Celebrate your love of Romantic Suspense novels with @BookSweeps and enter to win more than 40+ – PLUS receive a collection of FREE reads!📚 #books #amreading


Today, I have a fun surprise I’d like to share with you.

 

BIGGAR-Romantic-Suspense-Oct-18

 

I’ve teamed up with 40+ fantastic authors to give away a huge collection of Romantic Suspense novels to 2 lucky winners, PLUS a brand new eReader to the Grand Prize winner!

 

Oh, and did I mention you’ll receive a collection of FREE reads just for entering? 😁

 

You can win my novel Tempted by Mr. Wrong, plus books from authors like Ann Major, Christie Craig, and Jacki Delecki.

 

Enter the giveaway by clicking here 👉 http://bit.ly/romsuspense-oct18

 

JacquieMr.Wrong

Here’s an excerpt from Tempted by Mr. Wrong

Tammy-Jo Hawthorne limped down the side of the highway, broken shoe in hand, and cursed everything from the gravel cutting into her bare foot, to the drizzling rain making her mascara run. But most of all, she cursed fate for ever introducing her to her no-good, dirty, rotten scumbag of an ex-husband—Timothy Hawthorne the third, and don’t you forget it.

Her cheeks flamed again even as goosebumps of embarrassed anger chased themselves over her flesh. They’d escorted her out; she still couldn’t believe it. Not one person had stood to defend her either. Ten years she’d belonged to that stupid high-falutin club, and no one had supported her in her time of need. Well, screw them.

A semi-trailer flew past, and a sheet of water drenched her to the bone.

“Ooh.” She raised her shoe in the air and shook it at the fading taillights. “Thanks for nothing.”

Disheartened, she dropped her Louboutin in the grass, careful to keep it off the scratchy gravel, and wrung out the hem of her shirt. Tim had a lot to answer for; not least of which was the fact her Jaguar had been towed away while she’d been inside the country club. It was becoming clear that this had been a well-choreographed plan on his part. He’d thought of everything too. When she’d tried to call for a cab, she found her phone had been cut off. She’d stomped over to a nearby gas station to use the payphone, and found her bank and credit cards had been cancelled as well. He’d taken her love and stomped it beneath his wingtips and now he wanted her pride too.

Well, he couldn’t have it, damn him.

If she had to walk the entire twenty miles to home, she would.

And then she was going to sue that bastard for every red cent he owned.

The traffic snaked by in a never-ending ribbon of color, the noise a match to the static in her head. She thought about doing like she’d seen on television and lift her thumb to catch a ride, but fear held her back. Those were the same shows where the unlucky traveler was never seen again. She didn’t plan on giving her soon-to-be ex that easy of an out.

The rain was falling harder now, coating everything in sight with a silvery glow. If she wasn’t so cold—a combination of nerves and early spring weather—it would be pretty. Okay, maybe that was a stretch. There was nothing remotely pretty about being stranded in the middle of nowheresville thanks to the man you’d promised to love and honor until death did you part. The last of which was looking tempting right now.

If only she knew a hitman.

A throaty engine gearing down set her heart to leap-frogging in her chest—he’d changed his mind and returned her car. She swung around, a relieved smile tipping her scowl upside down, but instead of her beautiful silver Jag, a black-as-sin Mustang idled behind her in the parking lane, its driving lights blinding her with their brightness.

Now her heart pounded for an entirely different reason. She glanced into the ditch, but the forest seemed impossibly far away and the traffic never even hesitated, unaware and uncaring that her life could be in danger.

T.J. shaded her eyes, but she couldn’t see the driver. She clutched her handbag. It wasn’t much, but the soft lambskin purse held the keys to her house and her car—once she got it back—her identification, all the odds and ends a woman deemed necessary, and the proof that her husband was the reason she was in this predicament. She wouldn’t give it up without a fight.

She picked up the only weapon at her disposal, her shoe, and inched backward, dismayed when the car stalked after her. Panic overrode decorum and she turned to run, but the ditch was slippery with the mud and rain and she lost her footing, careening down the steep embankment with a little screech. She landed hard on her butt and sat there for a minute, stunned. How the mighty had fallen. The Hawthorne couple were the envy of Magnolia, South Carolina. Everyone wanted to be them, have the same kind of loving relationship they had. What a joke.

And it was all on her.

A car door opened and a few ominous seconds later, T.J. heard footsteps on the gravel meridian. Even through the rain and early evening light, her white shirt practically glowed a neon here I am signal to anyone looking. And of course, someone was. She hunched over, doing her best to become one with the mud, and prayed like she’d never prayed before. Not hard, since she’d never followed any religious beliefs, but she promised anyone who was listening that she’d change. Just don’t let her die.

“Tammy-Jo Hawthorne?” scary stranger dude called down the hill, his voice filled with amused aggravation.

What did he have to be aggravated about? She was the one sitting in a cold, wet ditch while a stalker… well, stalked her.

“Go away,” she yelled, fed up with men and life in general. She swiped at a clump of ooey-gooey crap clinging to her leg below the silk pencil skirt she’d no doubt have to throw in the trash after this episode. Just one more reason to shoot Tim.

“I was at the club today,” he said, and the sympathy in his voice made her squirm. “I heard about your car, thought you could use a lift.”

She threw back her head and let the rain wash over her face. The humiliations just kept coming. The moment he’d mentioned the club she’d known who her dubious savior was; her evil step-brother.

Jason McIntyre.

 

Good luck and enjoy!

 

 

She wants a temporary fake romance… Coming Home to You by @MKStelmack #Romance #amreading @HarlequinBooks @PrismBookTours



On Tour with Prism Book Tours

Coming Home to You (A True North Hero #3)Coming Home to You
(A True North Hero #3)
By M. K. Stelmack
Contemporary Romance
Paperback & ebook, 384 pages
October 2nd 2018 by Harlequin Heartwarming

She wants a temporary fake romance

Can he make it real…and forever?

Driving across the country in an RV with her terminally ill godmother was not Daphne Merlotte’s idea. Nor was crashing the RV into a small-town coffee shop, nearly hitting local good guy Mel Greene. Now Daphne will do anything to keep her godmother from continuing the trip–even asking Mel to be her fake boyfriend. But there’s nothing fake about Mel’s intentions–he wants a real romance!

GoodreadsAmazonBarnes & NobleHarlequinKobo

 

Romance with All the Feels

 

COMING HOME TO YOU, is another story that delivers a huge emotional punch. So says my editor, and I trust her explicitly. It’s why romance readers choose this genre, right? Everyone thinks they are just love stories, but we know they are stories that plow through the entire field of emotions, unearthing the metaphorical dirt on our hero and heroine.

Along the way, I rake over your emotions too, dear reader. It’s a weird sort of masochistic-sadistic relationship in which you knowingly embark on an emotional rollercoaster designed by me to elicit as much fear, excitement, joy and triumph as possible so that when you glide to the finish, shaking with relief, you immediately shout out, “Again!”

I’ve decided that four emotions always arise in romances: whatever makes you cry, whatever makes you laugh, whatever makes you makes you want the story not to end, whatever makes you want it to end.

I’ll explain using COMING HOME TO YOU and my previous stories.

 

  1. Whatever Makes You Cry

 

I received the highest compliment from my editor about COMING HOME TO YOU, when she reported in a margin note: I’m BAWLING here. Then, in our next round of edits, she confided that she cried again in the exact same spot, even though she knew what was coming.

I won’t tell you where she grabbed for her box of tissues, but I can tell you that this scene was key to figuring out what made my hero, Mel, tick. Writers call it the wound—the childhood trauma or early horror that shapes their adult beliefs. Until they face up to how it has atrophied or destroyed their relationships, they can’t move forward.

I’ve written a few stories that have caused the words to suddenly blur for my readers. I’ve read a whole lot more that set off my waterworks.  Haven’t we all? Sometimes, you know why. It’s a story about a bully or the loss of a parent or a fire that destroys memories. You’re crying for your hero or heroine, but you’re also crying for yourself because on some level it speaks to your deepest fear, desire or sorrow.

 

  1. Whatever Makes You Laugh

 

Humor is tricky. One can burst into laughter, while another thinks it’s the height of cruelty. The safest kind of humor evokes a gentle smile and then sails on. I must admit that I’m no good at that. I love zingers, comebacks or the slow, self-deprecating boomerang remark that makes the reader laugh and then suck it back as they realize its impact on their poor hero or heroine. Back in my first book in the series, A ROOF OVER THEIR HEAD, a naked boy jumps into my hero’s truck. There is the usual comical fallout from that as he tries to simultaneously ignore and address the boy’s state, but underneath all that is the very real societal concern of a naked child alone with a strange male in this day and age of ‘blame now, justify later’.

My favorite kind of humor unrolls over an entire scene, the ever-complicating scenario that drags in more characters and plays out natural consequences to their hilarious end. I had loads of fun writing a scene in COMING HOME TO YOU where Mel tries to teach Daphne how to drive.

 

  1. Whatever Makes You Want to Read More

 

Yes, that’s the suspenseful, exciting, ‘will-they-or-won’t they’ range of emotions. It could be the car chase, the meet-up, the clash between hero and villain, the race to find the missing child, the full-on argument between two characters who’ve been dying to lay a tongue-lashing on each other. BUILDING A FAMILY, the second in my series, has all of the above with the biggest rise from my readers coming from scenes where it’s a regular mud-slinging fest of words.

 

  1. Whatever Makes You Want it to End

 

Hopefully it’s not bad writing! I mean here that cringe-y set of emotions: shame, embarrassment, acute anxiety. You know the feeling when your favorite character is about to do something incredibly stupid because they feel compelled to do it, something you know will have an undesirable outcome. How many of you out there are like me, have had to physically leave a room during a movie at those excruciating moments? What, only me? I admit that my daughter has had to order me back into the room to watch the scene play out. If I’m watching alone, then I desensitize myself by watching just a few seconds at a time or pacing while I look away and listen to the audio. Yes, I know. I need therapy. In COMING HOME TO YOU, Daphne first meets Mel, while in a diaphanous, over-the-top nightgown. Sorry, Daphne.

 

Can you relate to these feelings? What other emotions would you suggest? Do you have go-to books that evoke these emotions for you?

 

 

Other Books in the Series

 

About the Author

M. K. Stelmack writes contemporary romances set in Spirit Lake which is closely based on the small town in Alberta, Canada, where she lives with pets who outnumber the humans three to one, and where dust bunnies run unchecked. She aims to tell stories that don’t shy away from the tough questions but still leave readers feeling uplifted. She is the author of two previous Harlequin Heartwarming titles, A Roof Over Their Heads and Building a Family. She loves hearing from readers. Find her at her website or on Facebook

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Tour Schedule

October 1st:
Launch
Katie’s Clean Book Collection
Nicole’s Book Musings
Book by Book
October 2nd:
Reading Is My SuperPower
underneath the covers
Rockin’ Book Reviews
October 3rd:
E-Romance News
My Devotional Thoughts
Heidi Reads…
October 4th:
Handcrafted Reviews
Remembrancy
It’s All About the Romance
October 5th:
Hearts & Scribbles
Christy’s Cozy Corners
Teatime and Books
Book Lover in Florida
October 6th:
Grand Finale

Tour Giveaway

1 winner will receive ebooks of A Roof Over Their Heads and Building a Family plus a $25 Amazon e-Gift Card
Open internationally
Ends October 10th

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#Writing like a Beast #Romance #mgtab


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Photo by Bich Tran on Pexels.com

Have you ever been up against a deadline and the words won’t come? Yep, welcome to my world.

 

I have a holiday novella due by the end of September and it’s kicking my butt. Some people thrive under stress- I’m NOT one of them, lol.

I’ve been staring my climatic moment in the eye for weeks now and it just won’t cooperate. My vision for this story is a sort of cross between Beauty and the Beast (not the Disney® version but the 1987-1990 television series) with a sensitive, lonely ‘Beast’ and the beautiful kind-hearted woman who draws him out of his shell.

 

 

And the Hallmark® Christmas movie, The Mistletoe Inn featuring an aspiring writer 🙂 who signs up for a writing retreat after being dumped by her novelist boyfriend.

 

 

 

 

 

I took these two concepts and came up with my hero, Noah Kincaid, a scarred, lonely man (though he thinks he’s fine) in need of a new publicity partner after the recent death of his aunt, and the young and pretty single mother who takes the job.

Molly McCarty is used to tough challenges. Divorced and raising a five-year-old boy is no easy task, especially when she’s surrounded by her ex’s friends and family who all want to help get them back together again.

Desperate for some breathing room, Molly searches the web for opportunities and comes across the position of innkeeper in Christmas, Michigan. Her curiosity about the town named after a famous holiday leads her down a road filled with possibilities.

If only she can break through her partner’s tough shell.

 

 

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Photo by Dana Tentis on Pexels.com

Here’s a short exclusive excerpt

Molly hurried to keep up as Leo wove in and out of the evergreens on display, the air tinted with the scent of pine and balsam. His childish laughter warmed her heart. He’d was unhappy leaving Alberta and his family behind. She couldn’t blame him, she’d been feeling down herself. Ever since her divorce from Jason, she’d been coasting, searching for… well, she wasn’t really sure. She just knew it wasn’t in Edmonton. That was her past, Christmas was her future.

Or, so she hoped.

“Leo, where are you?” she called, half laughing, half worried. The fairy lights strung in graceful arcs across the large gazebo-type structure were pretty, but they didn’t make finding a little boy in a dark jacket easy. Nearby couples glanced in her direction, then joined in the search. It wasn’t that big an area, but there were a lot of hiding places a mischievous little boy might discover.

“I’ve got him.” Noah strode out from between two thick conifers with Leo in his arms. He looked like an outdoor magazine model with his lived-in face and burly shoulders. Molly heard the appreciative sighs from the women around her and her heart stuttered. He really was a handsome man.

She thanked the searchers and shook her head as Noah reached her side. “He was there one minute and then he was gone. You seem to be making a habit out of coming to our rescue.”

He gazed at her with those dark eyes, his hair ruffled by the chilly breeze, and she had the strongest urge to reach up and kiss those uncompromising lips. He’d probably think she was crazy. She’d have to be to try, he hadn’t given any sign of a mutual attraction, and besides, they barely knew each other.

“He was just chasing after a puppy. I’m sure he’s sorry he worried you.” He nodded to Leo. “Better apologize to your mother, now.”

Leo looked at her, excitement sparkling in his eyes. “Mommy, you gotta come see. The puppy is so cute. He’s as white as snow and has blue eyes. Can I have him, Mommy. Please.” He kicked his booted feet, narrowly missing Noah’s groin. Noah winced and set him down.

Molly gave him an apologetic glance, then crouched beside her son. “Honey, you need to calm down. First, Noah is right. You should say sorry for disappearing the way you did. That’s a dangerous thing to do, and I don’t expect you to do it again. Capisce?”

Chastened, Leo scuffed his feet in the snow. “Capease.”

 

 

I’m close. I just have to rip out their hearts so I can hand them back again.

Easy, right?

You can pre-order the boxset below. I promise I’ll get it done!

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LOVE CHRISTMAS 2

25 Holiday Stories Movies You Love!

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07G4K5YR2

International Link: http://books2read.com/LoveChristmas2

 

 

Sprinkle a little Christmas magic into your life with 25 ALL-NEW, never before released romances. Each title – exclusive to this set – is inspired by a favorite holiday movie, spun into a fantastic love story by a NY Times, USA Today, and/or award-winning, bestselling author and delivered to you in this wonderful collection full of cheer for the coming season.

 

 

 

CoversSellBooksImage

And don’t forget to enter our $50 Giveaway!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Celebrating a #CoverReveal with a #Free day! #mgtab


view of books in shelf
Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Celebrating a New Cover!

 

If you’re an indie author, like me, you know there’s a lot more to creating a successful marketing plan than writing the book. While an engrossing story is important, it doesn’t do you any good if no one knows about it.

Editing, beta reading and critique groups are a good start and a necessary set of steps in order to make your book baby look the best it can (on the inside.)

But what do you do after that?

 

GET A PROFESSIONAL COVER ARTIST!

 

I can’t say how many times I’ve been turned off of what could have been an award-winning story because of a weak cover.

One of the first things any potential buyer is drawn to, whether online, a library, or in a brick and mortar store is a standout cover. It is critically important that YOU, as a hard-working writer, DO NOT skip this important marketing step.

Okay, you have your masterpiece and the perfect frame for it, now what?

I recommend creating 5-6 memes that you can switch out in your social media posts. Try Canva or Covers Sell Books, both are great. Yes, you need to play nice on Facebook and Twitter 🙂

Seriously though, having a strong social media presence is crucial if you want to get the word out about your books.

Next, set up a newsletter–you’ve been building up subscribers at the same time you’re building SM contacts, right? :)–and send it out with the big news. It’s recommended not to push your sales, so take the time to be personable. Your followers want to know you, share a piece of you and they will respond, trust me!

We’re doing great!

Books are selling, reviews are trickling in, but then as time goes by the initial excitement wanes, now what?

 

 

pexels-photo-1051744.jpeg
Photo by Artem Bali on Pexels.com

 

 

Placing your book on sale is a good marketing strategy. Not only do you regenerate interest in the product you’re promoting, but it often gains you readers for the rest of your backlist, as well.

Again, this is where your growing social media connections can count. Rather than shoving the sale in their faces though, use those pretty memes you made and share them on Twitter and Facebook group pages in your chosen genre.

I also like to book professional sites to share my sale, such as ereader News Today, Book Gorilla, and ebook Discovery, to name a few. Just make sure to decide on a budget beforehand, and stick to it. Keep in mind that while on the dace of it, your sale book may not pay out the cost of the fees, subsequent sales on all your books will continue for days or weeks after as your name moves up in Amazon (or other retailers) algorithms.

Another choice you can make is upgrading to a new cover. Maybe, for whatever reason, the old cover isn’t doing its job of catching the attention of new readers. This is a guessing game, of course, but sometimes a cover with brighter colors, or a stronger image can make all the difference.

I’ve decided to take that course of action with my 1950’s murder mystery, Missing: The Lady Said No. The title was clunky, so I dropped the Missing and added An Augustus Grant Mystery subtitle to define the series.

The original cover was dark and moody, and didn’t explain the era as well as I wanted it to.

 

Missing The Lady Said No eBook

 

The new cover is flashy, using a bright, bold color palette and an eye-catching image that does a much better job of hinting at the genre and storyline.

What do you think?

 

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In celebration of this cover, which I love, The Lady Said No is Free one day only, Saturday, Sept, 1st.

Get your copy here!

 
CoversSellBooksImage (3)

Identity Crisis #writing #lifehacks #mgtab


 

close up of hand over white background
Photo by Lum3n.com on Pexels.com

 

Lately, I’ve been questioning my ability as a writer and it’s left me feeling lost and depressed.

Do you ever doubt yourself?

I think it began with the big change in our lives this summer. As many of you know, my daughter and grandson have moved over six thousand km away so she can continue with her dream to become a marine biologist.

While I’m incredibly proud of her, it’s also left a big gap in my days. I’m used to being there for my grandson, often picking him up for lacrosse or hockey or swimming practice.

He’s a key part of our lives and we are lost without him.

I’m empty inside and find it increasingly hard to put words on the page. I hope this is a short term thing, I mean it’s not like I can’t text or FaceTime him whenever I want. But, it’s not the same, either.

I’ve been working on a holiday novella for our Love, Christmas 2 collection set around the theme of our favorite holiday movies. Mine is Mistletoe Inn, taken from the Hallmark® movie, The Mistletoe Inn.

Here’s a short preview

 

For my story I’ve adapted the inn as more of a bed and breakfast with my hero as a scarred, bitter loner that the heroine, Molly McCarty, falls in love with.

 

MistletoecoverLG

 

Molly McCarty has picked up roots and traveled across the country to run a bed and breakfast with a sweet-sounding old lady. Imagine her surprise when her partner turns out to be a surly, way-to-handsome recluse. It’s too late to back out now, she’ll have to mend his lonely heart in time for the holidays.

I’m enjoying this heartwarming tale, but it’s also making me realize Christmas won’t be the same this year.

 

What do you do to get rid of the blues?

 

Don’t forget to enter our name that title contest- ending soon!

 

 

ONLY $0.99 for 25 BRAND NEW Stories

Never Before Published Holiday Romances

Pre Order Your Copy Today

Amazon – Nook – Kobo

The Christmas Movie (Box Collection) Contest

  1. Twenty-five winners will have their favorite movie chosen as the title. (Slight changes due to copyrights may be made.)
  2. That particular story will be dedicated to the winner.
  3. The winners will receive a free copy of the ebook or a free copy of whichever book you choose from your author’s backlist..

 

DEDICATED 2 Facebook(1)

Enter Here!

 

I should be #writing, but… #SummerGetaways #mgtab


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I’m on a crazy tight deadline for an awesome box set releasing July 31st, but couldn’t resist when DH suggested going for a drive 🙂

Life is short, sometimes you just need to play hooky!

 

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This is on top of the Malahat on Vancouver Island, about half an hour’s drive out of Victoria. That ghostly white behemoth you see in the background is Mount Baker in Washington.

 

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The cedars are so tall they dominate the land!

 

 

We got home late, but I managed to get my final edits done and my book turned in and not a moment too soon- it’s due Sunday!

 

If you’re looking for some great summer reading, pre-order is available (hint, hint 🙂 )

 

Biggar 1 - Facebook

 

Sweet and Sassy at the Beach: Get Swept Away!

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07FDQ42QX

International link: http://books2read.com/Sweet-and-SassyattheBeach

From the Arctic coast to tropical beaches, Greek islands to the Jersey shore, love and romance swell with the tides. Find your perfect pair with Sweet and Sassy at the Beach, twelve titillating tales of love at first sight, second chance romance, Alaska villagers to a beachcomber billionaire, a rodeo clown to a Greek tycoon, sweet and sassy tales that will keep you grasping your Kindle ‘til the battery runs out. Keep your charger handy! You won’t want to miss any of these stories by award-winning, bestselling authors!

 

That Unbelievable Kiss (Kissed by Fate 3) – Tamara Ferguson
Bad boy Brian Lancaster marries Karen Andres so she can retain medical coverage for her gravely ill younger brother. Can their long-distance marriage of convenience lead to a lifetime of love?
Sweetheart Cove-Jacquie Biggar
Sand, surf, and soft island breezes bring two lonely hearts together in this heartwarming tale of second chance romance and a love that lasts forever.
Her Greek Tycoon – Mona Risk
Romeo and Juliette Greek style. Will the Greek Tycoon make peace with the past? Will the American lawyer find her happiness in Mykonos?
One Arctic Summer – Dani Haviland
Was she his Red Raven or just another cheechako, a tenderfoot from the outside world looking for excitement or a news story in his remote Alaskan village?
Leanne Banks – Royal Dad
What can a widower Prince do when a vivacious American tutor for his young son turns his world upside down? Can he ignore his burning attraction to the most tempting woman he has ever met?
Stephanie Queen – Beachcomber Billionaire
When two hearts from different worlds collide, will they stay together or continue in different directions?
Orchids & Hurricane Kisses – Stacy Eaton
It’s laughter and twenty questions for Rye and Amy as they get lost in a tropical island romance as a hurricane approaches the shores of Maryland. Will it take a tragedy or a miracle to bring them back together?
Nancy Radke – Trouble Never Knocks 
Evil men pursue them. Can Jesse and Karin stay alive and see the future together that they both want?
Rescuing the Cowboy’s Heart – Aileen Fish
Can Nicole help retired rodeo-clown-turned-CPA Trevor realize that he won’t find lasting love with numbers, that if he expects to find ‘the one’ at a certain time with his logical schedule, he is doomed and may never recognize what his heart stands to lose?
Lucky in Laguna – Rachelle Ayala
Tally shares a winning lottery ticket with Lucky, a reality show writer. She’s always dreamed of being on TV, so Lucky writes her into the show. However, sand, surf, and romantic nights in Laguna bring complications. Will the show go on? Or will love trump reality?
Sharing Sea Glass – Susan Jean Ricci  
After Peter rescues beach lover Jo Harrison from a near drowning at the Jersey Shore, this unlikely couple are inches away from falling in love. But are Jo’s emotions for Peter based on gratitude for saving her life? And is Peter’s attraction to her merely physical after watching her shower in a wet T-shirt?
Perfect for Him – Suzanne Jenkins  
When Jason’s beloved wife Harley gets sick, Tiffany jumps in and decides he’s fair game. What can a wife do to protect her handsome husband from the Tiffanys of the world?

Finding Your Voice #Writertips #amwriting


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When I first began my writing career I took a LOT of online classes on craft, editing, revision, grammar, technique, and the one thing that kept coming up was the need to discover your voice. The unique something that distinguishes your work and keeps your readers coming back for more.

But how?

What do the experts mean by voice anyway?

Do you have a favorite author? One whose pages you could read without seeing the cover and you’d STILL be able to say without a doubt, yes, that is definitely their book?

I thought so 🙂

That’s voice!

 

It’s a distinctive style that sets the writer’s work apart from anyone else. Some use setting, such as bestselling and award-winning author Louise Penny. Her books are set in and around the scenic mountain town of Three Pines, Quebec. If a fan were to read a brief passage from any of her books they would know who wrote the novel.

Other writers have a certain way with characterization that’s a dead giveaway, such as Jill Shalvis. Her writing style is part sass, part angst, and a whole lot of heat!

 

 

One of the best styles of voice comes with deep POV (point of view).

Military romantic suspense author Suzanne Brockmann does this better than most. Deep point of view is when the character acts, thinks, or talks and there is no need to add a name tag because we know this character. He/she is as real as if we were watching them on our favorite television series. Suzanne does this by creating distinct mannerisms that we immediately associate with that person. She does this so well, she can write entire passages without a name/ and frequently does, and yet it’s easy to know who is talking at any given moment.

Voice is something a writer gains with time. It can’t be forced, but for readers it’s that magic thing that will make them your fans. If you have a backlist take another look, you might be pleasantly surprised 🙂

I’m currently working on a summer romance set on an island in the Pacific Northwest. A theme that runs through my stories is the value of family, and this one is no different.

Here’s the blurb for Sweetheart Cove:

Josie Sparks is looking for escape after a disastrous relationship. A summer job on a small Pacific Northwest island seems perfect. That is, until she meets her irascible new boss. She thinks she can help his sweet little girl–he’s another story.

Jacob Samuels needs someone reliable to care for his special needs daughter, but is sorry he trusted his sister with the task when help arrives in the shape of a too-young, too-tempting therapist with pain-filled eyes he can’t ignore.

Sand, surf, and soft island breezes bring two lonely hearts together in this heartwarming tale of second chance romance and a love that lasts forever.

 

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Exclusive excerpt

Josie wasn’t sure how she got through the next few days. She must have acted reasonably normal because no one questioned her absentmindedness, even when she set the puppy’s food in the refrigerator instead of the pantry where it belonged. Jacob’s kiss lived front and center in her thoughts, and his hard, masculine body encompassed her dreams. A moody, short-tempered grump who made her pulse skyrocket.

How could she feel this way about him when she’d been hours from marrying another man a month ago? She added fresh-baked chocolate chip cookies to the picnic basket she’d prepared and glanced down at the pup sitting quietly at her feet. “If you’re looking for handouts, you’ll just have to wait. No offence, but I don’t trust your stomach in the car.”

“Is it time yet?” Jane wheeled into the kitchen, her face expectant. The dog, thinking it was playtime, crouched, nose on his front paws, butt in the air and tail wagging a mile a minute. He let out a couple of excited yips, then raced around the room and jumped against Jane’s short-clad legs. “Ow, Mischief, that hurts,” she cried, then stopped in shock and stared at the red marks already fading from her skin. “It hurt,” she whispered.

Josie pushed the dog out of the way and crouched at the little girl’s side. “Honey, this is great. I’m so happy for you. We better tell your father, so he can get you into the specialist for a checkup.”

Jane shook her head and gripped Josie’s wrist. “No. Can we keep it a secret? Please, Josie? Just for a while. I want to get better and surprise Daddy by walking. Please?”

Her pleading eyes undid Josie. How was she supposed to say no to that? She nodded. “Okay, but if you have any pains at all, you tell me, understand?” She patted Mischief’s silky head. “Guess your dad knew what he was doing, getting you a dog. Maybe we should name him Miracle instead of Mischief.”

Jane giggled. “It’s not Mischief, Josie. It’s you. You’re the miracle.”

 

 

I’d like to think I’m gaining a voice, but you the reader are the only ones who can tell me whether I’m right. What do you think? 🙂

The closer she gets to unearthing the truth, the closer she comes to a hidden world of twisted secrets, insanity, and evil that refuses to die . . . Cusp of Night by @MaeClair1 #NewRelease #Suspense


I’m super excited to have Mae Clair on the blog today celebrating the release of her new novel, Cusp of Night!

Thanks for hosting me on your blog today, Jacquie! I’ve been making the rounds with my newest release, Cusp of Night, a mystery / suspense novel with paranormal elements. Cusp of Night features two timelines—one set at the end of the 19th Century, with another in present day.

My main character in the past is a Spiritualist who becomes the toast of Philadelphia society. Her séances are well attended and she’s lauded in the newspapers as being genuine. “Sitters” who attend her sessions are treated to ghostly music, rapping sounds, table tilting, “spirit hands,” ectoplasm, and more. These were all typical elements of mediumistic practices at the time. While researching these and more, I found “automatic writings” to be particularly interesting.

 

Hand writing a letter with a goose feather

 

A medium performs automatic writing—without conscious thought—when under the control of a spirit or guide. Rather than speaking, the medium would convey messages from a sitter’s departed loved one by writing longhand. This could be a few short sentences or pages upon pages of discourse. During the period of writing, the medium is usually unaware of what is happening, his or her hand flying rapidly across the page as the spirit takes control. Occasionally, the words produced might be in another language, or crammed so minute in scale, a magnifying glass would be needed to read them.

In Cusp of Night, Lucinda Glass, performs automatic writings for one of her regular customers—the same way Arthur Conan Doyle’s wife, Lady Jean, would perform an automatic writing for Harry Houdini (said to be from his mother) twenty-odd years later. And like the magicians and showmen of Houdini’s day, mediums of the nineteenth century were not above a bit of flim-flam. Just how much, comes to light in my novel when Lucinda’s world blends with that of Maya Sinclair.

 

Here’s the blurb:

Banner ad for cusp of Night, a mystery/suspense novel by author, Mae Cllair

 

Recently settled in Hode’s Hill, Pennsylvania, Maya Sinclair is enthralled by the town’s folklore, especially the legend about a centuries-old monster. A devil-like creature with uncanny abilities responsible for several horrific murders, the Fiend has evolved into the stuff of urban myth. But the past lives again when Maya witnesses an assault during the annual “Fiend Fest.” The victim is developer Leland Hode, patriarch of the town’s most powerful family, and he was attacked by someone dressed like the Fiend.

Compelled to discover who is behind the attack and why, Maya uncovers a shortlist of enemies of the Hode clan. The mystery deepens when she finds the journal of a late nineteenth-century spiritualist who once lived in Maya’s house–a woman whose ghost may still linger.

Known as the Blue Lady of Hode’s Hill due to a genetic condition, Lucinda Glass vanished without a trace and was believed to be one of the Fiend’s tragic victims. The disappearance of a young couple, combined with more sightings of the monster, trigger Maya to join forces with Leland’s son Collin. But the closer she gets to unearthing the truth, the closer she comes to a hidden world of twisted secrets, insanity, and evil that refuses to die . . .

PURCHASE HERE

You can find Mae Clair at the following haunts:
Website | Blog | Twitter | Newsletter | Facebook | Goodreads | Amazon | Other Social Links

bio box for author, Mae Clair

 

Help, my secondary character is taking over the book! #amwriting #Romance #mgtab


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Have you ever started to write a book and had a secondary character try to take over the story? It doesn’t matter how hard you work at putting them on the sidelines, they keep popping up at the most inopportune times.

I’ve found it’s better to go with the flow and see where it takes me– usually into another book and thereby creating a series I hadn’t actually planned on writing!

When I was working on The Rebel’s Redemption, book two in the Wounded Hearts series, the hero’s best friend stepped up and insisted I do his story at the same time! I had a lot of fun with those two and the side benefit was interlocking stories that practically wrote themselves. I wish it was always that easy, but truthfully, most books take a lot of blood, sweat and lots of CHOCOLATE before they begin to take shape.

 

Maybe it’s because I’m a pantser. I never know what’s going to happen until it does, and then I say, “That’s brilliant!” lol. Sometimes, it’s a great first line. One of my favorites is from The Beast WithinHer skin was tender as the belly of a kitten. And just as fragile.
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And other times, it comes from a picture I’ve seen:

 

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Like this one I used as inspiration for Missing: TheLady Said No, a mystery set around the Kentucky Derby.

 

And then there’s the ones that emerge from a cover you fall in love with. This one was made by Michele Hauf.

 

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This is Sophia Shaughnessy’s book. She first showed up as the cute sister of Matthew Shaughnessy in Hold ‘Em, but her character became important to the story and readers connected with the young woman desperate to prove herself in a man’s world.

Here’s a short excerpt:

Sophia lightly flirted with Rico—as they’d done all their lives—and pretended not to watch every move Tony made. She absolutely didn’t notice his tough farm hands closing into fists when Rico grasped her waist, or sense the tension emanating from his powerful body as he watched the two of them acting like frisky colts. She’d feel guilty, except the big jerk should know there hadn’t been anyone but him for her since she’d reached puberty.

Damn him.

“I thought I’d take Cleopatra out for a ride,” she said to Rico, making a conscious effort to ignore Tony’s glower. “Do you have time to join me?”

“Sure.” Rico nodded. “Just give me a few minutes to finish these stalls, bueno?”

“Weren’t you supposed to exercise the yearlings today?” Tony growled. “Just because the princess deigned to visit, doesn’t mean the ranch is on holiday. Get to work, Juarez.”

Rico bristled. “I can do that later, they aren’t going anywhere.”

Tony took an aggressive step forward and Sophia hurried to step between the two men. “Stop it,” she hissed. “It’s my fault, I wasn’t thinking.”

She turned and forced a smile for Rico. “I’ll meet you later and we’ll catch up. It’s been too long.” She squeezed his arm in reassurance. “See you at dinner?”

Rico glared at his boss, then gave a slow shrug and dragged his attention back to her. “Yeah, sure. It’ll be like old times, ?”

Sophia saw his intentions in the mischievous glint of his eyes. She braced herself for the fallout as he leaned in and gave her a big, smacking kiss on the lips before jauntily wandering away with a tip of his hat. She’d get even with him, the tease.

She glanced up at Tony and cleared her throat, subduing the instinct to rub suddenly sweaty palms on her pants. “I didn’t mean to create problems, I know this is a working ranch.” That much was true, anyway. She’d tried so many times to insert herself into the business, to be a valued member of the team, but her ideas were brushed aside as the dreams of a young idealist. After a while, she’d given up trying.

Tony met her gaze and sighed. “I probably overreacted. I tend to do that a lot around you,” he admitted. Sophia didn’t have time to enjoy the warm glow his words wrought, before he added, “But you should know better than to come down to the barns dressed like that. You’re distracting my men.”

She wasn’t sure which rose faster, outrage or pleasure. She went with outrage, it was safer. “I’m wearing blue jeans, they’re hardly haute couture. And most of your men have known me since I was knee-high to a grasshopper, you’re exaggerating my appeal. Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to see my horse. At least she doesn’t judge me.”

She’d stomped past three stalls, the horses within staring at her with inquisitive eyes, before Tony caught up to her. “It’s been a long time since you’ve been on much of a ride, I don’t like the idea of you going out alone.”

Sophia huffed out a strangled laugh. “I was born on this ranch, I’m pretty sure I know my way around it. Besides, it’s your own fault I don’t have a companion, you got rid of him, remember?”

Tony grabbed a couple of bridles on their way past the tack room. “That idiot would be too damn busy showing off to protect you,” he snapped. “And I wasn’t worried about you getting lost so much as getting bucked off and, if you were lucky, landing on that delectable keister. I’ll go with you.”

“No.” She swung around to face him. “I want a fun, relaxing ride. You’ll just mess with my Zen.”

“You want to go, princess, then I go too. End of story.” He opened the stall for his bay and entered, mumbling sweet nothings to the horse while he swung the bridle over the gelding’s head.

Oh, yay.

 

 

I have a secret; I love secondary characters. They have a sense of mystery about them. You need to find out their story and they leave all sorts of possibilities open for future books. 🙂

Crazy Little Thing About Love releases Tuesday, May 15th. I hope you’ll buy a copy and see if you can pick out the next character who needs his/her story told.

What about you? Do you have a thing for secondary characters? It’s okay, I won’t tell 🙂

Heroes don’t Discriminate #HealingHands #Faith #Inspiration


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The past few days I have been stunned and saddened by the catastrophic events that have taken place here in Canada and in the United States.

Instead of belabouring the senselessness of these acts of violence I want to focus on the first responders who stepped up to help when it would’ve be easier to look the other way.

Humboldt, Saskatchewan was the scene of a horrific vehicle accident three weeks ago. Sixteen people died and many more were injured. The hockey community, the country, the world mourned the senseless loss. But, the heroics of first responders on the scene and at the hospital filled my heart with gratitude. I can’t imagine the trauma they endured, and I hope and pray they can find peace in those they were able to help.

 

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A man, half-naked, opened fire on a Waffle House in the Nashville area and if not for the bravery of a customer who threw himself in danger by tackling the man to the ground, many more lives may have been lost.

 

And then there’s the individual who drove his van onto a busy Toronto sidewalk and mowed people over like bowling pins, all because he couldn’t get a date. Thanks to the extreme bravery and training of a Toronto police officer the suspect was apprehended without any shots being fired, though he pretended to have a weapon and clearly wished to become a martyr by getting shot.

 

 

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Heroes step up to the plate without thought to their own safety- or actually maybe it’s more to do with their deep love of life. Without people like the first responders, doctors, police, or the average guy just out for a breakfast and instead ends up risking his life, we would be a much sadder world.

 

It’s no wonder romance authors love to write larger-than-life heroes, they give us hope.

 

 

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It’s #NewRelease Day for Unforgettable Danger! #RomanticSuspense #ASMSG #mgtab


Jacquie Biggar Full Moon Meme

I’ve been an active member of The Authors’ Billboard for over a year now, a wonderful group of thirty-some authors. We support each other in a variety of ways; sharing valuable marketing information, cross-promoting new releases, a website and blog, and of course, box sets.

I have participated in seven of these sets to date, and can safely say there isn’t a better group of writers I could hope to work with. In fact, our first box set, Love, Christmas, achieved USA Today status!

Today, I’m excited to share the release of Unforgettable Danger: Love and Trouble, available through #KindleUnlimited!

UD RELEASE

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07BW8S1JH

Universal link: http://books2read.com/Unforgettable-Danger

Love and Trouble add up to Unforgettable Danger in this heart-pounding and thrilling romantic suspense set from NINE New York Times and USA Today bestselling authors. Bite your nails as a hooker turned nanny, a determined princess, a ghostly bride, a single mother and more turn up the passion and heat while escaping killers, thieves, and dangerous situations. Meet their brave and protective heroes who prove that love is most UNFORGETTABLE when lives and hearts are on the line. Thrills and heart-melting romance await you in Unforgettable Danger: Love and Trouble.

My contribution is Maggie’s Revenge- #6 in the Wounded Hearts series. Here’s an exclusive excerpt, enjoy!

Maggie crouched next to a fallen soldier and checked his pulse. Gone. She reached over and closed his eyes, the wasted life turning her stomach sour. He’d been little more than a boy. Would his family mourn his loss? She hoped so, he deserved their prayers.

Kim came by and kicked his leg. “You’re not crying over him, are you?” Her gaze filled with hate. “Rather him than us. I hope he rots in hell.” She spat on the ground near his foot.

A red-hot haze filled Maggie’s vision. She rose and shoved the taller woman, causing her to stumble backward. “Shut up,” she hissed. “You know nothing about this child, or his hopes and dreams. He was trying to better himself and look what happened? I shot him and now he’ll never have a chance to get married, watch his children grow, or know anything beyond this life he was forced into.

“You,” she cried, impatiently wiping tears from her cheeks. “You’re the lucky one. You have a family who’s probably worried sick about you, a comfortable home, food for your belly. He had none of those things. He didn’t choose this life, it chose him.”

Disgusted with herself as much as the other woman’s actions, Maggie ignored the deer-in-the-headlights looks from the rest of the women and stomped over to the truck.

Olga glanced up from her inspection of the interior. “Making friends, are you?” A sympathetic smile took the sting from her words.

Maggie’s shoulders slumped. “Why does everyone believe there’s only black or white, nothing in the middle?”

Olga shrugged. “We’re programmed that way from our cribs. If we’re lucky our parents surround us with love and warmth and help us grow into responsible, respectable adults.” She ducked her head and fiddled with the CB radio lying discarded on the seat. “If we aren’t that lucky, we scrabble and fight our way through the filth and abuse until we’re old enough to return the favor.” She hesitated, then looked up, her blue eyes a frozen wasteland. “There’s no coming back from that kind of life. It sucks you down deeper and deeper until it doesn’t matter anymore. There is no color, only black.”

Maggie shivered. Her friend painted a desolate, lonely picture. She had a feeling Olga came from a world without hope or love. All Maggie could do was save the ones she came into contact with—it was a pledge she’d made many years ago.

Empathy tightened her throat, but she kept her feelings to herself. Olga would not appreciate the sympathy. For all that had happened, even in the few months of their acquaintance, Olga remained a pillar of strength. Maggie envied her resilience.

Hoping for good news, she pointed to the radio. “Does it work?” Maybe they could finally get word out to someone—Adam—for help.

“I was just about to plug it in.” Olga held up the coiled cord with a DC cigarette lighter adapter attached to the end. “What’s your lucky channel?”

They both knew the chance they were about to take. The wrong channels could connect them directly to the people who were after them or one of the many willing to turn them over for the bounty on their heads.

Maggie glanced over her shoulder to the shell-shocked women standing behind her. Indecision warred with the urge to take a chance. The DEA had a channel they monitored for their agents in the field, but she was well aware that the right amount of money could buy anything; even silence.

“Twenty-seven,” she said, and leaned into the cab for the microphone, her palms sweaty. “And be ready to pull that cord.”

Match Meme

We have a #giveaway going every month on The Authors’ Billboard website. Check it out below and click on the bunny to enter the contest.

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Authors’ Billboard Special April Contest

 

$25 Amazon Gift Card Special Giveaway 

5 free box collections

and also a special Easter gift (only for US otherwise equivalent in cash Gift Cert) 

Are you twitterpated? #springishere #Romance #mgtab


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Spring is here and love is in the air!

I love this time of year. Everywhere you look there are signs of romance. Hundreds of birds wake me in the morning with their songs and hummingbirds perform death-defying spirals during their mating rituals.

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My pets are full of energy and race around the house, practically bouncing off the walls! When we go for our daily walk, the sun is warm, the shadows cool, and the neighbor’s smiles are always friendly 🙂

There’s new leaves on my roses, the bleeding heart is flowering, and my fruit salad tree is full of buds! There’s something new and wonderful to see every day.

The bad part is that I have no motivation to write.

It’s hard to ignore the temptation to play hookie

Trips to the beach, playing in the dirt, and watching all those new spring shows they’ve launched on TV.

What’s a girl to do?

I found it helps to create forced deadlines by getting my covers done and then setting the WIP up for preorder. This way, I have no choice. I have to focus or run the risk of disappointing my readers.

Good thing romance is in the air- I need the inspiration!

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♥♦♥ Pre-Order Your Copy now! ♥♦♥

Crazy Little Thing Called Love

Take two stubborn fools, mix a touch of fate, stir in some desire, and you have the recipe for a Crazy Little Thing Called Love.

Sophia Shaughnessy left her beloved home in order to prove once and for all she was more than a pretty face to her family and ex-boyfriend, Tony. But, it backfired. When her grandmother needed her most, she wasn’t there.

Tony Morrison had been in love with the youngest Shaughnessy for almost as long as he’d been employed at her family’s ranch. Trouble was, he had secrets. Things he couldn’t tell anyone, especially the beautiful Sophia. So, he’d let her go.

But now she’d returned, bringing the winds of change to the Texas ranch, and Tony wasn’t sure he could protect her from the fallout.

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07B92BRT1

Add to your TBR: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/39299639-crazy-little-thing-called-love

Heart’s Desire by Catherine Lanigan premiering on the @HallmarkChannel March 17th #HarlequinHeartwarming #Romance @PrismBookTours @cathlanigan



On Tour with Prism Book Tours

***Premiering as Sweetest Heart on the Hallmark Chanel 9 PM ET***
(check your local listings for your air time)

Heart’s Desire
(Shores of Indian Lake #2)
Catherine Lanigan
Contemporary Romance
Paperback & ebook, 191 pages
August 1st 2014 by Harlequin Heartwarming
GoodreadsAmazonBarnes & NobleHarlequin

His homecoming is bittersweet…for both of them

Café owner Maddie Strong is finally ready to take her burgeoning cupcake business to the next level. With the help of handsome businessman Alex Perkins, her future’s all mapped out. Until her first love comes home.

At seventeen, Maddie adored Nate Barzonni with her whole heart and soul. But when he asked her to elope, she’d said no—she couldn’t let him throw away his dream of becoming a doctor. Then he vanished from her life for eleven years. Now the cardiac surgeon has returned to Indian Lake asking for a second chance, and Maddie has to choose between her new life…and the man she never stopped loving.

 

Other Books in the Series


 

About the Author

Catherine Lanigan is the international bestselling and award-winning author of over forty-five published titles in both fiction and non-fiction, including the novelizations of Romancing the Stone and The Jewel of the Nile. Ms. Lanigan’s novels have been translated into over twenty-four languages. Lanigan was tasked by the NotMYkid foundation to pen a collection of compelling and informative true stories of teen addicts. Ms. Lanigan’s SHORES OF INDIAN LAKE series for HARLEQUIN HEARTWARMING includes LOVE SHADOWS, HEART’S DESIRE , A FINE YEAR FOR LOVE, KATIA’S PROMISE, FEAR OF FALLING, SOPHIE’S PATH, PROTECTING THE SINGLE MOM, FAMILY OF HIS OWN, HIS BABY DILEMMA, TOO CLOSE TO THE FIRE (2018) and MY RACING HEART (2019).

The Hallmark Channel will air HEART’S DESIRE on March 17, 2018.

Ms. Lanigan is a frequent speaker at literary functions and book conventions as well as inspiring audiences with her real stories of angelic intervention from her Angel Tales series of books. She is an outspoken advocate for domestic violence and abuse and was honored by The National Domestic Violence Hotline in Washington, D.C. She has been a guest on numerous radio programs including “Coast to Coast” and on television interview and talk show programs as well as blogs, podcasts and online radio interview programs. She writes a monthly blog for Heartwarmingauthors.blogspot.com. Visit her at www.catherinelanigan.com, on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter@cathlanigan.com, Pinterest, Goodreads and Google+.

WebsiteGoodreadsFacebookTwitterLinkedInPinterest

 

MY FAVORITE ROMANCE MOVIES

Obviously, hands down my favorite would have to be ROMANCING THE STONE.  Here it is 34 years later and it’s still a classic. The story still holds up and it’s funny. The lines are classic.

And so is the story. Even though the movie has been out of print for three decades, the movie is available on Amazon on DVD. So is JEWEL OF THE NILE.

For those coming to this blog, here’s an interesting tid bit. This past Wednesday, I had my pre-interview with the producer of HALLMARK HOME and FAMILY SHOW.  Milena was terrific and we got along like old friends. Can’t ask for more than that. She asked me if there was anything in Romancing the Stone that was mine, since I’d written the book from the screenplay.

I had to tell the story about meeting Kathleen Turner when I first arrived in Los Angeles. I’d never been to LA and was in awe to begin with. There are all kinds of amazing stories that happened on that trip. Truly, I will always feel that I was guided by God and the angels every step of the way. That was a destiny trip.  On the plane, I sat across the aisle from Alex Hailey who wrote ROOTS.  I ask you what are the chances?  He and I talked for four hours!  An amazing sweet and very intelligent man. He hugged me when we got off the plane. And outside the plane, on the tarmac was a white limousine for Alex and a dark blue limousine for me.  I was on cloud 99!

I digress. So, I walked onto the sound stage at 20th Century Fox Studios and here was beautiful Kathleen sitting on a stool, a makeup person fixing her makeup. (Which she didn’t need. She was radiant).

I had an “entourage” person to introduce me to everyone…and to make sure I didn’t get into trouble, I guess.  He said, “Kathleen, this is Catherine Lanigan. The writer.”

Well, she jumped off the stool and very excitedly said, “Thank God you’re here!  First they told me you’d be here last week. Then they said it would be next week. I’m dying to talk to you. We have to have lunch.”

So on the break, we went to the commissary with Holland Taylor, who was just as or more radiant than Kathleen…this is why they call these ethereal beings, “STARS”.

Kathleen then says, “I’m having a fight with the director. He wants me to cry at the beginning of the movie and I don’t want to do it.”

Astonished, I said, “Why not?”

“Because, I don’t believe a romance writer or any writer would cry over their book.”

I said, “Goodness. I cry all the time. We have a joke in our house that there’s never a tissue, never toilet paper or paper towels because Mom is always crying over some scene she wrote.”

So, if you remember that scene when she DOES cry when she writes THE END, Joan goes around her apartment and she has no tissues, no toilet paper, no paper towel. Then blows her nose on a post a note. (Which was another question Kathleen asked. Did I use note cards?

I said, “That’s too organized. My walls are a blizzard of post a notes.”  That got in there, too.

So, yes. ROMANCING THE STONE is my favorite.  Then again, there’s CASABLANCA. GONE  WITH THE WIND—TITANIC—PEARL HARBOR-ALWAYS-MAGNIFICENT OBSESSION….

Catherine

 

Tour Schedule

March 5th:
Launch
Reading Is My SuperPower
It’s All About the Romance
Busy Bumble Bee Book Reviews
March 6th:
Mello & June, It’s a Book Thang!
The Power of Words
Heidi Reads…
March 7th:
Remembrancy
I Am A Reader
March 8th:
Christian Chick’s Thoughts
Nicole’s Book Musings
March 9th:
Rockin’ Book Reviews
Hearts & Scribbles
Thoughts of a Blonde
March 12th:
Book Reviews & More by Kathy
Paulette’s Papers
underneath the covers
Katie’s Clean Book Collection
March 13th:
Among the Reads
Wishful Endings
March 14th:
Inside The Mind of an Avid Reader
Faithfully Bookish
Locks, Hooks and Books
March 15th:
Brooke Blogs
Janice’s Book Reviews
March 16th:
Teatime and Books
Cafinated Reads
Becky on Books
March 17th:
Grand Finale
Sweetest Heart on the Hallmark Channel 9 PM ET

 

Tour Giveaway

1 winner will receive a $50 Amazon eGift Card
Open internationally
Ends March

Grab Our Button!

 

The BadReadHead Media 30-Day Book Marketing Challenge #BookReview #WriterTips @RachelintheOC


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THE SINGLE BEST TOOL every writer needs NOW to build, boost, and grow their author platform.

Unsure how to market your book or feel overwhelmed by the sheer number of author platform options out there (or not even sure what the term means)? Ever wish someone could break it down for you in simple steps?

Then this is the book for you!

Over the course of one month, Rachel provides you daily challenges containing a wealth of information, and easy to follow assignments to help energize your book sales. If you haven’t released your book yet, this book will help you set the stage necessary to build the strongest foundation possible for success.

Topics include:
* Twitter secrets
* Facebook page must-do’s
* Social media ideas you might not know or haven’t thought of
* Promotion, giveaways, and other book marketing secrets
* Website, blogging, and SEO tips designed just for authors

All writers, bloggers, and small businesses can benefit can benefit from this guide.

 

 

 

About the Author

Site: RachelintheOC.com
Twitter: @RachelintheOC
Facebook: facebook.com/RachelThompsonauthor

Rachel Thompson is the author Broken Places (one of IndieReader’s “Best of 2015” top books and 2015 Honorable Mention Winner in the San Francisco Book Festival and Los Angeles Book Festival and 5/5 Readers Favorite), and the multi award-winning and best-selling Broken Pieces, as well as two additional humor books, A Walk In The Snark and Mancode: Exposed.

She is humbled to be part of two gorgeous Feminine Collective poetry anthologies. Her final Broken book, Broken People, will be released Winter, 2018. She’s also currently finishing up the next BadRedhead Media book, the 30-Day Twitter Challenge. Look for both very soon!

She released the BadRedhead Media 30-Day Book Marketing Challenge in December 2016 to rave reviews, where it has remained in the top #100 on three lists and is a 5/5 Readers Favorite. She released an updated version late 2017 with many new tips and tricks.

Rachel founded BadRedhead Media in 2011, creating effective social media and book marketing campaigns for authors. Her articles appear regularly in The Huffington Post, IndieReader, FeminineCollective, BookMachine, BlueInk Reviews, and TransformationIsReal.

Not just an advocate for sexual abuse survivors, Rachel is the creator and founder of the blog-sharing hashtag phenomenon #MondayBlogs, the weekly live Twitter chat, #SexAbuseChat, co-hosted with certified therapist/survivor, Bobbi Parish (Tuesdays, 6pm pst), and #BookMarketingChat (every Wednesday 6pm pst) to help writers learn how to market their work.

She hates walks in the rain, running out of coffee, and coconut. A single mom, Rachel lives in California (with her two kids and two cats) where she daydreams about Thor. And sleep.

My Review
This is an easy to follow course on upping your social media presence. It has daily exercise links to guide you through the maze of SEO, blogging, making a good headline into a GREAT headline, and so much more!
I found some really great information here and plan on going through it a few more times. It’s one of those books every author should keep next to their laptop!
I give The BadRedHead Media 30-Day Book Marketing Challenge 5 lovely kisses- A Must Read!
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To #Blog or Not to Blog, that is the Question #Writerslife #mgtab


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To blog or not to blog; I hear this question often. There are many demands on a writer’s time. Most of us have families, day jobs, pets, houses to clean, yards to maintain, the list goes on and on, so how are we supposed to keep up a regular blog as well?

And why should we?

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I get it, I really do.

But, on the other hand, as authors we want to be recognized, right? There’s no sense (other than personal satisfaction) to waste our precious time writing those stories if we aren’t going to do our best to get noticed.

WordPress Now Powers 26% of the Web

The most recent stats are showing that since March 2016, WordPress is actually powering 26.4% of the Web, and it’s on the rise. It is still by far the most used CMS, with 59.4% market share. Also interestingly on a daily basis there are over 500 sites being created on WordPress.

https://managewp.com/blog/statistics-about-wordpress-usage

As you can see, these numbers are already a couple of years old, but it’s safe to say blogging is a crucial– and often under-utilized– tool in marketing our product.

One of the best things about blogging– it’s free!

Just think, all those users out there, all you need to do is provide them with content.

In this post, Nicholas Rossis shares a graphic made by Websitebuilder on the phenomenal growth in the blogging world.

18.7 million blogs on WordPress alone! That’s a lot of people and possible eyes on your books. (You have your blog connected to your website with a listing of your books, right?)

“But what am I going to say?” you ask.

Well, that’s the beauty of it, your blog, your rules. 🙂

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The biggest thing is that you’re going to make connections around the world. And if those people like what you have to say, chances are, they’ll check out your books, mention you to their workmates, their friends and family.

See?

All that because you took the time to #blog.

Come on, what are you waiting for? Let’s get connected!

Speaking of spreading the word, here’s some shameless self-promotion on two new releases I have coming in the next few weeks. Shares appreciated 🙂

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Available 01.30.18

What happens when two of Tidal Falls’ most beloved citizens have second thoughts just before they get married?

Jared Martin can’t wait to tie the knot with the woman of his dreams and become a real father to his son, Chris.

Annie Campbell is finally going to marry the man she’s loved for most of her adult life and she couldn’t be more excited–and anxious.

An unforeseen event will test their devotion to each other and bring the entire town in on the action. Will Jared and Annie’s love stand the test, or is their relationship doomed?

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B0788BB53H

International: https://books2read.com/WithThisHeart

Add to your TBR: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/37830620-with-this-heart

Excerpt

She yanked the door open and then jumped backward with a shriek as a brown and white shape hurtled through the gap and stumbled in the drive.

“Dad, save Bambi,” Chris cried from inside the cab.

“What was that?” Annie whispered, hands clenched to her chest.

Jared was torn between taking her into his arms or checking on the injured animal for his son. A further cry from Chris as he scrambled to get out of the pickup cemented his decision. He sent a quick glance Annie’s way before hurrying to kneel beside the fawn and stop its frantic movements. “Son, bring that blanket with you. His scent is on it now, it may reassure him some.”

“Is he okay?” Chris hopped down from the crew cab, tugging the blanket behind him. “Hi, Mom,” he chirped on his way by, “guess what Jared did? He hit a baby deer.” The last was said with a mix of nervous tension.

Jared looked up in time to see Annie’s scowl turn to concern. He held out his hand for the quilt. “Here, I’ll cover him up and then you keep him still while I call the vet. Deal?”

“Deal,” Chris agreed, plopping onto the grass and startling the fawn. He scrunched his shoulders and shrugged. “Sorry.”

Jared smiled. “Just take it easy around him for the first few days. You have to remember he’s not used to people. This is all very strange for him.” He wrapped the trembling body, careful to avoid the bad leg. “Pet his head like I showed you before and I’ll be right back, okay?”

Chris nodded without looking away from the delicate face of the deer. “Sure, we’re friends already, see?” He proceeded to rub between the fawn’s ears. “He likes me.”

“Well, sure he does. What’s not to like?” Jared rumpled his son’s red hair—so like his mother’s—and rose. After making sure the fawn was content, he turned to Annie. “Sorry we couldn’t call. Reception was bad out there.”

“What if you’d been injured?” Annie sniped under her breath so as not to alert Chris. “I had no idea where you’d gone. Where to search. It was an irresponsible thing to do.” She folded defensive arms across her chest.

“Whoa, where is this coming from?” Jared grasped her forearm and pulled her resisting body to the front of the truck. “Sweetheart, it’s not like I planned on driving home in the dark and clipping a fawn during our first father-son road trip. You’re not being fair.”

“Fair?” she cried. “Chris is my son, Jared. I have the right to know he’s safe.”

Stunned, he released her arm. “Actually, I thought he was our son. What’s going on, Annie?”

She stared up at him with tear-drenched eyes. “Maybe we’re a mistake.” She looked at his dented vehicle, and at Chris caring for the injured deer, before meeting his gaze with a defiant lift of her chin. “I don’t think I can marry you anymore.”

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Available 02.13.18

Take two humans who pretend they can’t stand each other and one matchmaking canine and the fun is nonstop!

Val Hodgins is on the road to success. His architect firm handles some of the biggest contracts along the western seaboard. He doesn’t have time to babysit his aunt’s aging house or her pain in the butt dog, but when she falls ill with pneumonia he drops everything to go to her aid.

Sierra Johnson’s dreams of owning a catering company go up in smoke thanks to a bad choice in boyfriends. Now, she’s stuck working for a tyrannical boss, care-taking an aging townhouse, and being tormented by the owner’s aggravating, caustic, way-too-attractive nephew.

Will these two get over their prejudices in time to realize love comes without a price tag?

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B078QFJH4H

Universal: https://books2read.com/Valentine

Add to TBR List: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/38088692-valentine

Excerpt

Val stepped closer to the crazy woman guarding her virtue with a kitchen utensil. He’d been enjoying the view for the past five minutes as she swayed to the music, her back to him while she worked at his sister’s kitchen sink. Even though she wore the required hair net, he could see she was a fiery redhead, her body slim and compact beneath the wraparound apron. He should have announced himself sooner, but he hadn’t expected to freak her out so badly. Normally, Sam’s kitchen was a hub of activity; he was surprised to find it empty except for the pint-sized warrior.

“You can put down the weapon.” He hid his amusement behind a placating smile. “I’m harmless, though my sister might be tempted to disagree. Is Sam here?”

When the woman stared at him like he was the creature from the black lagoon, Val waved a hand in front of her eyes and grinned at the resultant snap of temper. He was right, she was a feisty one. “Sorry, I’m in a bit of a hurry. Is there a chance I could get you to answer me any time soon?”

She glared at him, threw the rubber spatula unto the counter, and swept the net from her hair, allowing the coiled layers to flow down her back. “You have a bad habit of sneaking up on people,” she snapped, reddened fingers moving to untie her apron.

What was she…?

Oh.

He snapped his fingers and pointed at her. “You. The klutz that destroyed my dinner the other night. What are you doing here? Don’t tell me my sister was foolish enough to hire someone who can’t even hold onto a pot without it becoming a catastrophe.”

Her eyes narrowed and she stared past him to the big block of knives sitting on the stainless-steel countertop. Val hurried to block her view. “Uh, uh, uh, temper, temper. You don’t really want to stab me, just think of the mess.”

Vengeance rules her life… Maggie’s Revenge by Jacquie Biggar #NewRelease #Suspense #Kindle


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DEA Special Agent Maggie Holt is fierce, smart, beautiful– and in over her head.

Maggie has been working undercover 15 months when she is taken by Chinese-Mexican cartel leader, Chenglei. She tries to escape with 8 other women and is captured and brutally punished.

Adam O’Connor is angry and frustrated. It’s his fault his partner, and one-time lover, is missing and no matter how many leads he chases, they don’t bring Maggie home.

An unexpected break in the case sends Adam south to Texas. His old SEAL Team Chief, Frank Stein, offers his home and his help in the search effort.

Will these two strong men find Maggie? And will their decades old friendship be destroyed by their love for the same woman?

Read the exciting continuation of the Wounded Hearts Saga this December!

Pre-order Your Copy Today!

she scared him. Magdalena Holt had the power to rip his safe, secure world apart and Frank wasn't sure he could handle the fallout.

Excerpt

Maggie wiped the sweat dripping into her eyes and scowled at the still-too-damn-hot sun taking its sweet time to dip behind the hills. She looked at the other women hunkered under the Humvee to grab what shade they could, and sighed. They were bruised and bloody, but alive. That’s all she could ask for right now.

Well, that and a tank of gas would be nice.

And a cool shower.

A steak dinner.

Her own bed.

Maybe she was hallucinating.

She laid the rifle across her thighs and leaned against the massive tire of the truck, one of the only spots she could touch without getting burnt. Someone with a sense of humor must have a plan for her, otherwise how could she have escaped a Mexican prison after months of captivity, get shot and survive it, then outgun a truckload of banditos and still be able to sit here boiling to death?

“You should join us,” Olga called, her voice raspy. “It’s safer under here. You don’t look so good, my friend.”

Maggie tried to make her smile reassuring, though the pain in her side was getting progressively worse. She’d glanced at it a few minutes ago and been dismayed by the redness surrounding the wound. “Soon. I need to do a reconnaissance of our friends over there first. I’m just getting up the energy.”

She hated how weak and dizzy she felt. They had neither the time for her to fight through an infection—and unless one of the ladies knew some desert secret—nor antibiotics to help the healing process.

Thank goodness, the men had not been trained troops. It took only moments for the firefight to end, with no injuries to the women. Maggie hated to kill them, but there was no choice. It was them or her. The grenade blast had done a good job of creating chaos among the men. They’d jumped from the truck, fearing another blast, and then it was a simple matter to pick them off from there.

She used the butt of the rifle to climb awkwardly to her feet and trudged through the sand toward the carnage, stiffening at the sound of steps behind her. She turned and frowned. The women trailed her, Olga in the lead brandishing a piece of lead piping that had been lying on the floor of the Humvee.

“Go back,” Maggie cried. “It’s too dangerous. At least until I make sure they’re…”

Olga reached her side and clasped a hand around her waist, careful to avoid the wound. “You can barely stand,” she whispered, for Maggie’s ears alone. “Do not be so brave, you’re stupid. We need you to get out of here. I need you,” she added.

Maggie gulped tears of gratitude. They may be in the middle of a war, but she’d made a friend for life.

She nodded. “Okay, let’s do this.”

***

Chenglei poured his tea and ignored the foot soldier sweating in his doorway. The child he’d been training lay sobbing quietly on the floor at his feet. Her leg was red and angry-looking where the hot liquid had spilled. She’d been warned on the proper etiquette; he never repeated himself.

It was a sign of weakness.

And Chenglei refused to fail.

“Tell me, how is it your militia cannot manage to capture five scrawny women? This is beyond my understanding.” He glared at the soldier. “Did I not make myself clear? I want them,

dead or alive. Why could your fools not accomplish this one small matter?”

The man wiped a shaky hand over his brow, then resumed Parade Rest position. “I am sorry, señor. I lost good soldiers today. The woman, she has training. My men were not expecting a firefight. They did their best under the circumstances.”

Under the…

Chenglei sipped his tea and tried to calm his nerves. The girl’s sniveling wasn’t helping matters. He gave her a shove with his toe. “Go to your room. I do not wish to see you again this night.”

She hiccupped and lifted her head, eyes red, cheeks flushed. She would be a beauty one day; if he didn’t kill her first.

“Go,” he snarled, some of the fury churning within escaping despite his control. He took a deep breath and let it out slowly.

Once.

Twice.

There, see. The monster who beat at the doors of his mind did not rule him, he was its master. Just as he was the ruler of his fate. And one stupid American woman was not going to change that fact. He waited until the child slipped out of the room before addressing the captain.

“You are right. The woman—the one with dark hair—she is a spy.” The soldier stiffened. Chenglei hid his satisfaction. “She is here to destroy the cartel. We must do whatever is necessary to stop her. Do you understand?”

The man gave a sharp nod, the light of retribution shining out of his dark eyes. “. I will round up another team, and this time, she will not get away.”

Bueno,” Chenglei murmured. “Bring her back alive, if you can. I do not care about the rest; your men may do as they wish with them. But Señorita Holt and I have business to finish; I want her returned to me.”

The captain bowed and backed out of the room, closing the heavy brass-plated door behind him. Chenglei had a love of beauty and was careful to surround himself with only the very best of everything. The wall-hangings dated from the sixteenth century, as did the Aubusson rug he sat upon, legs crossed. The rich greens and golds pleased his eye and the silkiness of his robes gratified his skin.

Success.

He’d made something of his life; he wasn’t about to let some gringa federal agent take that away from him.

I’m so excited to share Maggie’s book with you. Her story began way back in #2 of the Wounded Hearts series, The Rebel’s Redemption (soon to be available in Audible format), and quickly became a fan favorite. It’s taken me a while to give her journey the attention it deserves. Her voice has haunted me for long enough, it’s time to tell the tale!

When writer’s say they work in solitary, that’s not strictly true. At least, it isn’t for me. My characters live in my mind. They argue, dream, demand, ask for advice, rule my heart and my pen.

While I’ve written a few standalone novels, I have to admit I favor writing in a series. I like building a world and filling it with strong, interesting people readers can connect with, have empathy for, fall in love with.

If I can do that, I’ve done my job 🙂

Watch #RWISA Write Spotlight Tour with Robert Fear #RRBC @fredsdiary1981


RWISA TOUR

 

Only a few days left on the Rave Writers-International Society of Authors month long spotlight tour highlighting the diversified talent in this amazing group.

Today’s special guest is Robert Fear.

 

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Born in Leicester in 1955, Robert’s family moved to Surrey when he was 11. He was educated at Reigate Grammar School. After this he worked in a bank in the city for several years before getting the travel bug. Fred, a nickname he got at school, stuck throughout his travels and has remained with him to this day. His travels took him to Ibiza for the summer of 1977, hitch-hiking around Europe in 1978 and the USA and Canada in 1979. During this time he also settled and worked in Germany. Fred’s Diary 1981 was written during the 158 days he spent travelling around Asia.

These days Robert is happily settled in Eastbourne, East Sussex where he lives with his wife and three cats. He works as a software consultant and has been able to combine work with some travel during the past fifteen years, having visited countries as far apart as Australia, Singapore, Ghana and Suriname.

 

The Fight by Robert Fear

Es Cana, Ibiza, Spain – August 1977

Jose took an immediate dislike to me.

He worked as a waiter at the Panorama hotel near the seafront. I had been there to see Diane, an English girl I met while at work in Grannies Bar. Petite and with short blond hair, she had a delightful personality. She was also a real head-turner.

Diane came to Ibiza on a two-week holiday with her friend, Elaine. It felt fantastic she wanted to spend time with me, but Jose thought his role was to be her protector. He glared at me every time he saw us together

Towards the end of her holiday, Diane spent a night with me and I didn’t get her back to the hotel until breakfast time. Jose was on duty and spotted us outside as we kissed. That just made things worse.

After Diane left for home, things deteriorated. The next Friday evening, as I walked to work, Jose headed towards me with a group of Spanish lads. Their intentions were obvious as they stared, raised their fists and shouted at me across the street.

Before they could catch me I escaped down the steps and into Grannies Bar. Their taunts still rang in my ears as I headed for safety.

Friday nights were always manic. Eager drinkers packed the outside terrace after a day in the sun. A queue of customers had already formed as I dived behind the bar to help serve them.

Four of us; Mick, Pat, Graham and myself, worked that evening shift. Pat was half cut and spent most of the evening with her friends. Mick’s mood was not good as a result, but the three of us got stuck in and served the eager punters.

After six weeks at Grannies, I knew the routine. We served drinks and collected pesetas in quick succession. Spirits were easier to serve than at home. Two ice cubes got thrown into a glass and the vodka, gin or brandy poured until the ice floated. Then the mixer was added.

We could drink behind the bar, provided we remained sober enough to serve. Pat loved her gin and tonics and often wasn’t! Mick, Graham and I had regular supplies of vodka and orange but remained level headed as we rushed around serving eager customers.

Willing female hands often helped out. They collected glasses and washed them up in the sink at the end of the bar. As a reward, they had drinks bought for them and got the chance to pull Graham, myself or even Mick on occasions.

Work finished at 3 am. We headed to El Cortijo for another drink and a dance. A group of Spanish lads hung around near the entrance, but I thought nothing of it. Only later did I found out they were Jose’s friends.

The disco pulsed and the dance floor heaved. Lights from the ‘disco ball’ flashed around scantily clad bodies as they cavorted to the sounds of Abba, Rod Stewart and Status Quo. We caught John’s attention, and he passed us a bottle of San Miguel each.

Graham and Mick met up with two girls they had chatted up in Grannies earlier. Pat had gone back to their villa with her friends so Mick was free for the night. Propped at the bar I sipped my beer and relaxed after a hard night’s work.

By instinct, I spun round to find Jose stood behind me. He glared at me and mouthed something. The music drowned out his words. Jose beckoned for me to come with him. Even though it was obvious he wanted a fight, I went. By the time I got outside it was too late.

My fighting skills were minimal. I had been the object of bullying at school. One lad taunted me with the repeated chant, ‘Freddy’s got a rudimentary organ’, while in the showers. This hurt me and screwed with my teenage sensibilities. I tried to avoid the shower room when he was there.

Two other lads pushed me around and sometimes thumped me. They wanted money, but I had none to give them. One time I gave in to their pressure and stole books for them from a sales exhibition held in the school hall. I never thought of fighting back. I did not know how!

Now I stood on the dusty wasteland twenty yards away from the front entrance of El Cortijo. Jose faced me, surrounded by his group of friends. The atmosphere was menacing and none of my friends were even aware what had happened.

‘So, you silly man, what you say?’ screamed Jose in broken English as he edged towards me.

‘What did I do wrong?’ I retorted.

I sweated in the heat of the August night and he must have sensed my fear.

‘You took girlfriend, English scum.’

‘No I didn’t. Diane wanted to be with me you arrogant pig.’

I amazed myself with that response. The drink from earlier in the evening gave me a false sense of courage. Things were dire and soon became worse.

Jose swung his right fist toward my head. I ducked and there was a whoosh of air as he missed.

He turned round and aimed another punch at me. This time he connected and his fist crunched into my jaw. I reeled backwards. Maybe I should have just gone to ground and admitted defeat. This time I fought back.

Well, fought might be too strong a word for it! I stumbled forward and made a dive for his midriff. Jose grabbed me by my shoulders and flung me to the ground.

I spat out a mouthful of dust before I tried to get back up. Then I saw the flying feet of Jose and his mates. It became obvious they wanted to give me a severe beating.

In defence I rolled into as tight a ball as possible with my hands wrapped around my head. The kicks and punches continued and my senses faded as protection against the pain.

Then it stopped. Shouts came from the front door of the disco and the Spanish lads scattered. John, Alan and two others screamed at the top of their voices to get them away from me. A German girl on her way to the disco had seen the scuffle and dived into El Cortijo to get help.

Worried faces peered at me as I uncurled myself. Although bruised and battered there were no broken bones. I hauled myself to my feet. With support from my rescuers, I struggled back to the disco for another drink.

An uneasy truce existed between Jose and me for the rest of the summer.

 

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

Robert Fear’s RWISA Author Page

Hearing Your Hero For the First Time #AudioBook #mgtab @Audible_com


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It’s hard to express the feeling I had this week when Audible released Missing: The Lady Said No to audiobook. Hearing your hero speak for the very first time is indescribable.

I’ve been waiting for ACX- (Audible Creation Exchange) the company that produces audiobooks for leading suppliers such as Audible, Amazon, and I-tunes to allow Canadians into their marketplace and this June 1, 2017 it happened!

 

 

 

Here’s a little background info on the increasing popularity of audiobooks from the Publishers Weekly site:

A new report issued by the Audio Publishers Association found that 2016 was another good year for audiobooks. The findings show double-digit growth for both audiobook sales and title output.

Total sales rose 18.2% over 2015, to an estimated $2.1 billion, while unit sales did even better. According to the report, unit sales rose 33.9%, to 89.5 million. Sales are based on reports from about 20 audiobook publishers. The APA then extrapolates from those figures, to derive an estimate for the entire market. The title output from reporting companies was 50,937 in 2016, a 43.1% increase over 2015.

I think that’s cause for a celebration, don’t you? 🙂

The process is easy. ACX walked me through the steps of loading my book, choosing passages with a variety of characters for the auditions, and setting up my contract with them. You can choose to be exclusive to Audible for seven years (keep in mind they do upload to the three biggest suppliers in the industry) or you can buy your rights and load the book wherever you like.

There are also a variety of ways to pay your narrator.

  • You and your Producer can agree to a Pay for Production Fee (a one-time flat fee) or a Royalty Share Deal (in which case your Producer won’t earn money up front, but will instead share in the proceeds from the sale of your audiobook 50-50).
  • Want a higher royalty rate on sales of your audiobook? You can opt for a significantly higher ACX royalty rate by granting Audible exclusive distribution rights to your ACX-produced audiobook. If you want to keep more distribution options open, you can distribute your audiobook through ACX on a nonexclusive basis and receive the standard ACX royalty rate.

Then you wait for the auditions to pour in (wishful thinking :)) or you can search through the ACX database of narrators and place your offer with the one you like.

I was extremely lucky to have Daniel F. Purcell find me and agree to perform my books. He’s simply amazing! His vast repertoire of voices brought the characters to life.

I’m so impressed!

As he read the chapters, he loaded them onto the ACX site so that I could listen and give input on any areas I thought needed changing. There were very few 🙂

Next, there was a wait of about a week while ACX checked the files over to make sure it all sounded good, then they published!

Oh yeah, they also give the author and the narrator 25 codes each for review and promotional purposes so if you’d like to hear Gus’ story comment below and I’ll pick someone to receive a #Free copy!

This has been a positive experience from the start. I highly recommend ACX and Audible to any authors who have been on the fence about producing an audiobook.

Do it!

 

Start your #Free Audible Trial today with Missing: The Lady Said No!

 

Missing The Lady Said No audio cover

Missing: The Lady Said No

 

The Race is on to find a Killer in the heart of Kentucky horse country

Detective Augustus Grant is faced with his most baffling case to date. Well-respected race horse breeder, John Jorgenson, is murdered in his den days before the Kentucky Derby and the list of suspects is growing.

Complicating matters, Gus’ ex-girlfriend is the last person to have seen the victim alive.

Rebecca Hayes owes the Jorgenson family her loyalty. They gave her a new life after a disastrous affair leaves her alone and pregnant.

With all the evidence pointing in Becky’s direction, will Gus do his duty?

Or follow his heart?

 

http://books2read.com/u/3Lrqre

http://amzn.to/2jXEbAP

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/34033805-missing

And Now on Audio Book!- http://a.co/23uX6b8

Watch #RWISA Write Spotlight Tour with Marcha Fox @startrailsIV


RWISA TOUR

 

I hope you’ve been enjoying Rave Writers-International Society of Authors month long #blog tour!

Today’s guest is Marcha Fox. Welcome, Marcha!

 

Marcha

 

Marcha Fox is a science fiction fan and author whose love of astronomy resulted in a bachelor’s of science degree in physics from Utah State University. This was followed by a 21 year career at NASA, where she held a variety of positions including technical writer, engineer, and eventually manager. Her NASA experience was primarily at Johnson Space Center in Houston, Texas, but included trips to Cape Canaveral in Florida; visiting other Centers in Mississippi, Alabama and Maryland; as well as visits to California and the European Space Agency in The Netherlands. Her most memorable experience, however, was the sad task of helping to recover space shuttle debris in East Texas following the tragic Columbia accident in 2003.

“NASA was a great career experience, but writing is what I’ve always wanted to do,” she explains. “My education and aerospace experience have given me the background I need to write science-based stories populated with convincing characters. To me there is nothing more exhilarating than bringing a fictitious person to life.”

 

Your Wildest Dreams

I inhaled sharply when I recognized the introductory riff wafting from my favorite 80s station as Your Wildest Dreams by the Moody Blues. Even though I had the original 45 RPM record, the album on cassette tape, and more recently, the CD, I kept them safely locked away so I wouldn’t binge on it. Nonetheless, when KPLV, 93.1 FM in Vegas, got around to playing it every few weeks or so, I’d indulge in a break, a delicious reminder of why I was here.

Consumed by ethereal and intimately familiar soundwaves, I got up, closed the blinds, and even though it was unlikely the song’s strains would penetrate my office’s cinder block walls, plugged in my headset so I could crank it up—I mean really up. I melted back into my chair, eyes closed, with what was probably an idiotic smile on my face, savoring each note as the song segued into its lively, 142 BPM tempo. The next three minutes and forty-one seconds, I’d be in heaven.

Even though this song came out eight years after she left, the first time I heard it, back when I was still in college in ’86, I knew two things: One, it would always be “our song”; and Two, I had to find her.

My heart leapt with visions of galaxies beyond, of what might be out there, where she might be. I plunged headlong through space and time, besieged by memories burned into my heart as permanently and painfully as branding was to a newborn calf. Did she remember? Feel the same thing I did? Sense the enchantment of fate-entangled lives?

I memorize pretty easily, which comes in handy, especially with things like the Periodic Table or Maxwell’s equations. And of course, favorite songs. These particular lyrics struck me, hard and personal, from day one, certain it’d been written exclusively for me.

As my eyes teared up, logic intervened and yanked me back to planet Earth.

Grow up, Benson! What are you, a total schmaltz or what?

We were kids, for heaven sakes. A teenage crush. I should’ve gotten over it, but never did. No wonder. Girls like her are rare. One of a kind. She’d already experienced things I never would. Things that were part of my wildest dreams.

The admonition failed, pushed aside by that part of me that felt alive again, jammin’ like a total jerk, mouthing the words as I sang along in my head. It’s not like I’m a teenager anymore, though at the moment I felt like one. No, memories of the heart never die—can’t die, evereven if you try to kill them.

I’d give anything to talk to her. Which of course I have, numerous times over the years, if only in my head. Okay, aloud more often than I care to admit. I could swear it even felt as if she answered a time or two. I suppose that’s how it is with your first love. Or your first kiss, even if it was only a peck on the cheek. It penetrates your soul and stays there forever.

That mid-summer day in ’78 hauling hay was as vivid as yesterday in my mind’s eye. The cloudless sky, sun hot on my neck, the aroma of first-crop alfalfa sweetening the mountain air. I scratched my shoulder, a reflex memory of itchy, stray leaves sticking through my T-shirt. My chest ached as I remembered tear tracks streaking her dust-covered face at something I’d said. Then, days later, that withering look when we lied about her ship.

The one we still have. What’s left of it quietly abandoned beneath a tarp in Building 15, here at Area 51.

How she knew we weren’t telling the truth, I’ll never know. Pretty funny it’s still sitting there. And I’m sure she’d think so, too. I can just hear her saying, “Stupid snurks, I knew they’d never figure it out.” Though actually they did, just didn’t find technology worth pursuing. Even contractors didn’t want it.

I had to admit it was pretty crazy, but she was my motivation to get where I was today: just short of a decade of college linked with serendipity that put me in the right place at the right time, hoping someday I’d find her. My life had changed a lot since then. How much had hers changed? Did she make it home? Was she still alive? With the effects of relativistic travel, which I understood only too well, she could still be a teenager, while I was easing into the infamous dirty thirties.

Not good. If I ever did find her, she’d probably think I was some lecherous old fart. Either that, or, with my luck, she’d be married with a bunch of kids. I winced with the thought.

My sentimental reverie vanished when my office door slammed open and Hector Buckhorn rolled in. Literally. Hec’s been stuck in a wheelchair ever since he crashed his hang glider into a New Mexico mountainside during spring break his last semester of college. He ridge soared a lot, particularly around Dulce, over restricted areas where he wasn’t supposed to be. Got caught a couple times, but being Native American, never got in trouble, even though it wasn’t his home reservation. He’s amazingly good at playing dumb, in spite of—or possibly because of—his 150ish IQ. He never talked about his accident, said he couldn’t remember. Makes sense, actually, given he suffered a massive concussion. The only time I ever saw him pissed him off was when he woke up in the hospital and discovered they’d shaved off his hair, since grown back beyond shoulder length.

I dropped the headset around my neck and faked a frown. “Don’t you ever knock, butthead?”

“Hey, man, wazzup?” he said, giving me a funny look. “You okay?”

I laughed. “Of course. Just thinking. Remembering. You know.”

Ahhh. They played that song again, didn’t they?”

“Can’t hide anything from you, can I, Chief?”

“Nope. I figured you were up to somethin’ with your blinds closed.”

He wheeled over to the grey metal, government-issue table on the other side of the room and helped himself to a handful of peanut M&Ms. Once I’d realized during my PhD days at Cal Tech that, in a pinch, they made a pretty decent meal, I’d kept that old, wide-mouth canning jar full. He dumped them in his mouth, perusing me with knowing, dark eyes.

“You were sure enjoyin’ that song of yours,” he said, not even trying to stifle his crooked grin as he munched away.

“Yeah,” I replied, uncomfortable with the conversation’s direction.

“We’ve known each other a long time, Allen,” he said. “Don’t you think it’s time you told me about her?”

“Not much to tell.”

He let fly with a popular expletive related to bovine excrement. “C’mon! What’s her name?” he persisted.

I blew out my cheeks and sighed, knowing resistance was futile. “Creena,” I answered, surprising myself when, again, I got a little choked up. I avoided his eyes by likewise heading for the M&Ms.

“So find her,” he said.

“It’s not that simple,” I replied, pouring myself a handful. “I don’t know where she is.” A statement that was truer than he could possibly imagine.

“I have some resources who could help,” he offered with a conspiratorial wink.

I shook my head, then stalled by popping a few colorful orbs in my mouth.

“Why not? If she’s anywhere on this planet, these guys’ll find her.”

I swallowed hard and paused; met his gaze. “She’s not.”

He scowled, making him look a lot like those old pictures of Cochise. “Say again?”

“She’s. Not.”

“Oh! I’m sorry.”

“Why?”

He shrugged. “I assumed she’s dead. She must’ve been quite a girl.”

“She was. Is. She’s not dead. At least as far as I know.”

His jaw dropped, shocked expression broadcasting the fact he’d caught the implications. “You’re not kidding, are you?”

“Nope.”

“Abductee?” he whispered.

“Nope,” I answered, raiding the candy jar again. “Immigrant.”

His eyes widened as he spewed an expletive that elevated excrement to sanctified status. “Don’t tell me she’s an EBE!”

I nearly spewed partially chewed M&Ms across the room. Extraterrestrial biological entity, indeed! Yet by definition, actually, she was.

I chuckled at his expression and shook my head. “No. Quite human. At least as far as I know.”

“Are you?” he added, chocolate-colored irises rimmed with white. His reaction surprised me—UFOs, even aliens, were no big deal in his culture, just business as usual with the Star People.

“C’mon, Chief! You’ve known me since tenth grade, running high school track!”

He leaned back, searching my face with more solemnity than I’d seen since I told him how Dad died. “You’ve got a lot of explaining to do, bro,” he said finally, shaking his head.

“You have no idea,” I said, throat constricting as scratchy lyrics from the headset, audible only to me, issued another reminder of why I was here.

 

Copyright © 2017 by Marcha Fox

 

[NOTE:–This is an excerpt from my upcoming novel, Dark Circles, a slightly dark, hard sci-fi love story. No release date has been set.]

 

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

Marcha Fox’s RWISA Author Page

Watch #RWISA Write Spotlight Tour with @Harmony_Kent #RRBC


RWISA TOUR

 

Today’s spotlight author for the Rave Writers-International Society of Authors spotlight tour is the amazing Harmony Kent!

Welcome, Harmony 🙂

Harmony

 

Harmony Kent is famous for her laughter, and has made quite the name for herself … she’s also, um, a writer … and fairly well known for that too. She lives in rural Cornwall with her ever-present sense of humour and quirky neighbours. She is single and not admitting to her age.

Here are ten things she thinks you ought to know about her …

  1. Born in 2013 (at least the author was …)

  2. Really boring

  3. Has absolutely no sense of humour

  4. Biographer is a compulsive liar

  5. Reads … a lot

  6. Writes … even more

  7. Completely sane(in)

  8. Neighbours are nuts

  9. If you’re feeling extra brave, she’s around

  10. Online …

 

Live or Die?

 

Harmony Kent

 

Sometimes, you need to accept help. Sometimes, you need to admit that you need it. Sometimes, you need to take the hand that’s offered. You reached out and took my arm. I let you. I took the assistance I needed. I gripped your hand so that you could pull me to my feet. The last thing I needed was for you to slit my wrists. So much blood. All that carnage. My heart ripped right out of my chest.

I did my best.

Though, what kind of an epitaph is that?

Do I want that immortalised on my headstone?

Does that adequately sum up a life?

What about all the rest?

At the end of the day, what’s left to show for all that struggle, all that pain?

Right now, only one thing remains certain, that things can never be the same. That river? Already crossed. That road? Already travelled. That life? Already lived.

No going back. Not ever.

Going forward, though? Now, there’s the question.

For this gal, only one choice remains. Live or die?

 

Sometimes, you need to accept help. Once bitten, twice shy and all that, though, ya know? Truth be told, I’ve come to the end. Like I said, no going back. The rub is that I can’t go on either. The wind whips my hair into my face and throws cold pellets of rain at me. I shiver and dig deep for the courage. Never did like heights, yet here I stand. To jump or not to jump? That is the question.

The darkness wraps around me and locks the breath in my lungs and my feet in place—leaves me perched here in a daze. The metal burns cold within my death grip. With pulse racing, I edge my left foot forward a couple of centimetres, and then bring the right one up level. Perforce, I have to let go of the steel girders now. I’ve taken a step too far. Sweat breaks free from every pore and soaks this trembling mass of flesh, muscle, and sinew. With a heart this broken, how does it even continue on?

‘Miss? Are you okay? … Miss?’

At the unexpected voice, I twist and startle. A man reaches for me, indistinct in the arc-sodium lights.

‘Miss? Here, take my hand.’

A sudden gust buffets me from behind, and I stumble forward, a scream frozen in my terrified throat. All of a sudden, it hits me, I don’t want to die. Too late, however, as I’m off balance and too close to the edge. Dimly, as I fall, I see that it’s not about living or dying but about having the choice. It seems the wind has finished your job for you. Limp and spent, I plummet to the waiting river below, which sends up cold plumes of spray and waves like open arms welcoming me in and under to die beneath.

 

Sometimes, you need to admit that you need it. At the first swallow of brackish water, I swallow my pride, and every molecule of this being cries out for help. I should have grabbed his hand. Should have, but could I have? Would I have if given the chance? More ice-cold water pours into my throat and drowns my lungs. All the philosophising ceases as it becomes a fight for life. The cold pierces and stabs like a knife.

Tired and afraid, and no longer quite so numb, I kick, searching for the surface. Already, my limbs have gone stiff. The pressure in my chest has grown unbearable, and I have to take a breath, even though I know it will mean certain death. I just can’t do it. Can’t hold it all in anymore. Bubbles erupt when the life-giving air breaks free of my now open lips.

They show me the way when they float up, up, and up.

For a second, I hesitate. Do I go for it or not? Here is my chance for total surrender. To not have to fight any further. Do I have the energy? The will? At the end of the day, what’s left to show for all that struggle, all that pain?

I did my best, but I don’t want that on my epitaph.

My legs kick and arms stroke, pushing through the murk and trying for air. With this exhaustion and cold, I doubt I’ll get there. By now, the bubbles have long gone, but I’ve come near enough to discern the orange city glow. Not far now. One more kick. One more. That’s it. Just one more.

 

Sometimes, you need to take the hand that’s offered. I come to, afloat on my back, and the icy waves provide my waterbed. Way up high, atop the bridge, come the blues-and-twos, as the emergency services rush to the scene of my demise. Don’t they realise that I’ve fallen too far from reach? Beyond any assistance or redemption.

It seems as if hours pass me by while I drift in and out and upon. This time, a deafening roar causes me to rouse. A shadow flies through the sky, trailing a bright beam. The search is on. These arctic temperatures have other ideas—so much so that I’ve begun to feel warm. A bad sign. Sleepy too.

Impossibly white light hits me and burns my eyes. I raise a hand to cover them and, immediately, lose my buoyancy and sink back into the dark. The search light now glows dimly above the water. Too tired, too cold, too done to even try and fight, I let the river have its way.

The universe has other ideas, it seems, and once again, I lose the choice. Strong hands grip my armpits and haul me upward. To the artificially lit night and the cold and the air and the despair. Oh, love, what did you do to me? So much blood. All that carnage. All those lies and abuse. What’s the use?

 

You reached out and took my arm. It all unfolded in a blur and strobe-like snapshots—the winch into the helicopter, the medi-flight, and them getting me here. Trouble is, I think they left my heart there.

A nurse bustles into the private room and pulls apart the drapes. ‘Time to let in some light,’ she says. Oh, how wrong could she be? The last thing I want to do is see. Right now, only one thing remains certain, that things can never be the same. I want to stay in the dark; hide from my shame.

‘You have a visitor.’ Her voice sounds far too bubbly. It hurts. ‘The police officer who tried to help on the bridge.’ A shadow crosses her face. Then she gets busy tidying the bedding and then me. ‘I’ll just go and show him in.’ Once again, I don’t get a choice. No time to find my voice.

The door opens slowly, and I lay with baited breath. A young man eases in, dark hair and chocolate eyes, with a smile that feels like the most glorious sunrise. ‘May I?’

His question gives me pause. Never before did anyone ask my permission. Dumbstruck, I give a mere nod. My visitor edges to the bed and takes a seat on the hard plastic chair that the nurse placed there. We sit in silence for a while, and then his eyes find my scars. So many. Clouds snuff out that beautiful dawn and darken his face.

Now, he’ll make his excuses and take his leave. He’s done his bit. But no. Instead, he takes my hand. Looks into my eyes. Somewhere from the edges, I register that he doesn’t have on his uniform. ‘It’s okay,’ he tells me, fingers rubbing mine. ‘You’re safe now. We’ll make this right.’

Uninvited, a sob brings the elephant right into the room. ‘No one can,’ I croak.

‘It’s okay. He won’t hurt you again.’

‘You know who I am?’

He nods, gives my hand a squeeze. ‘We know everything.’

All I want to do is shrivel up and crawl within.

With both hands, he reaches out and takes my arms. I let him. He seems an angel in human form, and I feel safe within his embrace. Into my hair, he whispers, ‘It’s okay. I’ve got you. I got you now.’

Can I take the leap of faith?

Now, there’s the question.

Live or die?

 

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

Harmony Kent’s RWISA Author Page