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Lately I have had rejections on my mind. There is no particular reason for it, no painful angst or sting of a recent rejection fueling it. Just a random thought that popped into, and lodged, in my quirky mind. Perhaps it’s because my mind has been especially creative of late, and this is simply one more creative seed to sprout.

walk-disney

I happened to unearth some rather famous writers who also suffered the rejection dejection syndrome before they became famous to the rest of us. Actually, it was in the latest Writer’s Digest magazine and I found it an interesting read.

Stephen King, the King of Horror writing, tossed his early draft for Carrie into the trash. From 1971 to 1973, he wrote he was “vulnerable, the the vivid dreams and ambitions of childhood seem to pale in the harsh sunlight of what we call the real world.”. His wife pulled Carrie from the trash and the novel went on to be rejected by 30 publishers. Eventually he was offered an advance of $2,500 by Doubleday. The paperback rights went to Signet Books for $400,000.

stephen-king

Steve Berry. He’s a number 1 international best selling author of 16 thrillers. He said “From the day I wrote my first word to the day I sold my first word was a span of 12 years.” In that time he completed eight manuscripts. He submitted five of them, and was rejected 85 times. It was the 86th attempt that “things happened for me.”

Judy Blume–who hasn’t read her children’s stories either as a child or to our children? She writes: “For two years, I received nothing but rejections. One magazine, Highlights for Children, sent a form letter with a list of possible rejections. ‘Does not win in competition with others’ was always checked off on mine. I still can’t look at a copy of Highlights without wincing. I would go to sleep at night feeling that I’d never be published. But I’d wake up in the morning convinced I would be.”

virginia-woolf

Saul Bellow (admittedly I’d never heard of him. Turns out he won the Pulitzer Prize. the Nobel Prize, and the National Medal of Arts. I’m impressed.) He writes, “I discovered that rejections are not altogether a bad thing. They teach a writer to rely on his own judgement and to say in his heart of hearts, “To hell with you.'”

Brad Meltzer, bestselling writer and children’s book author. On his website, he had a Q & A. The question was: How do you handle rejections from publishers? His answer was: “I gave their email addresses to my mother. You don’t  know pain until you’ve met Teri Meltzer. Fear it.”

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Kathryn Stockett, she’s the lady who wrote that incredible bestseller, The Help. She states: “After rejection No. 40, I started lying to my friends about what I did on the weekends. They were amazed by how many times a person could repaint her apartment. The truth was, I was embarrassed for my friends and family to know I was still working on the same story, the one nobody apparently wanted to read.”

Wow, there are some heavy weight writers, talking plainly about their pain, embarrassment, and trials before the big one was discovered. Before their careers took off. And before they were known. So what can I say of my own trail of rejection?

Like most every other writer out there, I can wallpaper a house with my collected rejection slips. In the early days, they were well deserved. I was submitting before I was ready, a lesson I had to learn. Once they became less form letter, and started having encouraging little notes added to the margins, I knew I was on the right track. That still took years upon years. I lost count of exactly how many– twenty something. I finally started placing articles with magazines and devotionals. It gave me credibility with publishers, by-lines to add weight to my bio, and validity to my soul. Ah, sweet validity!

Finally I landed a contract for my first novel, a contemporary romance with paranormal and mystery elements. I learned so much with that book and that publisher. I followed it up with five more novels, two anthology inclusions, a novella, and numerous articles over a whirlwind four years. And two more publishing houses.

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And I still get rejections. Despite all that, I still feel the sting of being turned down. I have a couple finished manuscripts, that don’t fit the genre of either publisher, so I am looking around for an agent that does handle them. I am going to have to add on a room to my house so I have somewhere to hang all the new rejection slips I am accumulating. Yet like the famed authors who shared their heartache, I will dream of when these literary babies find a home and become shared with the rest of the world. To me, that is what we write for…to share our stories with the world.

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Earlier this year I welcomed Linda Bradley to come and talk about her Maggie Abernathy & Montana series. At that time, she had recently released book # 2 (“Maggie’s Fork in the Road”). Now book # 3, “Maggie’s Montana”, is available and I have partnered with CPL Book Tours to invite Linda back.

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Welcome, Linda! Let’s ask a few nosy questions to get to know you and more about your series.  First, what is this book about?
LB: Maggie Abernathy, best friend Judy, and Judy’s two young sons travel cross country to visit John McIntyre and daughter Chloe at their Montana ranch. Maggie’s convinced herself that she’s only making the trip to fulfill her promise to visit Chloe, but once there she can’t help but fall in love with the horses, the land, the ranch, and the Montana ways of life. With Chloe’s loving antics, Winston’s gift, and a handful of wranglers showing her the ropes, will Maggie have the heart to say goodbye?

Second, why did you write it?

LB: When I wrote, Maggie’s Way, Montana Bound Series: Book 1, I intended it to be a single title, but when it was time to type “The End” something inside me told me Maggie’s journey wasn’t over. One book morphed into three, each with its own premise.  The second book in the series is Maggie’s Fork in the Road, and Maggie’s Montana is the third book.

Third, how long did it take?
LB: It took me about four months to have my first draft.

Can you describe your writing area?
LB: I write at my desk in an office that I share with my husband. I write at our dining room table, in bed, on the sofa. It depends on my mood. When it’s summer, I tend to find myself of on the deck or on our porch with my dog, Maisey. Now that it’s fall, we’re back inside most days.

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And what is the hardest part about writing for you?

LB: Keeping my desk organized along with all the ideas that pop into my head.

 

Yeah, I have the same problem. I try though, to keep it organized. My problem isn’t so much ideas but just juggling all the balls I have up in the air. Okay, how about some ice-breaking questions.

  1. Most recent movie: Pretty Woman, again.
  2. Winning the lottery: I’d pinch myself, finish out the school year, and then retire.
  3. Invisible or x-ray vision: Invisible.
  4. Typical Day: I teach second grade full time, so it’s a lot of hustle and bustle during the school year. The summer is different. I own that and it’s a time to rejuvenate, get projects done around the house, travel, and write.
  5. Fall Days: Out walking with my husband and dog.

 

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  1. Musical Instrument: I played the cello up until college. Some days I wonder if I’d be able to rekindle the connection.
  2. Foreign Language: None, fluently. I wish I did though. I took German in high school and French in college.
  3. Four people for dinner: Last time you asked me this question, I said Julianne Moore, Sam Elliott, Robert Redford, and Nicholas Sparks. Since it’s a new dinner party, I’d invite these Downtown Abbey regulars, Maggie Smith, Michelle Dockery, Phyllis Logan, Lesley Nichol. That would be a hoot!
  1. Growing up, what did I want to be: I wanted to be an artist. I spent many hours drawing and coloring. I took my first college art class when I was fourteen. My dad was an instructor at the local community college and he found an art teacher to take me under her wing. This is a hand-colored photograph I did last summer while working on Maggie’s Montana.

 

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Lovely! You have a hidden talent I see. Okay, now the speed round:

  1. Favorite Food to Cook: Chocolate Chip Cookies
  2. Favorite Animal: Maisey, my rescue dog, but I think she really rescued me.  (Linda, they always do)
  3. Favorite Color: Green
  4. Favorite Book: The Secret Life of Bees by Sue Monk Kidd
  5. Favorite Sport: Tennis
  6. Favorite Music: 70’s
  7. Favorite Song: There are too many!
  8. Favorite place to visit: The Peanut Shop in Lansing, Michigan. This store has been there forever. It’s the best place to buy fresh roasted peanuts while enjoying a slice of yesteryear.

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  1. What makes me laugh: A good joke or a classic rerun of Match Game.
  2. 3 adjectives: Creative, Resourceful, Determined
  3. Favorite Season: Summer
  4. Strangest thing I ate: caviar
  5. Strangest thing I’ve done: Oh boy, not sure I can divulge that information.
  6. Dance or sing: Definitely not dance, but I can carry a tune on a good day.
  7. Second home: Mountain cabin for the summer and a beach home for the winter.
  8. Dessert: Anything chocolate.
  9. Whom do you admire: My parents. They were married 53 years. Here’s a groovy seventies photo of them on a family trip. Every summer, we’d load up the station wagon and they’d take us on a trek somewhere in the continental United States. Thanks to them I’ve been a lot of places. Thanks to them, I’ve got a lot of great memories!

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  1. Car: Silver Malibu
  2. Favorite Art: Impressionism
  3. 3 wishes: 1) Retire early 2) Make a movie 3) Beach house
  4. Favorite Vacation Spots: Montana, Italy, Ireland, the beach.

 

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Awesome, Linda. I love your answers. Ireland is on my list too.  Before we go on to showcase “Maggie’s Montana”, do you have any parting thoughts to share?

  1. Quote I love: “All you have to do is write one true sentence. Write the truest sentence that you know.” -Ernest Hemingway
  2. One thing few people know about you: I have stayed in touch with my oldest and dearest kindergarten friend from elementary school all my life.
  3. Do you believe in love at first sight? – Yes!
 
Maggie’s Montana
Excerpt from Chapter 20
 
I squeezed my eyes tight as chills ran down my spine. A gentle hand rested on the nape of my neck. The touch grounded me and for a split second, I thought maybe it was my father. Tears welled and I pressed the palms of my hands into my eyes, trying to stop the longing I felt for my dad who’d left me years ago. I saw Chloe perched on John’s hip with her arms around his neck in my mind. It seemed like eons since I was that little girl in my own father’s arms.
Through the tears, I stared at my dusty boots. John ran his fingers up my neck and into my hair. I squeezed my eyes tighter, hoping this wasn’t a dream.
John knelt beside me, his hand on my knee, and his finger under my chin. “Saw you leave. Wondered if you were all right?”
I shrugged. Cocoa ran past, and then nestled in the straw at my feet and stretched out, letting her kittens suckle. “No, guess not,” I said.
“Anything I can do to help?”
I scooted over on the bench and John sat beside me. “I don’t think so.” I tucked my hair behind my ears.
“Well I think there is, but I’m going to let you solve your own dilemma.”
I wiped the corners of my eyes and watched the kittens nuzzle up to their momma’s belly, safe from the world around them until she went out to hunt. “Probably best.” Locking my elbows, I rested my hands on my knees. I liked the feel of worn blue jeans, inside, and out.
“Dinner is almost ready,” John said.
Our gazes met. My stomach wasn’t the only thing growling. “I don’t know if I want dinner. I kind of like it out here.” The barn truly was a sanctuary.
“Well, you’ve got to eat, darlin’.” John wrapped his arm around my shoulder and drew me close, his green eyes trying to hide his own disappointments.
I couldn’t help but think I was one of them.
“A girl your age can’t live on s’mores and beer, ’cause that’s what we’re having later.”
“I beg to differ.”
John’s breath brushed up against my neck. His lips followed. Tension oozed from my shoulders like dripping wax, my guard giving way to the heat. He whispered in my ear, “Let me love you.”
I swallowed the temptation, but it stuck in my throat and lingered at the back of my tongue like bitter sweetness. “I don’t know how.”
Afraid, I prayed again. From under my lashes, I saw a man earnest and true, his eyes fixed on me yet not demanding, something I wasn’t used to. Flecks of passion danced in his irises.
“How the hell do you know what you want?” I asked.
“Because I know,” he said.His strong hands held my face. His thumbs stroked my cheeks like he was settling a skittish filly. “Let me ask you this, neighbor lady . . .”
“Why do you keep calling that?”
“Does there have to be a reason?” he asked.
“Isn’t there a reason for everything?”
“No. Sometimes things just feel right.” John kissed me as I took in his words, his breath in sync with mine. My stomach rolled over and I let myself kiss him back as if it were the very first time.
 maggies-montana

Author Bio

Linda’s inspiration comes from her favorite authors and life itself. Her women’s fiction highlights characters that peel away outer layers of life to discover the heart of their dreams with some unexpected twists and turns along the way. Her writing integrates humor found in everyday situations, as well as touching moments, thus creating avenues for readers to connect with her characters.
Linda has an Associates Degree in Interior Design and a Master’s Degree in Reading and Language Arts with undergraduate work in Elementary Education and Fine Arts. She wrote and illustrated a children’s book titled, The Hunter for her Master’s Degree. Linda is a member of RWA, as well as the Greater Detroit Chapter of RWA.
Linda has two grown sons, lives with her husband, and rescue dog in Royal Oak, Michigan.
 linda-bradley
Links:
Barnes and Noble: http://bit.ly/2dA3ZlW
Book 1: Maggie’s Way at Schuler Books: http://bit.ly/2etN7iC
Book 2: Maggie’s Fork in the Road at Schuler Books: http://bit.ly/2esL2Sq
 clp-button1                         maggiesmontana

Catherine Castle

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Hello, everyone! Today I’m welcoming back Ryan Jo Summers to Wednesday Writers. Today, Ryan Jo will be sharing about her Christian Romance Fiction book entitled Beside Still Waters.

 To whet your appetite, here’s the blurb.

 Beside Still Waters

Top Journalist and corporate climber, McKayla Buchanan, is sent to a remote California mountain camp for inner-city, at-risk teens. Accustomed to political corruption and high-society drama assignments, she is suddenly a fish out of water. At Camp In As Much, she meets eight hostile and distrustful teens, assorted volunteers and rescued horses—and Clay.

 Clay Michaels is the man who founded Camp In As Much and made it the success it is now. His hope for the highly recommended journalist is to come and write a feature to send seeds out to form other camps like his nationwide. He never considered the reporter would turn out to be a lovely…

View original post 753 more words

 

Leaves are turning, and falling. Temperatures are dropping. The sun and moon have shifted to different paths. We are entering my favorite time of year… autumn and the subsequent year-end season.

fall-stream

I love spring, with the pastels and flowers and all the fresh newness. I loath summer, with the soaring heat and tempers. I live for autumn and the cooler winter months. For me, a time to pause, breathe deep, take stock and settle in.

earthal

 

First, I congratulate myself. I survived another intense summer season. Oh boy! Cheers! Chocolate! Now I can stop looking forward to fall, and just enjoy it. I wish September and October would crawl by at a snail’s pace. Instead, it seems to me they fly by like a hawk on the hunt. Swift, gone in a blur, with only a ruffle of breeze to show it was real.

Now, to shamelessly plug my work, I’ve released a number of books lately, with the newest one coming out November 9th, and this will be the third November in a row with something new coming out. Not by design, just how it all happened, but it has ensured the previous autumn seasons have raced past in a mixture of joy, celebration, anticipation and busy preparation. I absolutely vow there will be nothing releasing next autumn 2017. I want to sit on my laurels and watch the waters flow by at this time next year.

autumn-stream

Now, shameless plug aside, autumn also means the precursor to the holidays. I can’t read a paper without ads for Halloween staring at me, or listen to the radio without some mention of what candy the trick-or-treaters prefer or top costumes or number of adults who annually dress up or some reference to October 31st. I’m okay with that, even if I don’t get into the celebration. Driving by houses and seeing spooky decorations is enough for me. I’m good.

 

However, it signals that three important dates are on its holiday heels. For me, they are Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Years Day.

Thanksgiving is my time to wallow in reflective thankfulness. I examine my life, what good has transpired over the year, and I give thanks for the lessons, blessings, friends and family, and all good things that poured over me in the year like warm honey. I look what I have outgrown in the year, where do I need to grow more and how do I plan to accomplish this needed stretch. I keep a Thanksgiving Jar in the den. This is when I review and update it, praising for answered prayers, adding new names to pray for, and acknowledge more blessings or needs. This is also when I decorate the house in its Christmas finery. It is a silent signal I have ended the months’ long yard maintenance for the year.

sunlight-through-winter-trees

Christmas, for me, is sacred, hallow and also reflective, with more emphasis on my Christian walk. I examine how well it has gone, where I need to step up and work harder and it’s a birthday celebration of someone special to me. I delight in the tree, lights, and pretty decorations of the season. Since I tend to spend most of the holidays alone, they have become reflective, contemplative, introspective, low-key, and peaceful.

purple-sunset

New Years is the final recap of the year, good  and bad, and plotting of the new year ahead. I spend a lot of time thinking, journaling and scribbling notes. This is also time for a financial review. What are my new goals, or ones left that I have not reached? How can I adjust for ones not yet met and incorporate the new ones? Tip– don’t schedule fall book releases if you want to fully enjoy autumn’s splendor.

cabin-buried-in-snow

I recently came across something called Hygge (pronounced hoo-ga). Apparently it is a Danish method of creating or cultivating a sense of cozy intimacy and contentment. It’s about making feelings of happiness, friendliness and well-being as part of your everyday world.  I am totally into checking this out.

Step 1 is spending quality time with friends and family. I can be bad for letting this get neglected. I get busy, have things to do and places to be. However, to achieve Hygge, I need to dust the cobwebs off my relationships and let these important people in my life know how much I value them.

autumns-glory-at-lake

Step 2 is to simply sit by a roaring fire. The concept is to evoke feelings of coziness and warmth. Well, I like roaring fires, love the ambiance they create, however, I don’t own a fireplace. What I do have is an electric heater that simulates burning wood while it emits heat. I like the look of burning logs while I sprawl on the sofa with a blanket, book and cat. Check, I can do this with modification.

Step 3 is keep things simple. Okay, that sounds simple. Suggestion here is instead of agonizing over complicated recipes, make a wholesome soup or roasted chicken. Simple and just as good, if not better. While I enjoy experimenting with new recipes, I love simple, tried-and-true soups, stews and chicken meals with easy-breey prep. So this one is just a matter of remembering, when I stress the small stuff, to let it go and embrace simplicity.

Step 4 is to dim the lights and use candles. Apparently the Danes love their candles. I do not. They look pretty, flickering with a romantic glow. However, I cannot appreciate any scent they give off and I live in fear of a potential fire. I have pets. They are not a good mixture. So to keep my stress levels down, and error on the side of practicality,  I think I need to forgo this step and settle for a picture of a flickering candle.

Step 5 is to decorate the inside with the outside. I am totally on board with this one. I love nature and endeavor to bring as much inside as I can. Houseplants trail their greenery like trees and vines. Water cascades from the aquariums like a waterfall. Blues mimic the sky. Artwork resonates with beachy-y scenes. Hygge suggested exposed stones, wood floors, big wooden tables and those piles of logs you need for the roaring fires in step two.

wooden-dock

Step 6 is to bake bread. I no longer bake bread, but I like to bake flavored loaves of banana and lemon bread or various coffeecakes, layered and sheet cakes and on occlusion, cookies. Like a loaf of white bread, baking is cathartic as you knead the dough and sharing it fresh from the oven with those friends and family from step one is one of life’s simplest and greatest pleasures.

Step 7 is drink cocoa. Preferably real cocoa, cream and milk, served  and sipped from a large, heavy mug. Again, I am totally down with this one too. On a nippy night, home from work, feeling chilled, I love a mug of cocoa. That is one of my simple pleasures as I sit with blanket, book, and cat in a dimly lit room watching my fake fire burn.

 

moon-and-beach

Step 8 is don’t deprive yourself. Ah, this one is tough. I can talk myself out of nearly any good thing. Case in point– I had a coupon for a free dessert because of my birthday at a local restaurant, with any purchase no minimum. I was so going to do this and treat myself to a hot fudge ice cream cake. Yep, I liked the restaurant, could think of several nice meals that were reasonably priced and topped off with free dessert. Oh yeah! I even picked out the day I would be in town, timed and ready for my lunch and dessert treat. You know what I did?  What I can do? Please don’t yell. I was within one mile of the restaurant, with coupon in hand, and talked myself out of it. Yes, really. Pitiful isn’t it?  I said it was just as easy and quick to go home instead, find some leftovers and I certainly already had a chocolate bar or something to snack on. So home I went. Hygge would mandate, or at least encourage, I ignore conventional excuses and Go To The Restaurant And Don’t Deprive Myself of something Good. I need to work on this one.

Step 9 is much easier for me. Get outside. It is the balance  and living a good healthy life.  We need to be inside, because we decorated our inside with the outside, and we also need to enjoy the outside on walks, explorations, strolls with family and friends, and just keeping the balance of in and out. Yin and Yang. Step away from the keyboard and remote and take Fido for a walk, feel the wind in your face. Come home to cocoa.

fall-walk

Step 10 I really love, it’s pick up a book. Yeah, I am always picking up a book. Sometimes to read and sometimes just to move from one pile to another. However, proper Hygge suggests cuddling under a blanket with  a book of your choice and just getting drawn into it. I cannot tell how many hours I have done in my life, and the places it has taken me.

Step 11 is simply put down the phone.  Hygge is the antidote to modern life. It’s all about embracing experiences and living in the moment. If we are staring at a screen, whether phone or tablet or television or whatever, we cannot embrace or even see the moment. So the Danes suggest setting the phone aside and enjoy the feeling of the moment.

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There you go, the recipe for creating happiness in your life, and my end of year thoughts. So go ahead and tell me your traditions of spending the final months of the year and how you cultivate happiness and simplicity in your life. How easy or difficult do you think these eleven steps would be to incorporate into your life? Do you see autumn and winter as any different from spring and summer? Something to be enjoyed and savored or something to be tolerated?

 

Today I am thrilled to officially unveil the front cover to my upcoming release with Soul Mate Publishing, entitled “Beside Still Waters“.

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McKayla thought she had it all. Then she met Clay and realized love was sharing life’s adventures.

“Beside Still Waters” is my eighth published book, my sixth novel, and fifth book offered by Soul Mate Publishing. It is a shift away from some of my other stories, in that it is a Christian romance without the blended sub-genre mixtures. That makes it a clean read without being predictable or overly sweet. There are plenty of support characters to keep the action going strong. Anyone who knows me knows Christian and time travel are my two favorite genres to read, and conversely, to write. So I am exceptionally proud to introduce “Beside Still Waters”.

Here is a little about this story:

Top Journalist and corporate climber, McKayla Buchanan, is sent to a remote California mountain camp for inner-city, at-risk teens. Accustomed to political corruption and high-society drama assignments, she is suddenly a fish out of water. At Camp In As Much, she meets eight hostile and distrustful teens, assorted volunteers and rescued horses—and Clay.
Clay Michaels is the man who founded Camp In As Much and made it the success it is now. His hope for the highly recommended journalist is to come and write a feature to send seeds out to form other camps like his nationwide. He never considered the reporter would turn out to be a lovely woman, or for him to have such an attraction to her.
Between McKayla’s worldly experience and Clay’s strong faith, they form a partnership to help with the endless challenges the kids present. While McKayla’s assignment is supposed to be temporary, it isn’t long before she and Clay are each wishing it could last longer. A serious situation will force McKayla to decide if she can give up her worldly ways and place her faith in the same higher source that earthy and godly Clay does.

“Beside Still Waters” is now available for pre-order on Amazon, with a deliver date of November 9th. Click here for the link to take you to Amazon: http://amzn.to/2dvkUEe 

And here is the fun part: I am offering two $5 Amazon gift cards in honor of this reveal. For your chance to win, leave a comment (& contact info) below. That’s it. Drawing to be held Saturday, October 15th.

Today Stacy Hoff is stopping by, talking about her new release, Jockeying for You. This is a fast paced, Thoroughbred racing romance.  Honestly, what can be more exciting than sexy hunks, Thoroughbreds, and racing hearts? Welcome, Stacy!

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Jockeying for You – Book Blurb
Jake Carter is on a mission—to prove his family wrong. He may have bought a troubled horse, but he’s hired Ryder Hannon, a “horse whisperer,” to get his horse back on track. She’s more than just a trainer to him, she’s the woman he’s been looking for.
Ryder Hannon, a thoroughbred horse trainer, has a big problem—fighting her fear of racing again. Her emotional scars run deeper than her physical ones. But her romantic feelings towards handsome, uber-rich, stable owner Jake Carter is a bigger problem. Is Jake truly in love with her or is he using her to get back at his smug family? ­
When Jake’s jockey gets injured, he wants Ryder to race. He knows deep down she wants to live up to her family’s legacy. So why does she keep fighting him—and her destiny—so hard?

Ok, Stacy, let’s start with some questions about the book before we move on to the nosy, pushy kind. 

What is this book about in a nutshell? Ryder Hannon is through being a jockey. Racing has left her emotionally & physically scarred. Uber-rich stable owner Jake Carter wants the impossible—getting her back in the saddle, and into his heart.

How long did it take to write? Writing JOCKEYING FOR YOU took a while. The research alone took several months, and that was before I typed my first word. After I felt knowledgeable enough about the basics of the sport, and horse racing industry as a whole, drafting the story took me about three months.

Where do you write? Photos optional— My little cave of a home-office. The room is barely bigger than an over-sized closet. The diminutive size has a positive effect—there’s not much to distract me.

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Any special reason why you chose the character names and location that you did? The character name that gave me the most difficulty was for the horse in the story, Handsome Dancer. This is because racehorse names are often a blending of a horse’s parents’ names, so I had to work out a fictitious equestrian lineage.

As for location, I chose New York’s horse-racing scene because it had tracks I could (and did) travel to—Belmont Park and Saratoga Race Course.

belmont-racetrackBelmont Park, Queens NY

Describe the path to publication?

In 2013 I attended my RWA chapter’s annual writing conference. I pitched my first book, DESIRE IN THE EVERGLADES, to the founder and senior editor of Soul Mate Publishing, Inc., Deborah Gilbert. Fortunately, Debby liked my pitch and I received my contract. Soul Mate has been great to work with. I’ve been sending them my manuscripts ever since. JOCKEYING FOR YOU will be my fourth novel published by SMP.

Are you working on anything else right now?

I’m working on a new contemporary romance series, BUILDING LOVE, which is set in the construction industry. Each book is steeped in family power, drama and secrets. My heroes and heroines will face a lot of challenges in order reach their “happily ever after.” Book 1, BUILDING LOVE IN VEGAS, and book 2, BUILDING LOVE IN THE CARIBBEAN, are both already drafted, with book 1 to be released within the next several months. I’m currently sketching out the plot points for book 3, although I may decide to stop planning and just start typing because I’m a “pantser” (someone who writes by the seat of their pants).

Awesome, I love the idea of the locations. Now, how about some ice breaking questions, all the better for getting to know you:

Your favorite town/ city in the world? Why?

New York City. I may not live there now, but it will always be my home.

How did you meet your spouse/ significant other?

We were college sweethearts. We met by living in the same dorm.

If you won the lottery, what is the first thing you would do? Would you keep your day job (if you have one?)

It’d have to be a pretty big lottery win for me to quit my day job; I’ve got two kids who will be going to college in a few years. Paying for their education won’t be pretty.

What is your favorite past time?

Drawing classes at a local art gallery. When I focus on art, my mind is free from everything else. I find it a similar creative outlet as fiction writing.

Would you rather have the ability to be invisible or have x-ray vision?

Invisible. Imagine all the conversations I could eavesdrop! It’d give me great fodder for my stories.

How do you like to spend a rainy day?

Writing. I’m always grateful for the rain. I don’t feel tortured that I’m missing time outdoors with my family.

What one item would you grab if the house was on fire? (assume no living beings are  inside)

My Mac laptop and flash drives. I never trust the cloud.

What’s one favorite thing you do by yourself?

Beside writing and my art classes, I like to cook.

Growing up, what did you want to be?

A writer. I knew myself well. Being practical, however, I became an attorney. Now I balance both jobs.

Some quickies:

Favorite food to cook?

Bolognese sauce, which is fun to make from scratch when I have the time.

Favorite animal?

Horses (perhaps not a surprise, given my new book).

Favorite color?

Blue. I find it peaceful.

Favorite book?

Oooh, too many, but I’ll go with Diane Gabaldon’s “Outlander” series.

Favorite sport or physical activity?

Pilates. Though I exercise out of necessity, not love.

Favorite kind of music?

Anything from the eighties.

Favorite place to visit?

Venice, Italy. My husband and I visited during our honeymoon, twenty years ago. We vowed we will go back one day.

Favorite season?

Fall. The inner artist in me can’t resist the foliage.

Can you dance? Sing?

Not a whit, although I am a half-way decent artist. Still, I doubt anyone cares to watch me paint.

Which do you prefer for a second home? Mountain cabin, beach house or big city condo?

Although I’m originally from New York City, I am drawn to the idea of mountain cabins over condos. The second book in my DESIRE series (DESIRE IN THE ARCTIC) takes place in a mountain range in Alaska’s Yukon.

What dessert do you order most often?

Carrot cake.

What kind of car do you drive? Color?

A red Toyota Rav 4. (New England requires All Wheel Drive.)

What is your favorite type of art?

I love oil paintings, although I only have time to sketch nowadays.

 What three items would you take if you knew you were going to be stranded on a tropical island for a year? (enough suntan lotion is a freebie)

This is a good question for me to muse if I want to write a third book in my survival-based DESIRE series. For now, I’ll choose a fishing pole, a strong knife, and lots of canvass to make a tent and clothing.

One quote you love, that keeps you going in life?

“It is what it is.” I like the Zen spirit of this, since I’m a Type A personality.

Describe a real-life situation in which you stood up for someone/ something.

Standing up on behalf of my younger son. I constantly battle the local school board for learning accommodations due to his severe dyslexia. Getting the help my boy needs has been one of my biggest—and most important—challenges in life.

Do you believe in love at first sight?

Yes. And I’ve been married to my husband ever since.

Stacy, I love your answers, especially your challenge to be your son’s school advocate. Not easy. Horses, blue, fall foliage, all things that speak to me as well. I cannot wait to read “Jockeying for You”.

Want to know more about Stacy Hoff?

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Stacy Hoff is a contemporary romance author, as well as an attorney. She has practiced law for two decades, primarily handling contracts. Romance novels have always been her secret passion. She writes her romantic stories until the wee hours of the night. Stacy lives in New England with her husband and two boys.

JOCKEYING FOR YOU will be her fourth novel. Her other novels are: DESIRE IN THE EVERGLADES (DESIRE series, book 1), DESIRE IN THE ARCTIC (DESIRE series book 2), and LAWFULLY YOURS . Her upcoming series, BUILDING LOVE, will have book 1, BUILDING LOVE IN VEGAS, out soon.

LINKS
Amazon buy link: http://amzn.to/2clOJK3
Amazon author’s page: https://www.amazon.com/Stacy-Hoff/e/B00NN0HCW8
Twitter: https://twitter.com/authorStacyHoff
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/authorStacyHoff

EXCERPT To Jockeying for You:

“You sure you can control a horse with a soft voice like that?” Jake asked, half-teasing.

He could tell she was sizing up his comment, whether it was a joke or an admonishment. Rather than help her out, he decided to see what she’d make of it.

“They don’t call me the horse whisperer for nothing,” she finally let out with an accompanying shrug.

He smiled. Good. She can hold her own. With Handsome Dancer, she’ll need to. He won’t explain himself, either.

“Glad you brought that up. Tell me a little about your philosophy.”

“All right. I imagine you’ve already heard a bit about how I train or we wouldn’t be talking. My approach is simple, I help the horse train himself.”

Jake felt his eyebrows furrow. “Excuse me? What?”

Ryder frowned.

One of his regular waiters approached, pen and paper already out. “Give us a minute, Robert?” Turning his attention back to her, he asked, “I’m sorry, you were explaining your philosophy. It sounded very . . . unorthodox.”

“I’m guessing you’ve seen my track record, so I’m confident unorthodox works. I don’t treat a horse like it’s some kind of four-footed magical carpet, ready to take off at our command. Horses are live creatures. They let us command them when they want to. And if they don’t, no amount of breaking them is going to win a race.”

She paused, cleared her throat, then picked up the glass of ice water in front of her and took a sip. She was peering at him thoughtfully over the rim of the glass. “It’s not as crazy as it sounds. I simply believe a horse that wants to win will do its best to do so. A horse that doesn’t, won’t.”

Click to get your own copy: http://amzn.to/2clOJK3

Stacy, thank  you for joining us, answering my pushy questions, and I wish you the best of luck with your latest endeavor.

The trouble with twins. I just love twin stories and was expecting a lot from Darcy Flynn’s “Double Trouble”. As the tagline reads: “All’s fair in love and getting even”.

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What intrigued me the most was the witty dialogue, especially between the main characters, Clare Sullivan and Will Carrington. The story’s premise is built around a case of mistaken identity (with twins? Really?) and plots of getting even, all told in a fresh manner with two sets of identical twins.  Double the trouble and double the possibilities.

“Double Trouble” is a clean, contemporary, romantic comedy that will keep you laughing one page and shaking your head on another page. The interaction between the well-developed characters is genuine and believable.

I would recommend “Double Trouble” to readers looking for a humorous, fast read.  It took me around three hours one evening to read and enjoy this story. My only complaint was I wish the author had described setting in a little more detail. I’m not familiar with areas Flynn used, and sometimes I was left with a gap due to not fully picturing the setting where it was integral to a given scene. I will still look for more works from Darcy Flynn.