeks were carved from marble, high, smooth and deep. And his mouth, mother-of-God, his mouth. Full, thick beautiful lips sat perfectly over a chin with a dent you could shove a button into and have it stay put.

 

“Sorry,” he said, those fabulous lips pulling up a little shyly at the corners. “I got stuck at work and couldn’t get here until now. I’ll be quick. Promise.”

 

So here’s the thing: the guy was gorgeous. But even if he’d looked like a frog with raw antipasto smothering his face, I would have dropped to my knees when he opened his mouth. Warm honey, a shot of raw whiskey, and a little hot puff of smoke wafted from his mouth like a fine and rare brandy being decanted.

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AUTHOR Bio and Links:

 

Peggy Jaeger is a contemporary romance author who writes about strong women, the families who support them, and the men who can’t live without them.

Her current titles, available now, include SKATER’S WALTZ and THERE’S NO PLACE LIKE HOME, and FIRST IMPRESSIONS books 1 through 3 in her 6-book The MacQuire Women Series, published by The Wild Rose Press.

Peggy holds a master’s degree in Nursing Administration and first found publication with several articles she authored on Alzheimer’s Disease during her time running an Alzheimer’s in-patient care unit during the 1990s.

A lifelong and avid romance reader and writer, she is a member of RWA and her local New Hampshire RWA Chapter.

 

Website/Blog: http://peggyjaeger.com/

 

Twitter: https://twitter.com/peggy_jaeger

 

Amazon Author page:  http://www.amazon.com/-/e/B00T8E5LN0

 

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Peggy-Jaeger-Author/825914814095072?ref=bookmarks

 

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

 

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/13478796.Peggy_Jaeger

 

Instagram: https://instagram.com/mmj122687/

 

~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Peggy took time out of her busy schedule to answer a few questions on her writing process and some fun facts. Thanks for joining us, Peggy 🙂

What do you think is the best way to publish these days?

I feel it depends on the type of writer you are and how you’re looking to manage your career. Since I knew nothing about publishing and am not very tech savvy, the thought of self-publishing to me was terrifying. I was way more comfortable sending out queries and entering contests to find a traditional publisher for my work. I also just want to write. Cover decisions, type-face, formatting decisions, would all give me hives if I had to make them. I prefer to let the professionals deal with that and I’ll deal with the writing. I have an enormous amount of respect for writers who self-publish and do it well. It is a 24 hour a day job.

What are your favorite genres to read? Why?

I love contemporary romances because I love the here and now. I also enjoy Regencies because there’s something so enjoyable reading of a time when manners and morality actually meant something.

Do your characters talk to you?

Actually, they holler.


How do you approach starting a new book?

I always start with characters first and then build a story around them. My heroine comes first, complete with family, career, goals and dreams. Hero next with his own baggage. Then I figure out what would bring them together and pull them apart and come up with their storyline.

What is your writing process?

I write 7 days a week. During the weekdays I work 6-10 hours daily on my WIPs (usually 3-4 storylines at a time). On weekends I spend 4-6 hours each day writing the blog posts for my blog. I plot all my work out, never write from the seat of my pants – I just can’t. I retired from my life-long job last year and can now devote all my time to my writing. Like my website tagline asserts: Writing is my Oxygen


What are the best writing books or blogs you’ve ever read
?

My favorite writing books include:

  1. Goal, Motivation & Conflict – Debra Dixon
  2. The Emotion Thesaurus – Angela Ackerman and Becca Puglisi
  3. Show, Don’t Tell – William Noble
  4. Writer’s Guide to Character traits – Linda N. Edlestein, Ph.D
  5. Master Lists for Writers – Bryn Donovan
  6. The Best Punctuation Book, period – June Casagrande

Each one of these is a BIBLE for a writer!

What are your non-writing hobbies, or what do you do to relax?

When I’m not writing or reading, I cook and paint. I have over 100 cookbooks in my house that are dog-eared and well-loved. Months will go by and we will never have the same thing for supper more than once!

What was your best date ever?

My first date with the man who became my husband. I’d never been on a plane before so we flew from NYC to Boston for the day, toured around the historic town and had dinner in the North End before flying back home. That date sealed the deal for our marriage!

Navy SEAL or cowboy?

SEAL, every time!

Chocolate or chips?

How about chocolatechips?? I like sweet, not salty, so no plain “chips”

If you could have a superpower what would it be?

To be able to tell when people are lying. Why? Because I would never again be hurt by lies and untruths from people I should trust.

Fancy restaurant or picnic?

PICNIC

Beer or wine?

Neither. I don’t drink alcohol, so Diet Mountain Dew everytime.

Favorite author?

Nora Roberts/JD Robb

Smooth or hairy?

A little of both is just right.


GIVEAWAY INFORMATION 

 

Peggy Jaeger will be awarding a $15 Amazon or Barnes and Noble GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour, and a $10 Amazon or Barnes and Noble GC to a randomly drawn host.

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CHANGE REIN BY ANNE JOLIN #mfrwauthor #mgtab #HBTPRM @authorannejolin


CHANGE REIN
Author: Anne Jolin
Series: Willow Bay Stables #1
Genre: Contemporary Romance & Sports Equestrian Romance
~ SYNOPSIS ~
London Daniels is returning home to Willow Bay, Alberta, on the heels of a televised loss. She blew her shot at the Summer Olympics and cost Canada the gold medal in dressage.
During her years of training abroad, her family’s stable has fallen on hard times, and thus, they’ve accepted an offer to board the racehorses of Branson Tucker, the infamous tycoon, for the winter.
London lacks conviction after her ill-fated fall. And as if returning to her hometown to watch her epic failure replay on everyone’s big screen isn’t torture enough, she’s expected to cater to a man with an ego bigger than her hundred-acre farm just to earn a dime.
Is London saddling up for another ride that will leave both her heart and her ass in the dirt? Or could the handsome, unwanted guest at Willow Bay Stables be her second chance to go for gold?

~ PURCHASE ~

 
 
~ BOOK TRAILER ~
 
~ EXCERPT ~
After helping her up onto the tailgate, I
grab the wine and two glasses. When I join her in the bed of the truck, I pour
us each a cup and then lift my glass up to hers for a toast.
 
“Here’s to first dates.”
 
After clinking her cup with mine, she
takes a delicate sip, and the rumble in my chest comes unexpectedly as she
swallows the wine.
 
As if on cue, the radio changes, and the
first twangs of Jackson Young’s “If It Ain’t Too Much To Ask” drift out across
the lake.
 
After we set our cups down on the edge of
the truck bed, her arms wrap around my neck. My palm splays over her lower back
as I tuck the sweetness of her body against mine.
 
“You makin’ it a habit of wooing me with
your dancin’ skills, cowboy?” She laughs, and the way it mixes with the song
has to be the most heavenly thing I’ve ever heard.
 
My cheek brushes hers as we dance closer.
“That depends.”
 
“On?” Her breath whispers against my ear.
 
“If it’s working or not.”
 
She laughs again, and with God as my
witness, I’m a lucky bastard to be holding her right now. “It might be,” she
teases.
 
Her body was made for mine. Pressed
together, we’re even more perfect. Strawberry wine dousing our inhibitions in
wild desire.
 
The chorus to the song is coming up, and
knowing I don’t suck at least half as much as she does, I sing softly into her
ear, albeit still out of tune. She joins me, singing adorably off tune into my
ear. “I know it ain’t an easy life,
people can tell you that”
—She hums along, folding her body closer around
mine—“but to ask for a little bit, just a
little bit back, If it ain’t too much to ask..”
 
“If
it ain’t too much to ask,”
her voice sings adorably
off tune into my ear.
 
I chuckle, and she reaches down to elbow
me in the side before her eyes find mine once again.
 
“If
it ain’t too much to ask, cowboy…I could really go for that kiss right about
now.”
She tries to sing along with the song,
but by adding her own words, she fails miserably.
 
But it’s the thought that counts.
 
Do I hate that she felt she had to ask for
it? Bet your ass I do. Will it stop
me from giving her what she wants? Not a
chance in hell.
 
Tipping my invisible cowboy hat towards
her with one hand, I put the other in the hair at the base of her neck.
“Nothing you ask will ever be too much, London.” With that, I give in to the
greatest temptation I’ve ever had and every desire I’ve ever dreamed of.
 
It’s only with unique restraint that I’m
able to keep my lips from fully crashing down onto hers. Instead, I take her
softly, certain I’ve died and gone to heaven at the first taste of her. When
she whimpers, the greed in me takes the opportunity to slip my tongue into her
mouth, claiming all she’ll give me. Her hands pull at the base of my neck,
desperate to have me closer as the heat in our kiss grows deeper as the song
comes to a close.
 
After breaking apart, I rest my forehead
on hers, running my thumb across her bottom lip. Then I sing the very last
line, holding her close.
 
I kissed the prettiest girl I’ve every
laid eyes on while dancing on the tailgate of my truck in the middle of
nowhere, and it was the best thing that’s ever happened to me.
 
Guaranteed.
 
~ PLAYLIST ~
If It Ain’t Too Much To Ask – Jackson Young
Tennessee Whiskey – Chris Stapleton
My Heart Skips a Beat – Dwight Yoakam
Angels Fall Sometimes – Josh Turner
Love on Me – Brent Cobb
Ride (feat. Macy Maloy) – Chase Rice
Cowboys and Angels – Dustin Lynch
A Soft Place to Fall – Allison Moorer
Sober Me Up – Frankie Ballard
How ‘Bout Them Cowgirls – George Straight
Real Good Man – Tim McGraw
Why God Made Love Songs – Joel Crouse
On to Something Good – Ashley Monroe
Kiss by Kiss – Brett Young
Smoke – A Thousand Horses
Georgia Rain – Trisha Yearwood
Cowgirl – Tyler Farr
Shut Me Up – Old Dominion
Little Bitty Dreams – Will Hoge
She’s Got This Thing About Her – Chris Young
Forever and Ever, Amen – Randy Travis

~ TEASERS ~

~ Other books by Anne Jolin ~
Rock Falls Series
Chasing Rhodes, Book 1: http://bit.ly/ChasingRhodes
Choosing Henley, Book 2: http://bit.ly/ChoosingHenley
Breaking Bennett, Book 3: http://bit.ly/BreakingBennett

Keeping King, Book 4: http://bit.ly/KeepingKing

 
 
~ ABOUT THE AUTHOR ~
ANNE JOLIN

Hey y’all,

I was born and raised in Ladner, a small farm town just outside Vancouver, Canada. I grew up riding horses, shooting guns, and driving in trucks.
I never expected to be an author. A massage therapist? Yes. Take over the family construction company? Yes. But an author? No. Writing was something that snuck up on me and rooted itself into my life. It was beautiful to discover that love, and I’m truly grateful to say I’ve found my passion.
Since I’ve always been a creative person, it feels amazing to harness all of that energy and use it to tell a story I love. I enjoy incorporating bits of my real life into the stories I write. What parts are true? Hah. I’ll never tell—what would be the fun in that?
If I could leave y’all with one thing, it’s that life’s far too short to not live it out loud. Drown in your passions, hold on tight to the things that inspire you, and chase your dreams relentlessly. I can promise you without a doubt that you won’t regret it. I know I don’t.
Mad love,
Anne Jolin
xx
Anne kindly agreed to answer my grilling questions on her writing process:

What do you write?

Contemporary Romance

What genre do you favor?

Contemporary Romance

When did you realize you wanted to be a writer?

I’ve always enjoyed writing but I’d never considered the possibility of being an author until July of 2014. I wrote a review for a romance novel I’d just finished and the author, who is now a dear friend of mine, suggested I try writing. I am so very grateful that I listened to her.

Are you published?

I’m self-published.

Where can you be found on social media?

Just about everywhere, although I typically tend to favor Instagram or Facebook.

Website or blog: www.annejolin.com

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

Twitter: https://twitter.com/authorannejolin

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

Instagram: https://instagram.com/annejolin/

What do you think is the best way to publish these days?

I’m not sure there is a ‘right’ or ‘wrong’ way to publish a book, I would think it’s more of a personal preference and what helps you to achieve your creative goals. That being said, I am only self-published and have not yet pursued traditional publishing.

What are your favorite genres to read? Why?

I read mostly contemporary or Erotic Romance, but I do occasionally enjoy reading some Paranormal Romance as well. I usually tend to pick novels that I can escape into while still relating to them, and contemporary does that for me with every read.

Do your characters talk to you?

Oh, heck yes! Sometimes they won’t shut up, even, but on the flip side, they can sometimes be shy and that can be a pain in the butt.

How do you approach starting a new book? What is your writing process?

Is flying by the seat of your pants a process? Kidding! Well, maybe not completely kidding. I don’t plot my books, but I usually do start with an idea of where they will go. After that, I’m just along for the ride as the characters take over.

What are the best writing books or blogs you’ve ever read?

To be honest, I’m not sure I’ve really read any books or blogs on the process of writing. If y’all know any, hit me up!

What are your non-writing hobbies, or what do you do to relax?

I spend a lot of time with my pitbull puppy, Ghost and I absolutely am completely and utterly obsessed with movies, I can usually be found watching one!

What was your best date ever?

Hmm. Tough call. Can I pick one that I created? Branson takes London in Change Rein to the edge of a lake and they dance in the bed of his pick-up truck, swoon city. I’d be puddy for something like that.

Navy SEAL or cowboy?

Oh, lord. I am a sucker for a cowboy.

Chocolate or chips?

Chips! I could put away a bag of salt and vinegar chips like nobody’s business!

If you could have a superpower what would it be? Why?

FLYING. Traffic is the devil.

Fancy restaurant or picnic?

Picnic, they’re just so dang cute!

Beer or wine?

Beer.

Favorite author?

Aurora Rose Reynolds

Smooth or hairy?

Smooth.


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