Getting Our Hopes Up

I recently had a conversation with a friend who said she hadn’t wanted to get her hopes up about a certain something, and it really made me think.

I haven’t wanted to get my hopes up in a long time. Disappointment is such a…disappointment.

But seriously, when I saw my friend so very excited, more excited than I’d seen her in a long time, and that excitement spread to me and everyone around her, it struck me that getting your hopes up isn’t all bad. It’s actually a very nice feeling. Sure, the disappointment isn’t great, but the feeling of complete joy and being hopeful is a good feeling while it lasts. And we should relish our feelings, shouldn’t we? Because they never truly last long. We are so used to turning off grief, or fear, or anger, or whatever it is instead of actually feeling, that we become somewhat robotic.

I told her: “getting your hopes up is a good feeling so don’t stop doing that!” Then I realized I need to practice what I preach.

So my mission is to not be afraid of getting my hopes up in case I experience utter disappointment. It happens in writing all the time, and I learned to stop being hopeful (when receiving a request for a full manuscript, etc.) But that’s sad, too. Not feeling hopeful when you click “submit” or “send” on your manuscript because you’re afraid of rejection is really just a minor comparison, but it is sad that I’ve allowed myself to be that way. Maybe next time I should jump up and shout and smile because yay, I just submitted my manuscript!

Emotions are such a huge deal when writing characters, but it’s also one of the hardest. Especially when I’m not in sync with my own or I’m trying to stifle them. I do love to gauge others’ emotions (real people are such a great learning tool!).

Many of us are great at feeling and shouting out to the world how they feel, but I’m not one of those people. What about you?

What do you think?

 

This stock photo from Jasmine Star says it all. Find out more about her at www.jasminestar.com

 

Fear and Adventure in Carlsbad Caverns

A stalactite (hanging from the “ceiling”) and stalagmite (coming from the cave floor) almost touching at Carlsbad Caverns.

As an author, I love to write about adventure for my characters. I love to experience adventure myself, but only the kind with a safe outcome.

But how can we ever truly know when we’ll be safe?

For our vacation, I really wanted some adventure, but nothing too crazy. No spelunking or diving out of perfectly good airplanes, thank you very much. My husband and I love to hike, backpack, road-trip, and go off-roading in our Jeep (yes, that has its own danger). We love the outdoors, and I prefer my feet to be firmly planted on the earth. Outside. Where I can clearly see what’s going on. And definitely no crowds for me.

So when my husband suggested Carlsbad Caverns in New Mexico, I froze. Then I tried to list all the reasons we shouldn’t do that. Not when there are so many other good things to see and do.

I mean, I hate dark holes in the ground. 750 feet worth of dark holes, climbing down some cavern that we as a human race can’t really understand. How can we truly know it won’t crumble? Or those stalactites won’t decide to fall. They look fiercely piercing to me. And I really don’t like dark enclosed spaces at all. I don’t really even like elevators, most especially one carved inside a 75 foot story hole in the ground.

We’ll trek down the 75 switchback trail, experience the Big Room, and take the elevator ride back up.

This is where I almost panicked

Growing up in Central Texas, I’ve had my fair share of caverns. Family vacations, school field trips. Why would I want to see another cavern? I’ve actually already been to Carlsbad Caverns as a child with my family. Why go again? Did my husband not understand how traumatizing most of the caverns had been to my young soul? Tour guides turning out the light so you can see there and experience how truly dark it is down there? Barely able to breathe. No thanks. Been there, done that. Probably had a shirt at one time or another.

I wanted to be brave, but I’m not really. I almost had a panic attack on the third switchback, especially after the ranger who took our ticket very excitedly told us we’d be hiking down 75 of them. It’s one thing to be driving up a mountain on a switchback trail, which in hindsight is probably way more dangerous, but it’s another to be underground, the dark, where you can’t see.  But it was lit very well, actually. No tour guides turned out the lights and no rocks fell on my head. I felt the fear and did it anyway, and it was an exhilarating experience. I almost turned around on the third switchback, and I most assuredly almost cried. But the further we hiked, the more comfortable I became. Even brave enough to walk ahead of my  husband and stop  holding his hand down the long trek (although that was nice, and any excuse to hold hands, right?)

 

And it was massive. Nothing like an underground hole at all. It is amazing beyond words, and the history of this cavern is amazing. The fact a 16 year old boy discovered it when he saw what he first thought was smoke and wondered where it could be coming from back in 1898, then discovered it was bats flying out of a cave that he would later explore. A 16 year old, born in Mason County, Texas, who moved to New Mexico. He built his own ladder from wire and wood and held the ladder in one hand and a kerosene lantern in the other. To find out more about James White, just Google his name. Or better yet, visit the cavern and learn from the history there.

 

This stalagmite is still growing and one of the largest in the world. I can’t remember the exact history now, unfortunately, but it was amazing. Pictures can’t do this justice.

 

Needless to say, I had an amazing time and I am glad this tiny but pervading fear did not ruin such a wonderful experience. Seeing it again now, after all these years, was amazing. And I would definitely go again.

Fear is such a funny thing, and different for everyone. Some people can jump out of a perfectly good airplane but scream at spiders. But fear is a true emotion that is wonderful to conquer.
Mind you, I won’t ever conquer the fear of jumping out of a perfectly good airplane, but crawling down a hole and then rushing back in an elevator fixed into that massive hole 75 stories below ground now doesn’t seem so bad. And these experiences always make me a better writer as a carve adventures for my characters.

Do you have any fears that, on the outside, seem so silly but on the inside are actually huge and terrifying?

Off-Roading Road Trips, and Then Some…

I’ve had a lot of fun in my life, and I’ve also had plenty of losses as well as routine. Most times, I’d choose routine, but there are times you have to get out in the world and explore. Still, in this day and age with so many bad things happening, it’s hard not to feel anxious.

On Monday, after learning of the shooting in Las Vegas, my husband and I were going on vacation and were planning to take the first road trip out of state that we’d taken in three years. We love road trips! We also love to cram as much as we can into a short amount of time and not really have a plan. However, this road trip, on many levels, gave me a lot of anxiety, especially because of the recent tragedy in Vegas so soon after all the natural disasters across the world.

It really makes one want to hunker down indoors and hide sometimes.

It’s especially easy to hunker down when you have so many other responsibilities at home. A budget, pets to care for, family who might need you, and our work-in-progress remodel. For some people, it’s easy to pack up and go at a moment’s notice and for others, it’s a hard thing to even consider. Despite the ongoing tragedies, we decided to stick with our unplanned plan and take our little road trip. And boy did we not regret it, even though we almost did!

On our way home, tragedy almost struck! If not for my husband paying attention and what I now joke with him as his martial artist skills behind the wheel, I might not be alive to make this post today! (I think he gets a kick out of me bragging on his martial artists skills behind the wheel.)

Tragedy really makes you realize how quickly things can happen in an instance. How much you should cherish each moment. I’ve had plenty of losses, and with my Type I Diabetes for 36 years now, I wake up everyday thankful to be alive. Something so many of us take for granted. I’ve had plenty of scary moments with low blood sugar reactions. But still, things can change in an instant.

My husband and I were about five hours from getting home. The speed limit was 75, and he was going about 70. It was dark enough for the bright lights and there were 2 lanes on our side but one on the other and not a divided highway. A long and straight highway, but not without its issues! My husband had just dimmed his lights for traffic on the other side of the highway.

He was looking over my direction and I asked what and he said there was something beside us, not on the road but kind of like it might have been a train and he was trying to figure out what it was. Then, suddenly, a white Ford F250 pickup pulls out from either a store or a café (or a bar since he was really stupid about it). There’s another vehicle behind him, but not right up against him. He pulls out, takes up both lanes of our 2 lane road, and stops or at least hesitates as he looks to be about to pull into our lane. We don’t know why. Probably because he realizes there are 2 18 wheelers barreling down on the other side of the road where he is trying to turn.

There is no way, no how anyone with the best brakes could have avoided hitting him. I’m somewhat just dumbstruck at this point because I am sure we are about to die. And it’s still dark or more like dusk but light enough you can see the road and the ditch you may or may not flip into.

So my husband, hoping the other car doesn’t pull up behind this pickup because we’d hit him instead, brakes and pulls into this café or store or whatever it is (it really isn’t a town, but you know how things are on the outskirts of a town) right behind the truck, just barely missing his backend. There’s a ditch and shoulder. Thank God there aren’t any curbs like many towns and such have. He moves around him, back onto the shoulder, the shoulder is one of those bumpy really ditchy where the concrete is thicker than the dirt and ditch if that makes sense. There’s a drop off but not a culvert, and a harsh transition between road and land. Then I’m thinking, well we didn’t hit him but we’re about to lose control and hit the ditch and flip or overcorrect and go on the other side of the highway with all these 18 wheelers. But he managed to get back on the road and keep driving like nothing had ever happened. I distinctly remember the sound of the tires while driving between the shoulder and the ditch, where the concrete just dips off into the ground. As we are talking about it afterward, he later recalls the sound of our ridge grappler tires and says he’s very impressed with the way they handled the situation. Well, I was impressed by the way he handled the situation and later told him he probably didn’t see a train but our guardian angels. Even my husband, who is calm, cool, and collected about most things, thought we were about to die. It was a bad situation. Probably neither we nor the drive of that truck would have survived at that speed. I later joked with my husband: “Well, we did want to go off-roading!”

But we came out of it. We got home. We aren’t scarred, and we had a lot of fun! We crammed a lot of stuff in like we always do on our vacations! And I couldn’t stop thinking about the Vegas victims, and so many people who are killed in tragedy or in wrecks that happen in the blink of an eye. Most of them would probably tell you to go out and live your life, don’t be afraid of what might happen. I went down the 750 foot cave of Carlsbad Caverns almost panicking in the first drop because I’m so afraid of the dark and enclosed spaces, and yet it was so exhilarating!

Oh, and on our trip we stopped for gas and our Jeep didn’t start because the battery went dead. A Good Samaritan at the gas pump helped and we were able to make it to an auto parts store. He didn’t know us, and we didn’t know him, but he didn’t hesitate to help us! In this day and age, it can be scary to offer help or ask for help.

In these tragic times, when everyone is wondering what is wrong with the world and how can we make this a better place, I offer one solution: kindness. So many heroes in this world today, but we don’t have to save the world in order to truly save the world. Living our life, experiencing everything that nature has to offer us, and sharing our experiences with the world can help change our world. Offering a smile to a stranger, helping them when they need a jump-start in a totally different state, or being there for someone when they need to talk it out. Most of us can’t explain or imagine how anyone could make the decision to take a life, and some other people might say we all have violence within us. In the world I live in, and seeing the worst at my job in prosecution, I still refuse to believe that. I still believe in kindness and the intrinsic good in most of us. And I refuse to stop living my life and exploring just because I’m afraid of what might happen. I do believe we are at the cusp of change and it might not be the best of changes, but I also believe we can make it through stronger, with a deeper understanding and appreciation of humanity.

So smile! If your life isn’t what you want it to be, maybe you just need to offer a smile to someone else! Maybe you need to make a list of everything you are grateful for! Just in case…just in case it’s the last smile you will ever give someone. And just in case it’s the last gratitude list you ever make. We need to put our differences aside and share love, not hate and propaganda!

Thanks for reading this far as I process everything going on. And now for some pictures!

Back to School SALE BLAST

Currently on SALE!
We have compiled a list of many titles in multiple genre’s that are currently either available with KU or at a discounted rate! 

Click on any of the below book covers to be taken to the page that has more information on the novel as well as the Buy Links!

Before you leave, don’t forget to enter the Giveaway!!! 




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Reading Addiction Blog Tours

My Security Release Day!

Title: My Security: Protection At Its Finest

Authors: Aimee McNeil, A.J. Norris, Angela Smith, Bella J., Evan Grace, JP Ratto, and Melinda Valentine

Release: July 25, 2017

Genre: Romantic Suspense

Degrees of Distortion – Aimee McNeil

The only thing I know for certain is someone is coming for me. 

I need to find my mother before it’s too late. 

Unless it already is…

Tattoo Killer – A.J. Norris

The case against him seems straightforward, especially since Mikey is connected to the victims, but police detective Harry Hunter knows finding the psychopath isn’t that simple.

One Wrong Move – Angela Smith

A DEA agent, Camden is deep undercover, posing as a chef on a dangerous drug operation. The investigation leaves no time for romance, plus he can’t risk exposing his cover. But if Rayma doesn’t stop snooping around, it’s will definitely lead to trouble.

Regret – Bella J.

When it comes to women, Private Investigator Hunter Keaton has rules. Those rules ensure his life stays uncomplicated and controlled. Control is what he craves, what he needs to keep his inner demons quiet. 

Secret Love – Evan Grace

David “Damien” Michaels loves his job with the DEA. Posing as a bouncer at a strip club is just another assignment…until one gorgeous redhead complicates everything. She doesn’t belong there, and he knows it. 

Trust No One – JP Ratto

Private Investigator Lucas Holt is caught between the FBI and terrorists…

On the heels of a personal tragedy, Lucas Holt receives an urgent summons from Charles Gates, his ex-Delta Force commander. 

Fear Inc. –  Melinda Valentine

Sloane Robertson is no longer the woman he met at a dinner party, or the woman he kissed at the front door. She’s a client, a job, nothing more than a person who happened to be at the wrong place at the wrong damn time.

7 Full Length novels by International and best selling authors!

Authored by:

Aimee McNeil

A.J. Norris

Angela Smith

Bella J.

Evan Grace

JP Ratto

Melinda Valentine

HOSTED BY:

The Brentwood Saga, by Elizabeth Meyette

Today, we have Elizabeth Meyette answering some fun interview questions and telling us about her newest release, The Brentwood Saga, which includes 2 of her historical romances for one low price!

Thanks for inviting me to be your guest today, Angela.

Thanks for coming! I can’t wait to get started! First question is: What intrigues you about your book?
I’m intrigued that Love’s Destiny, the first book in The Brentwood Saga, ever was written. I never intended to become a writer. Years ago, my friend wanted me to read her Kathleen Woodiwiss historical romance novels. I waved her off several times saying, “I don’t read romance,” then I finally relented. Halfway into Shanna, I was hooked. I devoured all the novels she gave me. But I didn’t want her to “win,” so when I returned the books, I sniffed (I’m sure I did) and said, “These were good, but I could write a romance novel” (Oh, the hubris of the uninitiated.) She said, “Then do it!” I said, “Okay, I will!” Then I had to follow through. If she had never encouraged…rather, dared me…I probably would not be an author today.

Wow, that is intriguing, and I’m definitely glad she inspired and challenged you. What was your favorite part of writing your book?
Probably my favorite part of writing is when my characters surprise me. They often introduce themselves, already named. And if I try to change their names for any reason, they get a bit huffy and won’t continue telling me their stories. Also, if they “show” me a scene and I don’t like it and refuse to write it, they go on strike. Sometimes they appear in the most interesting places. For example, in Love’s Spirit, I was writing a scene where there was a knock on the door, and I had no idea who it was. Turns out, it was a secondary character from earlier in the story whom I didn’t even know would reappear in the book.

What is your favorite aspect of reading a novel?
I love getting so lost in a novel that if it’s raining in the story, when I put the book down, I’m surprised that, in real life, the sun is actually shining. Sometimes I even live with the emotions of the characters I’m reading about, so if the protagonist is sad, so am I until I mentally “exit” the book for a while.

That’s always a great experience, and I love reading books that bring that out in us. Are you a plotter, a pantser, or both?
I am a post-pantser plotter. What??? Yes, I am a pantser, but I create a spreadsheet with a column for each chapter. After I’ve written a chapter, I fill in its column on the spreadsheet with a phrase that explains each scene in that chapter. So, I do not plot out my entire novel, but I keep track of what’s going on which helps tremendously when I am revising. Before I start my novel, I have a clear picture of the opening and closing scenes, from there it’s a toss-up how I get from point A to point B. Even when I try to plot, my characters chuckle kindly and do whatever the heck they want.

What a great idea! Do you have a certain theme in all of your novels?
I think the overarching theme in my historical romances is the power of love in facing down danger. In my upcoming novel, Love’s Courage, I have this quote from Chinese philosopher Lao Tzu: “Being deeply loved by someone gives you strength, while loving someone deeply gives you courage.” I think that theme is echoed through all the books in The Brentwood Saga.

In my mysteries, there’s the theme of the search for one’s own truth. Jesse Graham is a self-avowed agnostic who can’t help praying when she’s in a crisis and whose best friend is a Catholic nun. Also, while Jesse tries to ignore the ghosts who call on her for help, she begins to realize that she has what her Italian friend calls “the gift,” though she calls it a curse. Gradually she begins to accept that she is a “ghost empath.”

Do you ever use your life experiences in your novels?
I’ve used life experiences more in my mysteries than in my historical romances. For example, Jesse is afraid of mice and spiders. In the opening scene of The Cavanaugh House she has an experience that I could hardly write because it freaked me out so. Also, I attended Catholic schools from kindergarten through twelfth grade, so scenes at St. Bartholomew’s Academy for Girls was a little walk down memory lane for me. By the way, most of the nuns who taught me were wonderful, and I have no stories of having my knuckles rapped with a ruler…though my brother does. And he probably deserved it.

What great experiences to share! If you were stranded on a deserted island and could only take one book with you, what would you take?
To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee. I taught that book for many years in American Literature, and I never tired of reading it.

If you were stranded on a deserted island and could only take one song with you, what would you take?
“Don’t Stop Believing” by Journey because I never have.

A great song! Are you working on any projects right now?
I’ve just sent Love’s Courage to my editor and hope to release it soon. Now I must decide whether to continue my Finger Lakes Mysteries series or jump into a new genre and write a contemporary romantic suspense that’s been tickling my brain. I have started both, so we’ll see whose voice is louder—Maggie’s or Leila’s.

Good luck with both! Do you see writing as a career?
It already is.

Have you traveled to any locations that appear in your books?
Rich and I visited Williamsburg, VA last fall so I could do research for Love’s Courage. My daughter’s friend is an actor/interpreter there and was our personal guide for two days. #heaven. Last January while in New York City for a writers’ conference, Rich and I had lunch at Fraunces Tavern where George Washington bid farewell to his officers at the end of the American Revolution. The original building still stands.

I was born and raised in upstate New York and visited and lived in the Finger Lakes region, so I’m very familiar with the setting for my mysteries. When we go back to Rochester to visit my family, Rich and I often visit the scene of The Cavanaugh House.

Sounds fun! Can you share a tip about what you do when you get stuck in your writing?
I walk away. Literally. Sitting there pounding the keyboard gets me nowhere. If I go for a long walk with no ear buds plugged in, more often than not, my head clears and a problem starts to untangle or something I’d never thought of pops into my head.

Which famous person, living or dead would you like to meet and why?
Elizabeth Gilbert or Anne Lamott. I worship at their author altars.

So let’s hear more about Elizabeth Meyette’s books!

Releases Today for 99 Cents!

Against the backdrop of the Revolutionary War, a patriot and a loyalist must learn to trust among the lies and deceptions to find true love. This action-packed historical saga is now available as a value-priced collection.

Love’s Destiny: When Emily Wentworth’s father dies, her appointed guardian Jonathon Brentwood arrives at her home in London to take the strong-willed seventeen-year-old with him to the colonies. It’s her one chance at a new life, but Jonathon’s involvement in patriot activity against England disturbs—and threatens—Emily, a loyal subject of the king. Can they find a way to mend their divided politics, or will Emily learn too late that love is more precious than being right?

Love’s Spirit: Emily Brentwood is overjoyed to learn her husband escaped his British captors and is still alive. She clings to his promise to be with her for the birth of their baby, and no British officer who attempts to rape her or enemies who try to kill her can shake her belief in a happily ever after ending. Until a thread from Jonathon’s past emerges and he must betray her to ensure her safety. Can love’s spirit triumph over the obstacles that threaten to tear them apart amid the danger and lies?

How can readers discover more about you and you work?
I love it when readers connect with me. Here are the many ways:
Website | Blog | Amazon Author Page | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads | Pinterest

My books are available at
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | iTunes | Kobo| Simon & Schuster

Thank you very much for taking the time out of your busy schedule to take part in this interview.

It was my pleasure. Thank you, Angela!

Bodies in Motion Book Bundle


Available Now!

Working up a sweat has never been more fun than in this value-priced collection starring sexy, athletic heroes and the dynamic women who capture their hearts.

Reforming Gabe: Once the NFL’s best wide receiver, Gabe Beauford’s been dropping the ball this season—literally. After his team loses the Super Bowl, he heads to Beauford to brood, but crossing paths with independent and talented jewelry maker Neyland MacKenzie puts a new gleam in his eye. She needs saving and he needs a project…But will his not-so-deft touch ruin her dreams and their chance at real love?

Worth the Wait: Playboy and fitness instructor Jared Patterson seems like the perfect candidate to help Tasha Smith lose her long-held V-card. But what starts out as a one-time thing quickly turns into an affair neither wants to stop—even when it might get in the way of their futures.

High Octane: Fueled: Texan rebel Maddux Bates’s bad behavior won him last year’s Formula One championship—and an image problem. Getting caught dating a sponsor’s girlfriend, oncologist Brynn Douglas, could sabotage this season too—but can anything slow this dynamic duo down when their relationship shifts into overdrive?

On the Fly: Newly minted MBA Jacey Vaughn gets in over her head when her father unexpectedly leaves her his NHL team. She knows business, not hockey, but it doesn’t take her long to recognize that her flirtation with team captain Carter Phlynn is a danger to her professional reputation. With the Stanley Cup on the line, she must decide between her heart’s desire and her family’s legacy.

The Bull Rider’s Brother:
Lizzie Hudson is enjoying rodeo weekend to start her summer when James Sullivan, the cowboy who got away, walks his Justin Ropers back into her life. Can he learn to redefine family before she gives up on him and marries another?

Montana Christmas Magic: Tennis pro Logan Collins inherits a cabin in rural Phillipsburg, Montana, that he’s not allowed to sell for six months. It’s just enough time to start a sweet relationship with artist and chocolatier Julie Thompson. But despite the trappings of permanence—a dog, a horse, and a woman who brings light into his dark days—his life is still in New York. He’ll have to persuade Julie that Christmas in Manhattan is just as inspiring, before the holidays put a final wrap on their relationship.

No Secrets in Spandex: Allegations of drug use surround bike racer Jacob Hunter, and reporter Ariel Hays is ready to do anything to get that story—except reveal her own secrets.

Choosing Carter:
When Bryn McKay’s brother escapes from prison bent on revenge, she invites her best friend, naturalist and outdoor guide Carter Danielson, on a rafting trip to help her de-stress—and she wouldn’t mind if things turned romantic. But Carter is a recovering alcoholic who shies away from commitment. Then her brother shows up and they must flee for their lives. Will imminent danger prompt Carter to finally figure out where his heart lies?

Winter Storms: Daniel’s sailing accident cost Carly her shot at Olympic dreams, while his own athletic success was unhindered. Now he’s returned and they’re stuck in the Cornish village where storms lash them from outside—and within.

Final Mend: Jake Inman may be a triathlete, but he needs a private investigator to help him track down his kidnapped goddaughter in the wilderness. Winona Wall left the PI game, but now to save herself, she must team up with Jake—and avoid love at all costs.

Amazon Kindle

Apple iBookstore

Barnes & Noble

Blio

Books-a-Million

Google Play

Dead End Road, by Lori Whitwam

Title: Dead End Road

Series: Vengeful Things #1

Author: Lori Whitwam

Genre: Romantic Suspense

Release: July 4, 2017

Publisher: Limitless Publishing

Kindle Unlimited

A writer, a musician, an unexpected love…and a killer who wants to destroy it all. 

Reclusive author Abby Delaney never dreamed she’d meet her rock-n-roll fantasy Seth Caldwell in her quaint, lakeside town…or that his love might be deadly.

Seth is weary of road trips, endless parties, and dead-end relationships, but what choice does he have? Songwriting and performing are all he knows. Then he meets Abby and finally finds a heart he can’t stand to break. 

But forget small-town tranquility. An attempt is made on Seth’s life, and another mysterious death hits eerily close to home. Everyone’s a suspect, he’s taunted with ominous messages, and it’s only a matter of time until the killer finds his mark. 

What if the only way to keep Abby safe is to do the one thing she can never forgive—walk away? 

As the noose tightens, one thing becomes clear…

If the killer isn’t found soon, Seth and Abby will take their love to the grave.

Lori spent her early years reading books in a tree in northern West Virginia. The 1980s and 90s found her and her husband moving around the Midwest, mainly because it was easier to move than clean the apartment. After seventeen frigid years in Minnesota, she fled to coastal North Carolina in 2013. She will never leave, and if you try to make her, she will hurt you.


She has worked in public libraries, written advertising copy for wastewater treatment equipment, and managed a holistic veterinary clinic. Her current day job, conducted from her World Headquarters and Petting Zoo (her couch) is as a full-time editor for indie authors and small publishing houses.


Her dogs are a big part of her life, and she has served or held offices in Golden Retriever and Great Pyrenees rescues, a humane society, a county kennel club, and her own chapter of Therapy Dogs International.


She has been a columnist and feature writer for auto racing and pet publications, and won the Dog Writers Association of America’s Maxwell Award for a series of humor essays.


Parents of a grown son, Lori and her husband were high school sweethearts, and he manages to love her in spite of herself. Some of his duties include making sure she always has fresh coffee and safe tires, trying to teach her to use coupons, and convincing the state police to spring her from house arrest in her hotel room in time for a very important concert. That last one only happened once—so far—but she still really, really appreciates it.

HOSTED BY:

Slopeside Release Day!

simon-schusterKobo1amazonbnss

Slopeside The Complete Collection is a book bundle featuring Burn on the Western Slope, Fatal Snag, and Final Mend.

Slopeside is a series of three novels set on the ski slopes of Montana featuring half-siblings Garret, Chayton, and Winona. In Burn on the Western Slope, Garret is an undercover FBI agent who falls for a woman involved in a jewel theft scandal. In Fatal Snag, Chayton is a business owner who falls for the fashion consultant handling his brother’s wedding. In Final Mend, Winona is a private investigator who falls for the man who hires her to find his missing Godchild.

 

 

 

slopeside-banner

Sworn to Protect, by Susanne Matthews

Because I love to share books and especially help out my author friends, I’ve got Susanne Matthews with her newest book, Sworn to Protect. And now for a blurb and excerpt!

 

sworn-to-protect

 

Book Blurb:

Four years ago, a car accident robbed Nancy Frost of her child and her mother, taking what was left of her marriage with it in the process. A forensic accountant, she agrees to look at a company’s books in a divorce case, trying to find hidden assets, but her meeting with the lawyer goes terribly wrong when the restaurant is attacked.

The moment US Marshal Neil Copeland discovers his wife has been shot in a Baltimore restaurant, he rushes to her side, determined not to let her down again. As the police investigate, evidence suggests the attack was a ploy to hide a specific hit. When a professional assassin tries to kill Nancy a second time, it’s clear that she was the target and whatever’s going on is a lot more complicated than they think.

When Nancy awakes after a month in an induced coma, not only does she not remember the attack on the restaurant, she doesn’t remember marrying Neil.

Faced with the challenge of protecting his wife from a powerful, faceless enemy, Neil must bring her up to date, dredging up all the sorrow that tore them apart in the first place, hoping something will jar her memory.

As he races against time, can he save her from an unknown assassin and convince her to give the love they once had a second chance?

 

Purchase link:

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B072MHFQJF

 

Excerpt:

Unable to squelch her curiosity, Nancy put down the tear-soaked quilt, stood, and walked over to the extension on the bedside table. The number wasn’t a familiar one. She took a deep breath before picking up the receiver.

“Hello?” she answered, her voice husky.

“Nancy Frost?”

“Yes.” She didn’t recognized the man’s voice and hoped she hadn’t picked up on a telemarketer. It wasn’t a 1-800 number, but … Normally, she hated being rude to anyone, even annoying strangers at the end of a phone line; however, in her current mood, this guy might be in for a tongue lashing.

“This is Larry Jackson. I was speaking with Meredith Stone earlier, and she said you’d agreed to look at some financial records for me.”

The man’s voice was pleasant, but he sounded tired, and his words carried an undercurrent of frustration and anxiety.

“I’ll do what I can, Mr. Jackson,” she answered, trying to sound like the confident professional she needed to be.

Meredith might think she was the best in her field, but every time Nancy looked at a new set of books, doubt assailed her. What if she missed something critical?

“If there’s anything there, I’ll do my best to find it, but, as I’m sure Meredith told you, sometimes everything’s on the level. Unless there’s a second set of records hiding somewhere—”

“I wouldn’t put it past this sleaze ball,” Larry interrupted. “I just got off the phone with his lawyer. B. J. Pratt informed me they’re moving the meeting date up to Tuesday. I’d hoped to be able to give you more time, but he’s backing us into a corner. I’m sorry about this. I’ve emailed you the records we were given. Let me know if there’s anything missing.”

“Not a problem. I’ve come up against B. J. Pratt before. He won’t be happy you’re bringing me in on this.”

“That’s the best news I’ve heard all day.” Larry paused. “When can you have a look at them?”

“Later today. I’ll call you tomorrow if there’s anything suspicious.”

He chuckled, but she could sense his concern. “That’s all I’ll need, and don’t worry about the time and cost. The husband’s footing the bill.”

Nancy started. “Her husband’s paying to have me go through his company books and personal finances, and Pratt agreed to this?”

“They agreed to an independent audit and recommended a few local forensic auditors,” Larry answered, “but if they suggested them, I didn’t want to use them. Meredith tells me you’re the best there is, and that’s all I need to know. Pratt doesn’t know it’s you yet. I’ll let him know in the morning—maybe it’ll throw off his golf game.”

“It probably will,” she answered and chuckled, imagining the sour look on Pratt’s face. “I’ll get back to you tomorrow. Goodbye.”

Nancy hung up the phone, went into the bathroom, and washed her face. Staring at the haunted woman in the mirror forced her to admit the truth. She had to stop grieving before it killed her.

“This pity party is over.”

She wasn’t Cinderella, and there wasn’t a fairy godmother waiting to make all the terrible things in her life go away. Prince Charming had left the ball, taking his glass loafers with him. It was time for her to pick up her rags and get on with it. She reached for her purse and car keys. The first step was always the most difficult. Go big or go home.

 

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About the author:

Amazon bestselling author Susanne Matthews was born and raised in Cornwall, Ontario, Canada. She is of French-Canadian descent. She’s always been an avid reader of all types of books, but with a penchant for happily ever after romances. A retired educator, Susanne spends her time writing and creating adventures for her readers. She loves the ins and outs of romance, and the complex journey it takes to get from the first word to the last period of a novel. As she writes, her characters take on a life of their own, and she shares their fears and agonies on the road to self-discovery and love.

Her first novel, Fire Angel, set the tone for an exciting new career. While most of her books are romantic suspense, Susanne writes stories that range from contemporary to sci-fi and everything in between. She is a PAN member of the Romance Writers of America.

When she isn’t writing, she’s reading, or traveling to interesting places she can use as settings in her future books or as interesting entries for her blog, Living the Dream. During the summer she enjoys camping with her grandchildren and attending various outdoor concerts and fairs. In winter, she likes to cuddle by the fire and watch television.

Follow Susanne on her: Website   Facebook page   Twitter @jandsmatt

Amazon author page   and   Goodreads author page

 

 

Fated Desires by Becky Flade

fatedJenna Gavin is searching for a fresh start and, more importantly, for balance. Her heart, and perhaps the hands of fate, have led her and her son to Trappers’ Cove, Minnesota. Settling in the small, quirky town, she’s not in the market for a casual relationship but finds herself in one with the young widower next door.

 

Former shortstop, Gabriel Foxx, is drawn to his difficult new neighbor. The more the prickly divorcee tries to keep him at arm’s length, the more determined he is to break down her walls. He can’t avoid the passion Jenna inspires and his friendship with Finn has him yearning for family, but Gabe won’t allow himself to feel more.

 

When friendship grows complicated by stronger emotions and mutual desire just isn’t enough, will love be worth the risk?

  Amazon | Barnes & Noble | iBooks | Kobo | Google Play

 

Let’s welcome Becky Flade today as she answers some tough interview questions!

 

What intrigues you about your book?

The heroine has a … difficult … personality. Jenna appeared in both Fated Souls and Fated Hearts, both times as a bit of a harpy, and it was challenging to write her story, do her justice, stay true to the character. and still like her. ‘cause if I don’t like her, the reader won’t either.

When did you absolutely know that you had to be a writer?

I got the “bug” in kindergarten. No lie. We had free time, you know color, play house, build with blocks, whatever your tiny little heart desired and I asked my teacher to help me make a book. My mom still has it pressed between the pages of her family bible.

What was your favorite part of writing your book?

The hero, Gabe, no contest. Writing him was a joy especially in comparison to Jenna whom, as I stated above, was a challenge.

What is your favorite aspect of reading a novel?

I love escaping into a story. Any story, if it’s well written, should pull the reader in and that’s my favorite part of reading.

Do you have a specific writing style?

I don’t know. I think I do. Is having a knack for banter a style?

Do you ever use your life experiences in your novels?

Normally, I answer this with a firm NO. But I poured a lot of my emotions into Fated Desires. There were scenes, sub-plots, that never made the final cut that I cried while I wrote and that were a relief to cut as I’d bared too much of myself in the text.

Are you working on any projects right now?

I’ve started work on the 4th and planned finale to the Trappers’ Cove series. I say planned finale because I’m not sure I want to be done with these families/couples.

Have you traveled to any locations that appear in your books?

I’m a Philly girl born and bred; and my hometown shows up from time to time. But otherwise, no. I’ve never been to Minnesota; Trappers’ Cove is completely fictional. It’s a cross between the town of Saint Mary’s, West Virginia, where my grandparents lived for most of my life, and Stars Hollow of Gilmore Girls’ fame.

Are you a pet person? If so, do you have any?

I am but right now we don’t have any pets. My dog, Ella, passed away from cancer while I was writing the book before Fated Desires and I’m not ready to adopt yet.

What advice would you give to your younger self?

Don’t ever give up.

How can readers discover more about you and you work?

Website: http://www.beckyfladeauthor.com

Blog: http://www.beckyfladeauthor.com

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

Twitter: https://twitter.com/beckyflade

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

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Becky-Flade/

Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/Becky_Flade

Thank you very much for taking the time out of your busy schedule to take part in this interview.

Thank you for the opportunity!

 

About the Author:

beckyHome is where the heart is and I make mine with my very own knight in slightly tarnished armor in southeastern Pennsylvania. When I’m not busy living my own happily ever after, I’m writing about someone else’s.

 

Contact Details:

beckyfladeauthor@gmail.com

http://www.beckyfladeauthor.com/

https://www.facebook.com/BeckyFlade

https://twitter.com/beckyflade

 

See Fated Desires on Pinterest https://www.pinterest.com/BeckyFlade/fated-desires/ and on YouTube https://youtu.be/_VD2F-RQzHA

 

Add to Goodreads https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/35102061-fated-desires

 

Enjoy the following excerpt from Fated Desires:

 

She had drifted closer to him. Or him to her. Jenna couldn’t be sure. But it would take only a shift of balance to touch her body to his. Life was about balance. And the shifting of worlds. In the space of a day her world had changed for better and for worse. She’d spent the previous nine years trying to find her balance again.

Jenna felt the familiar kick of desire. She’d never understood the girls who spoke of butterflies and stirrings. For her it was more akin to a donkey kick—pleasurable, sure, like the first jolt of caffeine in the morning and as sure and swift and strong. Her pulse sped up and she knew the vein in her neck would visibly pulse; it did when she was angry and when she was aroused. Gabe was sure to notice it. As she noticed his heart pounding against her palm in a rhythm she found seductive.

She raised her gaze from the back of her hand. His mouth was aligned with her own. She hadn’t realized how close in height they were. All she had to do was…shift.

“This is the longest conversation we’ve had.” Her voice was husky; she heard it, knew he would. He shifted, imperceptibly but she sensed it.

“Maybe this,” his voice was husky too, “is why.”

She thought she knew what he meant. The tension between them was awareness.

“The day we met I wanted to get close enough to see what color your eyes were. They’re gray. Like storm clouds. Perfect.”

Jenna could feel his breath on the flesh of her lips and her nipples tightened.

“Mom!”

Finn’s shout was punctuated by his feet drumming down the stairs. Gabe brushed his lips over the curve of her cheek, his eyes conveying amused regret, and slipped out the back door, barely making a sound. Jenna grabbed the counter and breathed. She needed to settle herself before her son found his way to the kitchen.

What the hell?

 

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RONE Award Voting!

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Vote in the RONE Awards. One Wrong Move is in Week 5, May 15-21.

http://www.indtale.com/2017-rone-awards-week-five