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Posts Tagged ‘author spotlights’

I am excited to have Highlander and Romance author Madelyn Hill visit today, talking about her Wild Thistle Trilogy.

 

 

First, let’s get to know a little about ‘Highland Honor’. Madelyn, what is this book about?

Lady Honor can heal everything but a broken heart . . .

Highland Honor is the final book of the Wild Thistle Trilogy set in the Scottish Highlands. The entire series came to me while in the shower of all places! The dialogue from the heroines’ dying father popped into my head and the story begged to be written. The father’s pledge was; “Through Hope, Faith, and Honor, ye can rule.”

The trilogy follows each of the heroines as they try to live up to their father’s parting words. The pledge cause uncertainty and conflict with each of the sisters.

For Honor, she is the clan healer and strives to never cause another person harm. Which creates quite the conflict with Bryce, a clan warrior who trains the men with fierce dedication. His goal is to protect the clan to his best ability, even if that means injuries or death. Bryce and Honor are thrown together after a stranger is detected in the area and Bryce is assigned to protect Honor as she gathers herbs in the woods.

Fantastic. I can see lots of conflict brewing there. Okay, let’s get to know you better.

   Madelyn Hill, author

Any special reason why you chose the character names and location that you did?

I choose the Highlands because Scotland has always fascinated me. As for the character names, they were derived from the father’s dying pledge. Luckily, the words he chose to speak were perfect for my heroines. For one of my other novels, Heather In The Mist, I named the heroine Rogan. I had a bit of pushback from my critique partner because she said it was a male name. However! I recently ran into a little girl named Rogan!

I love that name! And I’d certainly give it to a female character. What’s the hardest part about writing?

The hardest part of writing is keeping focused and not allowing social networking or writing minutia to get in the way. I find that time flies when I’m on Facebook or Twitter, so much so, that it eats into my writing time. Also, there is a lot of marketing and writerly stuff which needs to be done that also eats into writing time.

How do you beat writer’s block?

If I just can’t keep the story going, I revisit my Pinterest board for the novel or read over research to see if that will spur my muse. If this doesn’t work, I will start working on something new or take a short break.

The most recent movie you’ve seen or book you’ve read?

We just saw the Avengers: Infinity War movie. It was great! I love super hero movies and this one did not disappoint.

Your favorite town/ city in the world? Why?

I love Quebec. The history and beauty along with the food is a fantastic experience. The town is small enough to be quaint and the shopping is great too.

What is your favorite past time?

Besides reading, I love to cook and bake.

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

I think the ability to be invisible would be great. Just think of where you could go and what you could hear without being seen.

Indeed! If you had to give up one of your five senses, what would it be? (common sense does not count here) Most likely the sense of smell or touch. I’d hate to lose sight, hearing or taste.

How do you like to spend a rainy day?

I do not like rainy days and I prefer to cuddle on the couch with a blanket and watch movies.

Do you know any foreign languages?

I can understand Spanish and speak very, very little. My husband is fluent in Spanish.

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

The bins with my children’s pictures. I’d hate to lose them.

Describe one moment in time when you took a huge leap of faith. How did it turn out?

I packed up and moved to New York to be with my boyfriend. It turned out great! I end married the guy.

Yes, that’s a leap of faith. Glad it worked out so well. Okay, some short Q & A. Favorite food to cook?

Pasta

Favorite animal?

Horse

Favorite color?

Red

Favorite kind of music?

Country

Favorite place to visit?

My hometown in Michigan

Favorite season?

Spring

Strangest thing you ever ate?

Octopus

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

Beach

What kind of car do you drive? Color?

            A White GMC Yukon

What is your favorite type of art?

The Impressionist – Mary Cassatt to be specific

Maddy, I am so glad you stopped to visit today. In our parting thoughts, 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)

Assuming my family would not be considered a thing and would be there with me;

  • Tons of books, including one that details what is okay to eat on the island
  • Coffee
  • First aid kit

Now those are some good, solid choices. What would you do in life if you knew you couldn’t fail?

Be an actress.

I like that. Do you believe in love at first sight?

Yes!

Anything special you would like to share with readers?

I appreciate your interest in my books!

Buy Link: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07CSY4PGY/

Social Networking connections:

Website: http://www.madelynhill.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/madelyn.hill.94

Twitter: https://twitter.com/AuthorMaddyHill

Pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/madelynhill68

GoodReads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/2919194.Madelyn_Hill

Amazon Page: https://www.amazon.com/Madelyn-Hill/e/B00ELRG34U/
Instagram: http://www.instagram.com/authormadelynhill

Madelyn Hill, thank you for stopping by. Best wishes.

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Kim Hotzon Handsful of Ashes

RJS: Today Kim Hotzon has stopped by to talk about her new release, Hands Full of Ashes. Welcome, Kim. You have an awesome cover for your book, and a catchy title. Can you please tell  us a little bit about it?

KH: Certainly. Olivia promises to fulfill her dying husband’s wish – to scatter his ashes around the world. Wading through grief and depression, she journeys to a remote orphanage in Uganda. Living amongst the children in their threadbare surroundings, she vows to fight for the children’s lives as she begins to fight for her own. While Olivia develops a passion for humanitarian work, the lonely director of the orphanage develops a simmering passion for her. Just as time begins to heal the wounds of her heart, Olivia learns the truth of her husband’s unimaginable betrayal. She flees to the tiny country of Rwanda where her soul is reawakened with a startling new love. Olivia realizes that love always comes with a price when she is faced with a decision she thought she would never have to make. Surrounded by the rugged beauty of Africa, Olivia is determined to find true love while learning how to survive in a region left torn apart by civil war.

RJS:  Umm…that sounds  pretty mysterious. A deep plot with lots of unexpected turns, just what I love. And you picked such remote locations. Is there some reason for that?

KH: Yes, I have traveled a bit to some wonderful countries, gaining insights and inspiration.

RJS:  Tell us more! What can you share with us on a personal level?

KH: I was born in beautiful British Columbia and developed a passion for writing at an early age. My interest in people led me all over the globe, including a two-year stay in Japan and a humanitarian trip to Rwanda.

I love to write romance stories with a twist, usually involving a dangerous and dramatic backdrop. My first novel, ‘Hands Full of Ashes’, was inspired by a trip to Africa. I spent many years teaching young adults with learning disabilities at Kwantlen Polytechnic University, and I currently reside in the sunny Okanagan with my husband and two children.

author photo--Kim Hotzon

RJS: That sounds like a life that would just naturally lend itself to writing. What else do you do there?

KH: When not writing, I can be found plying the local ski hills, or getting lost in my kayak in the surrounding lakes.

RJS: It’s easy to see how your social life keeps you around people. So, where can readers connect with you and follow your sites?

KH: Readers can get in touch with me by visiting my website:

http://www.kimhotzon.com/

or follow me on Twitter:  https://twitter.com/kimhotzon

or Goodreads:  http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6491250.Kim_Hotzon

or LinkedIn:  https://ca.linkedin.com/pub/kim-hotzon/61/9a8/675

or Pinterest:  https://www.pinterest.com/kimhotzon/

To get your own copy of Hands Full of Ashes“, click here:

http://www.amazon.com/

Or copy & paste this link:

http://www.amazon.com/Hands-Full-Ashes-Kim-Hotzon-ebook/dp/B00S78OGUC/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1421260802&sr=1-1&keywords=Hands+Full+of+Ashes&pebp=1421260817673&peasin=B00S78OGUC

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

Kim, thank you so much for stopping by today. I love your cover, the premise sounds great, your locales are awesome and your life is good. Keep it all up and we’ll be looking forward to your next book release.

Kim Hotzon Handsful of Ashes       http://www.kimhotzon.comauthor photo--Kim Hotzon

 

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Sam Wyatt cover The True One

 

I really like that cover. Welcome, Samanthya, and in a few sentences, what can you tell us about THE TRUE ONE?

His ship in splinters and his men captured, Stephen is a broken man. Yet the torture he received by his enemies is nothing compared to the torment he bears from an angel with lavender eyes.

Jennifer left England full of a young girl’s fantasies of romance and adventure. When she cares for a near death captain, memories emerge of the family she left behind. Will the passion they share be enough? He must choose – her or revenge.

 RJS: Awesome! Now, let’s get chatty shall we? Can you tell us about you and your book?

SW: Ever since I can remember, I have loved curling up with a book. Finally I retired from my day job!

S Wyatt retired

RJS: Bet that felt sweet? So what is your typical day like now?

SW: My morning usually starts with a cup of Java. If I’m lucky, hubby gets up first and brings me a cup of coffee in bed. Mmmm. What a way to greet the day!

RJS: Oh yeah, absolutely sweet. So you have tons of time to write now, right?

SW: I don’t have to tell any writer how difficult it is to find time to put words to paper, let alone create them in your mind. But I am finding I do not have the abundance of time I thought I would to contribute to my writing.

My neighbor came to my house one day and said, “We see you leave in the morning and you don’t come home. Didn’t you retire?”

RJS: Yes, to a curious neighbor, that could be suspicious. So what gives? 

SW: Between soccer games, football games and cheerleading, I’m keeping the road hot. And I am blessed to have more time with my mother.

The early hours could be anything from a lazy, relaxing, take time to dress morning—to a set the alarm, get my granddaughter to school or take mom to the doctor morning. Then there are the mornings of anticipation where I head to my laptop for a few precious moments of picking my brain. I fully expect to see smoke one of these days.

RJS:  Actually, I do see some smoke. So I’m guessing no rocking chairs in your retirement?

 SW: I love to have fun. My hubby is so silly. And his playfulness has rubbed off on me. Anything can come out of my mouth sometimes, just for fun. I’ll say things that don’t make sense, have people raising their eyebrows, or just busting out with laughter. And, at my age I still love rollercoasters. Where the heck is the top of this thing?

S Wyattt rollercoster

One of the things I looked forward to was spending more time with hubby. Cruising in our 1969 Mustang convertible is just one of the perks. And my day is not complete without a kiss from my hubby goodnight.

S Wyatt car

RJS: Now that is just plain sweet. The stuff a good romance is made of. Surely spending time with hubby inspires some good stuff for writing. What is the most important thing you have taken away from retiring and now writing full time, getting THE TRUE ONE published and having extra time for your family? To encapsulate it in one sentence, what would all that boil down to? 

SW: I’m just enjoying life.

 RJS: Beautiful. Now, on to your book. Tell us more, please…

SW: I’m thrilled to celebrate my new historical, The True One. This is the thrilling sequel of the One and Only series. Now we find out what happened to Kat’s brother.

RJS: Okay, take it away…

“The True One”      

 

Captain Stephen Radbourn accepts an intriguing proposition which results in horror. His ship in splinters and his men captured, he is a broken man. A band of rebels rescue their leader from a dungeon, taking the near dead captain with them. Fearing capture and thinking the tortured man will die, they leave Stephen in the care of a woman, who he believes is an angel of mercy. A man of passion, with a trail of satisfied maidens to prove it, he finds his heart captured by the lovely widow. But she forces him to choose—her or revenge.

 

Jennifer Faircloth departed England full of a young girl’s fantasies of romance and adventure. Her young husband dies leaving her a widow to survive alone in a foreign land. When a near death English captain is dropped at her door, memories emerge of the family she foolishly left behind. While caring for him, her curious imagination turns to an overwhelming awareness she cannot deny. He must flee for his life and he takes her with him—back to England—back to the family she’d deserted. She wants her family to forgive her, but she wants Stephen’s love even more.

 

RJS: Now that just begs to be read. I can’t wait to get my copy. To find Samanthya, please visit her website here: http://www.samanthyawyatt.com

 In the meantime, please enjoy an excerpt from The True One: 

He was dead.

He had to be. For serenity enclosed him. Fresh air cloaked him. A cloud of softness wrapped him. Comfort would mean he’d gone to heaven, when he had been destined for hell. Slowly, Stephen became aware of soreness, then stinging, then blinding pain. Sure signs of hell.

The lilting voice of an angel drew him to an unbelievable place of calm. The honeyed sound soothed his mind to a state of ease. Alleviating his anxiety. Diminishing his pain. The most enchanting dream he’d ever held.

He opened his eyes with excruciating sluggishness. The first glimpse of light splintered his skull with a sharp stabbing. He slammed his eyes closed with a long groan. He’d been denied sunlight for so long, he thought never to see the light of day again.

His insides still stuck to his backbone. He breathed as deeply as his broken ribs allowed, then grounded his teeth over the agonizing ache. Slashing pain shot through his jaw stirring more memories. Oh yes. That had been broken too.

A bed? He took a moment to grasp his surroundings. Unfamiliar hands. Gentle hands. He thought he’d felt movement at one time, dreamed he was in a wagon.

Flashes of torture penetrated his skull—men with curved knives and jeweled handles, shackles, a pit for a prison cell. He struggled with the bonds squeezing him when the sweetest sound of an angel pulled him from the dark fog. Reassuring hands swabbed a wet cloth over his feverish skin and coaxed him to swallow. Blessed relief to his parched lips. Now he lolled in a bed.

With a sense of unease he pondered his situation, wondering what state of play brought him to this consequence. He inhaled, taking in pleasant air. No stench. No slimy creatures. Where was he? At this point he didn’t care. As long as he no longer suffered the Raj’s torture.

Slowly, and more cautious this time, he lifted one lid to a narrow slit. The swelling around his eye had gone down considerably. He glanced down to find a hand-sewn quilt, like the ones his mother made. Definitely a bed. Which also resembled his English heritage. Had he somehow been transported back to England?

He rolled his head against the pillow’s softness. His mind wandered restlessly through a mirage of shadows. His ribs were on fire. He searched the room. A window stood open and the thin covering wavered as if the wind blew gently to make it dance. A crude piece of furniture beyond the bed with items scattered about. To the right a door. He wondered who was on the other side. Friend or adversary? He closed his eyes for a moment, seeking relief. Ignoring the pain in his skull, he turned his head to the right and saw the delicate creature in his dream. An angel of mercy, with dark hair falling about her shoulders. Long sweeping lashes brushed velvety cheeks. Instant awareness surged through his body. At least the devils hadn’t killed that part of him.

On the heels of that thought, he wondered if she were a maid or the wife of some possessive husband. If she were his wife—perish the thought—he would never leave her alone in any room with a strange man, incapacitated or no. Especially not in close proximity of a bed.

And he was naked. Bare as a new baby’s bottom.

 Thank you, Samanthya for joining me today! I wish you best luck with your new book.

The True One’s link: http://amzn.to/1uSAlFl

To buy it now:  http://www.amazon.com/True-One-Only-Book-ebook/dp/B00R3POS7G/ref=sr_1_1?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1418823211&sr=1-1&keywords=the+true+one

Samanthya Wyatt is also on facebook, goodreads and amazon.

Samanthya Wyatt

 Buy links:

http:amzn.to/1lEk2Qy                        http:amzn.                                          http:amzn.to/1mhTqw4

 

 

 

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12 Days of Chrismtas Blog Hop Buttons

No, there won’t be geese a-laying or maids a-milking, at least I don’t think so. But there will be gifts–for you!

12 days Christmas gifts many

Here’s how it goes: twenty-two of us Soul Mate Publishing  authors have teamed together to bring the Twelve Days of Christmas to our blogs. Starting tomorrow, December 14th, we will each share a little about ourselves and have a short host of one Soul Mate Author. We will be talking about all things Christmas; our favorite movie and song, our favorite holiday memories, sharing some great recipes for desserts, cocktails, appetizers and decorating tips. It’s our way to bring the Twelve Days of Christmas to our readers and spread some Christmas cheer–and gifts.

12 days numbers

In addition, readers will get a chance to win a nice prize donated by each author and at the end of this blogging festival, there will be a rafflecopter on December 25th for a really neat grand prize which holds something donated by each of the participating authors.  (We love our readers and fans!)

So check back to this blog tomorrow, and the connected blog of the hosted author, and come back each day for your chance to win awesome prizes, learn more about the Soul Mate authors and pick out your next few books to add to your wish-to-read list.

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BOOK AND AUTHOR INFO:

Dawning of Light by Tami Lund
(Lightbearer Book 2)
Publication date: December 15th, 2014
Genres: Paranormal Romance

Tami Lund cover pic

DAWNING OF LIGHT BLURB:

Finnegan Hennigan meets his match in spunky Cecilia Druthers, a woman he can barely stand. Cecelia’s opinion of Finn? He’s an oaf and a killjoy. But, opposites can’t resist each other in Dawning of Light by Tami Lund. You’ll love Book 2 of Tami’s hot fantasy series, Lightbearer, a saga about lightbearers and the shifters who hate to love them.

The Lightbearers are a group of magical beings who have lived for five hundred years hidden away in their warded and protected coterie. Now that the princess of the Lightbearers is mated to a shifter, their peaceful lives have been turned upside down.

In this second installment of the Lightbearer Series, shifter Finnegan Hennigan is doing his damnedest to keep lightbearer Cecilia Druthers out of trouble. His job is made all the more difficult by the fact that Cecilia doesn’t want to stay out of trouble.

Despite their mutual annoyance, sparks ignite between this odd couple. As it becomes increasingly more apparent that someone is out to get Cecilia, the flares of attraction become impossible to resist, and soon, Cecilia and Finn tumble into, well, a closet together. And then the bed. And if Finn wants to keep her there, he’s going to need to keep her alive.

Which means figuring out who the hell keeps trying to kill her. 

Content Notes: Hot, Non-sexual Violence, Fantasy, Fairies, Paranormal, Shifters, Suspense

GOODREADS:  https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5169798.Tami_Lund

AUTHOR BIO

Tami Lund likes to live, love, and laugh, and does her best to ensure the characters in her books do the same. After they’ve overcome a few seemingly insurmountable obstacles first, of course.

Tami is multi-published, both self and with a few publishers, including Crimson Romance, Liquid Silver Books, and Soul Mates Publishing. Chances are, there is a new book coming out soon. Be sure to stalk her on social media, so you know when.

And most important, if you enjoyed one of Tami’s books, please let other readers know by leaving a review on the site from which you bought it, or on Goodreads. Otherwise, how will they know which book to read next?

Tami Lund author pic

AUTHOR LINKS:

W: http://tamilund.com/

T: https://twitter.com/@TamiLundAuthor

F: https://www.facebook.com/AuthorTamiLund

G: https://www.goodreads.com/search?utf8=&query=tami+lund

GIVEAWAY:

The author is hosting a giveaway for some eBooks of Into the Light (Lightbearer Book 1) and an Amazon gift card to celebrate the reveal.

http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/c4fff9c78/

BOOK RELEASE FACEBOOK PARTY:

Tami Lund is hosting a book release party on Facebook with author takeovers, contests and prizes, and swag, and would love for you to come!

Join the party!! https://www.facebook.com/events/317271781806501

PRE-ORDER RELEASE SPECIAL:

Pre-order Dawning of Light and email Tami the receipt to be entered to win!

Pre-Order Here: http://amzn.to/1rlBxRc

 

Tami Lund books

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AVAILABLE THIS MONTH FROM SOUL MATE PUBLISHING: 

                                          A Mighty Good Man Rebecca Neely

Rebecca Neely is visiting us now, and she so thoughtfully brought us a Mighty Good Man.

Rebecca, first, welcome to the blog. Now, we have all heard a good man is hard to find. Some swear it is true. But you found one, or at least your heroine did.  This sounds interesting.

It is. This is my blurb, which I am happy to share: +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

Hank Jerry…

Her personal and professional life on the skids, a family emergency forces her to return to the small town, and the aunt, she left behind. 

Jack ‘Gent’ Darcy…

Fresh out of prison, he’s bent on cutting ties with the Creds, but when you’re a war counselor in a national gang, they don’t let you just walk away.

Injured and on the run, Jack lands on Hank’s doorstep, and makes her a proposition she can’t refuse: write his story about life inside one of the most powerful gangs in the country.

It’s simple – she’ll get her career groove back, and he’ll bury the gang, then disappear – his version of freedom.

Only problem is, they can’t help falling for each other, and they’ve both got something to hide that could blow up in their faces.

With time running out and gang enforcers closing in, will the trust they’ve forged survive the ultimate test?

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

Yes, that’s definitely attention-getting. Where can we learn more?

At Facebook

https://www.facebook.com/pages/Rebecca-E-Neely/740166889351411

And at Twitter

https://twitter.com/RebeccaNeely1

And my website of course, http://www.rebeccaeneely.com

buy here:   http://tinyurl.com/ld7poze

A Mighty Good Man author pic Rebecca Neely

What was the inspiration for your hero and heroine’s story?

Until I was about sixteen, my family ran a Mom and Pop restaurant, serving up homemade spaghetti and meatballs, soups and He-man breakfasts. I grew up there, working, cooking and eating, and meeting all kinds of interesting people. That hallowed place is long gone, but lives on in my memory, and inspired me for the setting in A Mighty Good Man. It’s a cool, retro style diner, and that’s where a lot of the action takes place.

The heroine, Hank Jerry, is a tough talking, twentieth century broad. The hero, Jack ‘Gent’ Darcy, is a strange combination of gentleman and hood. Together, they smooth out each other’s rough spots, and rough out some of the smooth.

I think all writers form impressions everyday they carry into their writing at some point or another, even years later. For example, about two years ago, when I was out to breakfast one morning with my family, our waitress struck me as a character, physically. She was a young woman in her early twenties, with dishwater blond hair bordering on dredlocks, tattoos on her wrists, slender, skin tight jeans, wearing Ugg boots – the perfect combination of grit and polish. I already had ‘Hank’ in my mind, and it’s like I was looking at her that morning. I love those kinds of moments.

Yes, I am always on the lookout for random, ordinary things that anyone else would miss, but we can capture and use.

The idea for Hank and Jack’s story had been part of my imagination for several years before I got to write it. Above all, I wanted the story to be a fast read, one that people could escape to while they waited for their kids to finish soccer, or sat in the doctor’s office, or were stuck in the airport. I’ve always loved short stories, and I aspired to that in telling this story.

Have you always wanted to be a writer? If not that, what would your dream career be? 

I think I’ve always been a writer at heart, though I segued into Accounting (yikes!) for about a decade. Rows and columns seem to be the antithesis of creativity, but organization is something I’m good at, and really helps me to get my arms around a story.

No doubt, organization is key for successful writing. Do your characters tell their own story or do you pretty much have it all planned out when you start writing? (Do you have the ending in mind at the beginning or are you surprised?) 

For me, like most things in life, nothing is completely cut and dried. When I started writing Jack and Hank’s story, I had certain ideas about what would happen in the story, but as I wrote, things morphed and changed, and I welcomed that. I don’t want to box myself in, but I definitely like to have a framework.

I work out a lot of plot problems and come up with ideas while I’m walking, which I try to do daily. Something about the physical activity and the change of scenery really seems to ‘percolate’ ideas for me. I’ve had many ‘aha!’ moments during my walks. I’m sure people see me talking to myself and think I’m crazy.

With the fact most everyone it seems is going around talking on their phone headsets or speakers, not so crazy for us.   

How does your writing—and published!– life compete with ‘the real world? (work, home, family, friends, etc…)

I’m a single mother, and my 12 year old daughter keeps me busy, with activities, homework – and all the things that keep a mother busy. Sometimes, trying to carve out writing time is challenging, but I know at some point, I’ll get it, and I try not to fret about it too much, because my daughter is my priority above all. I don’t write every day, but often, I’m writing in my head, or coming up with ideas, and taking down voice memos on my smart phone as things strike me. After a few days, all that creativity gets stored up and comes gushing out the next time I sit down to write.

Bonus question– what’s next for you? WIP? I am currently working on a paranormal romance. That’s out of my comfort zone, and that’s one of the reasons I wanted to do it. I wanted to do something totally different than what I had before, and keep challenging myself. At the same time, it’s a story that was begging to be told, and I followed my instinct on that.

What kind of snacks or motivations do you keep handy to keep you going? I adore cheese and crackers, and I always keep a really good quality hunk of cheddar on hand. That’s my savory. I’m not a chocaholic, but more of a cookie monster. I love a good cookie. That’s my sweet!

What is your idea of a perfect writing day? Get my daughter off to school, maybe stop by this fantastic local bakery and get a cheese Danish, come back home and have a second cup of coffee, and write new material for a few hours. I enjoy huddling by the furnace on a cold, rainy day, with a pen and paper, before I get to the laptop. It’s very satisfying, for it to be just me and my story – kind of like the boy in the movie, The Never Ending Story, who’s reading his book all alone, in the forgotten attic of his school.

The most satisfying thing for me as a writer is to have started with a blank page, and at the end of the day, to have written a few really good pages, that sometimes, took a turn I didn’t expect, and wound up being even better than my original idea.

Yes, that is a satisfaction I think we live for.  How do you handle the edit process? As you go, day by day or in chunks or some other method?

I like to let what I write one day steep for a bit, then come back to it the next day, or even days later. Often, I’ll see a way to arrange it I hadn’t thought of, or recognize a plot hole I hadn’t seen before. Then, I edit and word smith to my heart’s content. Often, when I’m editing, I find new connections, and ways of adding emotional depth, and that gives me ideas for upcoming scenes, and ways of fleshing out previous scenes.

What is the most important thing you’ve learned since you’ve become a published author?

Patience. After I sold my first book, I think I put a lot of pressure on myself to quickly follow up with a second. However, I found out that trying to force myself to write is counterproductive, and in general, just no fun. I’ve learned to have more patience with myself, and my creative process. Ideation, creation, sculpting a story is hard work, but I know it comes with time, and I put my faith in that.

Awesome. I appreciate your thorough answers. I am willing to guess lots of us writers see ourselves in some of your processes, methods and schedules. You can bet I’ll be checking out A MIGHTY GOOD MAN. Before you go, could you please toss us a quick teaser, just to whet our appetites?

Sure, how about this?   ~~~~~~~

From the shadows behind the dumpster, a man emerged and limped toward her, clutching his side, his chest heaving, clouds of his breath hanging in the April air.

“Hide me!” he gasped.

“What the hell?” Heart pounding, Hank retreated a few steps and threw her cigarette to the ground. Blood, bruises, panic—all of it oozed from this man who’d materialized like smoke.

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

Rebecca, thank you for dropping in today. It’s been a great pleasure and I am sure A MIGHTY GOOD MAN is also a Mighty Good Read. I can’t wait to read more about Hank and Jack.

 

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The Turning Stone Chronicles – Not a Normal World

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Recently I had the chance to have Catherine and Donald Hersh, husband & wife writing team  that make up pseudonym C.D.Hersh come visit my blog. I am excited to share this with you. Today there are going to talk about their book  Blood Brothers, which is number two for The Turning Stone Chronicles.  Catherine and Donald, welcome and take it away.

 

CD Hersh bio pics

Ryan Jo, thanks so much for having us with you today. You mentioned you’d be interested in an explanation of the series. It just so happens a few weeks ago we created a series blurb for The Turning Stone Chronicles.

Three ancient Celtic families.

A magical Bloodstone that enables the wearers to shape shift.

A charge to use the stone’s power to benefit mankind,

and a battle, that is going on even today,

to control the world.

Can the Secret Society of shape shifters called the Turning Stone Society heal itself

and bring peace to our world?

 

Book one of the series, The Promised One, is about the discovery of the good shape-shifter faction’s most recent Promised One, a shape-shifter savior who will bring the two warring factions together. When book two, Blood Brothers, opens, the Keeper of the Stone has just discovered not one potential Promised One, but two: Rhys Temple and Alexi Jordan. Never in the history of The Turning Stone society has such a discovery been made, calling into question the interpretation of the prophesy about the Promised One. Shape-shifter Delaney Ramsey is called in to help the Keeper of the Stone mentor his new protégés. Unbeknownst to him, the rogue kingpin, Falhman, and his henchwoman Sylvia Jordan Riley have discovered Rhys, too. And so the battle begins.

CD Hersh cover Blood brothers

We have five books planned for the series and possibly a prequel or two. If there is enough interest and we are not tired of the characters after five books.

 

The timing of the books’ release is not set in stone. We have edits on book three waiting for us as soon as our blog tour is over. So we expect that it will be out some time next year. Book four is in the detailed planning stage where we create the scene outlines and weave the plots together. Book five plots keep changing because we are still adding interesting twists, depending upon what our characters do in book four. We tend to plot heavily, yet leave room for our characters and the elusive muse to take us to unexpected places.

 

Speaking of the unexpected, our shifters are not the run-of-the-mill shape shifters. Normally, when one thinks about shape shifters, human to animal is what comes to mind. Curses and the power of the moon are also commonly used to cause uncontrolled shifting. Our shifters control their shape shifting via the magic they obtain from the power of the ancient bloodstone given to the original three families by Celtic druids. This stone has been cut into a finite number of rings. Each has a magic inscription inside, that when read releases the magic that begins the shape-shifting process.

 

This shifting is based on the fact that all of us have three states of personality: Id, Ego, and Super-ego. For purposes of our world this translates into three levels of shifting. Of course this takes some training, which all shifters are not privy to. Our shape-shifting world is filled with shifters who have achieved various levels of shape-shifting skill.

 

  • Mimic shifting – This is the lowest level of shifter skill and doesn’t require training. By looking at or envisioning a person, a shifter can take the form of that individual. All shifters can mimic shift as this is the basic skill.
  • Alter-ego shifting – This is the second level of shifter skill that is obtained after some training. Male shifters can access their feminine side and shift into their female alter-ego. Vice versa for females.
  • Animal shifting – This is the third level of shifter skill obtained after much training. The shifter does not know what their animal ego is until they reach this skill level.

 

Each of these levels have their own issues, problems, and benefits. Here is an excerpt from book one, The Promised One that shows mimic shifting. This shifter does not know what the power of the ring is yet. He gets quite a surprise.

There had been nothing in the mugging, nothing in the car, and now he had the cops on his tail. The memory of him lying on the ground—his trim beard, chiseled face, and hairy, muscled body—flooded into Shaw’s mind. He shook his head trying to clear the image, but it wouldn’t go away.

A spasm shot through his chest and he stumbled. Gotta hide. Get out of here. He swung into an alley. The pain ripped his chest in half. Unable to move, he collapsed against a building. I’m done for now.

Drawing his knees to his chest, he hid his face against them. Maybe the cop wouldn’t come down this alley. He held his breath, cursing the day he’d killed Baron Jordan. As he stilled, the hand wearing the ring he’d stolen tingled. The tingling spread through his whole body.

Am I having another heart attack? Probably just as well. I don’t want to spend the rest of my life in jail.

Something jabbed him in the shoulder.

“Hey, you. Look at me.”

The crackle of the police radio told him a cop stood in front of him. Shaw raised his head, his heart racing frantically.

The cop eyed him then scanned the alley. “Sorry. I thought you were someone else. Anybody come into this alley?”

Blood roared in Shaw’s ears. Had he heard right?

The cop raised his voice a notch and repeated the question.

The stupid pig didn’t recognize him. He shook his head.

The cop peered closer. “Are you okay? You’re a little pale.”

He nodded, wiped his hand over his mouth, and then over his chin. Dumbfounded, he repeated the motion.

He had a beard! Where had that come from?

 

We thought you should really get to meet the main characters in Blood Brothers, too, so here is an extra excerpt introducing the hero and heroine of this story:

 

Harry Williams paused at the entrance to Alexi’s ER room, hand hovering over the doorknob, uncertain when he heard the voices inside. Did she have company? He peeked in through a crack in the window curtain. The only people he recognized were Alexi and Rhys. He moved from the door, planning to return later.

“Captain,” Rhys called as he opened the door. “Come in.”

“I’m not intruding?”

“No. Alexi will be glad to see you.”

Harry stepped into the room. Going immediately to her bedside, he set the small vase of flowers he’d brought on the nightstand. “Didn’t know what kind you liked.”

Retrieving the vase, she held the flowers to her nose and inhaled. “These are gorgeous, Captain. Thank you.”

Tubes stuck into his favorite homicide detective’s arms. She seemed so helpless hooked to the equipment. Not at all like the fearless woman he knew. “You going to be okay?”

“I’ve got to stay in for a few days, but then I should be fine.”

He glared at Rhys. “How did you let her get mauled by a panther?”

“She ran in ahead of me … like she always does.”

“Headstrong woman,” Harry said to Alexi.

“That’s what makes me so good,” she replied with a smile that lit her drawn face. Alexi directed his attention toward the older man. “This is Eli McCraigen, an old friend of Baron’s, and this,” she said, pointing to the woman, “is Delaney Ramsey. Our boss, Captain Harry Williams.”

Giving Eli a cursory nod, Harry then turned toward Delaney. A pair of turquoise eyes shown out of a china doll face, with the slightest hint of a middle age crease around her cupid bow mouth. A minute past before he found his voice. “Ms. Delaney, nice to meet you,” he said with a squeak. He hadn’t jumped octaves like that since his teenage acne cleared.

Smiling, her face lit. Amused, no doubt, by him. His gaze swept over her. She had a body a man could lose himself in. When she caught him enjoying the view, she blushed and returned the favor.

The once-over caused him to respond faster than he thought possible. A woman had not made him react like that in a long time. Women were a distraction. One he’d only dallied with occasionally since his wife left him. They all ran the minute they heard he was a career cop.

 

Title – Blood Brothers, The Turning Stone Chronicles

Author – C.D. Hersh

Genre – Paranormal Suspense Romance

Heat Level – Sensual

Release Date: October 29, 2014

Blurb:

When Delaney Ramsey is enlisted to help train two of the most powerful shape shifters the Turning Stone Society has seen in thousands of years, she suspects one of them is responsible for the disappearance of her daughter. To complicate matters, the man has a secret that could destroy them all. Bound by honor to protect the suspect, Delaney must prove his guilt without losing her life to his terrible powers or revealing to the police captain she’s falling for that she’s a shape shifter with more than one agenda.

 

The minute Captain Williams lays eyes on Delaney Ramsey, he knows she’s trouble. Uncooperative, secretive, and sexy, he can’t get her out of his mind. When he discovers she has a personal agenda for sifting through all the criminal records in his precinct, and secretly investigating his best detective, he can’t let her out of his sight. He must find out what she’s looking for before she does something illegal. If she steps over the line, he’s not certain he can look the other way for the sake of love.

 

Hook:

Shape shifter Delaney Ramsey’s daughter is missing, and she is bound by honor to protect the man she suspects of the deed. To bring him to justice, she must go against her code, the leader of the secret shifter society, and the police captain she is falling for.

 

Links:

Amazon buy link for The Promised One (The Turning Stone Chronicles): http://t.co/yW59QqvkLh

Amazon buy link for Blood Brothers (The Turning Stone Chronicles): not available till 10/29/14

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

Bio:

Putting words and stories on paper is second nature to co-authors C.D. Hersh. They’ve written separately since they were teenagers and discovered their unique, collaborative abilities in the mid-90s. As high school sweethearts and husband and wife, Catherine and Donald believe in true love and happily ever after.

Together they have co-authored a number of dramas, six which have been produced in Ohio, where they live. Their interactive Christmas production had five seasonal runs in their hometown and has been sold in Virginia, California, and Ohio. Their most recent collaborative writing efforts have been focused on romance. The first book of their paranormal romance series entitled The Promised One (The Turning Stone Chronicles) is available on Amazon. The second book in the series Blood Brothers became available October 29, 2014 from Soul Mate Publishing.

Where you can find CD:

Website: http://cdhersh.wordpress.com/

Soul Mate Publishing: http://smpauthors.wordpress.com/

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

Amazon Author Page: http://www.amazon.com/C.-D.-Hersh/e/B00DV5L7ZI

Twitter: https://twitter.com/AuthorCDHersh

Well, I’m about breathless from all that excitement and information. This series sounds absolutely wonderful. Catherine and Donald, thank you so much for both of you to come visit on my blog, share your world and introduce us to your characters.  I wish you both many sales and great success with the Chronicles.

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I am pleased to introduce a new author with the Soul Mate family. Today she is here to talk about her novel, “The Ranch Hand‘,  available with Wild Rose Press.

 

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BLURB:

Jason Haverty is looking forward to the fall horse drive, until his boss and uncle informs him one of the new cowboys coming in to help will be riding his favorite horse. His annoyance is furthered when the cowboy turns out to be a cowgirl—a quick-witted and confident blonde beauty. Trying to avoid her doesn’t work. The more time he spends with her, the more an unexpected protectiveness toward her grows.

Bobby Jo’s Texas upbringing taught her to give just as good as she gets, a quality Jason finds frustrating and all the more endearing in this Southern Belle. When an accident on the trail places her in possible danger, Jason realizes she means more to him than he thought. The question is, does she feel the same?

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Erin, that sounds great. What inspired you to write this story?  I received an email for a chance to enter a short story for a Cowboy Anthology for women. I quickly wrote a story, but it was rejected. I decided since I had spent some time on this story, I might as well mold it and make it what I wanted it to be, so that’s what I did. I deleted several scenes and made the ones I had deeper point of view and added new scenes. The Ranch Hand is much better now because it got rejected the first time.

That  makes sense. Most of us do that at least once. So that leads me to, what is your general writing style? My writing style? I’m not really sure. I think it’s still changing. I love first person point of view, and eventually I’ll write something in first person, but my main goal is to write like I’m talking to you. I’m not sure if my stories come across that way yet, but I hope that eventually they will. I’m still learning!

We’ve all heard it said It Takes Time and Practice to Be the Best Writer We Can Be.  So, in that vein, what is next for you? Next for me is another cowboy story called Wedding Day. I’m currently in the very final stages of editing. Once I finish the final read through and make the appropriate changes, I will send it off for chances at publication. Wedding Day has been a work in progress for two years. I’ll do a major happy dance when it get’s picked up. (notice, I said when and not if. I’m trying to send good vibes out into the world!)

Yes, think positive and send good vibes. It sure can’t hurt. Now, what has surprised you about being a published author? What surprises did I encounter? I don’t know about surprises per say, I’ll just say that it was hard for me to hon in on these characters. Why? I can’t really tell you. I think it’s because this was my first piece to be edited by a real editor. She asked me questions about the characters and what they were thinking and I honestly couldn’t provide answers at the time. She was an awesome editor and she helped me possess the skills to ask the right questions at the right times in my story and future stories. Like I said, I’m still learning!

As we all are I think. So how long did the process take for this particular ‘lesson’ of The Ranch Hand? How long did the process take: From start to finish a year I believe or maybe a little over. That is including the first drafts and the first rejection for the women’s anthology. After I was rejected and made more edits and changes, I wanted to self publish this story. I almost did last October. I had a cover ready and everything, but I thought I’d give traditional publishing another shot first. I’m so glad I did. The Ranch Hand is so much better for it. Cover, too!
Yes, that cover is interesting. It makes a person stop and wonder. Can you share a bit of what’s between the covers?

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EXCERPT:

His throat tightened as he gave her a quick once
over. Long golden strands covered her shoulders, and her eyes were blue like a clear Montana sky. Her smile penetrated his chest like the stilettos on her heels, and the curve of her hips made his pants constrict.

“Yes, ma’am, can I help you?” he drawled.

“Are you Jason Haverty?” the beauty asked in a
Southern twang.

“Yes, I am.”

“Oh, thank goodness.” She turned. “Mike, over
here. I found him,” she hollered as she waved her arm in the air. The fire engine red handbag she held was some high-priced designer brand, Couch or Nada, something like that, and her luggage had the letters LV all over it.

Maybe those were her initials.

He stood just as a young guy wearing a navy blue T-shirt and skin-tight jeans made his way over to them. This kid was long and lean, had celery stalks for legs, and a zit on the tip of his nose. Hell, she was probably the kid’s girlfriend, which meant she was young, too.

Too young for him.

A damn shame.

“Hey, man, nice to meet you. I’m Mike.” The boy
tipped his hat and held out a calloused hand. Jason shook it.

“Umm…I was told there were only two guys: Mike and Bobby. There wasn’t any mention of bringing a girlfriend.”

Pimples and the beauty both looked at each other and laughed. He didn’t see what was so damn funny.

The girl shifted her black coat to her left arm. “I’m Bobby. Bobby Jo Turner.” She extended her hand.

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The Ranch Hand has all the ingredients of a great read. There are horses and a ranch, a disgruntled handsome cowboy, a protective brother and a beautiful tomboy named Bobby Jo plus a dangerous accident on the trail. The mixture promises to be exciting all the way.

Erin Beven bio pic

LINKS to Connect with Erin:

http://www.erinbevan.com/

http://www.facebook.com/erinbevanwrites

Twitter: @ErinBevan

Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/ebev85

email: erinbevanwrites@gmail.com

 

Erin, thank you so much for stopping in today and bringing ‘The Ranch Hand’. It sounds like an absolutely wonderful and fun read. Best wishes.

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Today I am very happy to announce Neva Brown has stopped in to visit my blog. She brought a copy of her latest book A Pretty Penny and wants to share a little about it.  Welcome, Neva, glad you are here.

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Please tell us a little about yourself first:

I am a retired secondary teacher/administrator and now enjoy the challenge of writing romance novels and doing editing for other romance writers.
I spent most of my life on West Texas ranches and use that culture and environment in many of my stories. My husband and I now live at Rio Concho West in San Angelo, Texas. We enjoy visits from our two sons and their families, are always delighted to hear from old friends, and am amazed at how well they have adjusted to ‘city’ living

Wonderful, sounds idyllic. Tell us a little about your new book, A Pretty Penny.

Wealthy, arrogant Clayton Brandt knows well the costs of a woman. Not until Penelope (Penny) Jones comes into his life does he know the value of a woman.
Anger at Clayton, her new boss, causes Penny to snap out of the lethargy she’s experienced after seeing her husband killed. She puts to use all her innate abilities, learned skills, and intuitiveness to cope with the overbearing Clayton and the women in his life. Penny, in time, knows she loves him, but will not become one of his women—not on his terms.
On her terms, they marry only to be parted by federal agents before they leave their wedding reception. The ensuing intrigue, danger, and antics of Clayton’s ex-wife play a part in Penny being in imminent peril. Even after their love survives all this, it is once again threatened by a letter from a vindictive woman who is dead. The letter devastates Clayton and crushes his hopes for happiness.
How Clayton and Penny find their happy-ever-after is a breath-holding adventure at times and a breathtaking love story at other times.
Wow, spine tingling is all I can think of.  I  would like to now ask you some questions both about your work and life?
What was the motivation for A Pretty Penny?
Over a period of several weeks, I read little items about unusual things that happened in Texas and New Mexico. One day while doing mindless household chores, I decided these events would make great conflicts for a hero and heroine to have to deal with in a romance novel. The idea became something like a carrot on a stick to get me to finish the chores so I could go play with words and create a story.
Where did the characters and their lives come from?
The characters and their lives are all totally from my imagination.  
Describe your writing process are you a pen and paper writer or depend on high-tech wizardry?
I write with pen and paper and on my desktop computer. My creative muse turns up her nose at my laptop or iPad and goes into hiding. Pen and paper works for me if I’m mulling over a scene or need to brainstorm different approaches to an issue. However, when it’s time to really write then I need my big screen desktop and standard size keyboard.
Describe your writing space? Location, items used, special items, tools you can’t live without.
My writing space is a room away from the traffic area of the house. I can look out double windows to the courtyard where there is always something blooming except in winter. When I bog down, I can give my high back, adjustable chair a quarter turn and look out, think, and hopefully figure a way out of a jam I’ve written myself into. 
 I have an old maple wood table-type desk that has room for the computer screen, the printer, a special lamp, an electric pencil sharpener, a stapler, a catchall basket with compartments for all kinds of necessary “junk” ( extra eye glasses, pens, pencils, sticky note pads, camera, cords, etc.). There’s also room for two file folder boxes and one notebook with passwords and how-to information. I have some kind of paper to scribble on in front of the monitor always (messy pile but lots of valuable info).
Of course, there’s room for my tea and a dish of dark chocolate chips.
I need all this “stuff’ to make me feel like I’m all set to WRITE.  
Is publishing a book everything you thought it would be? Or more?
Publishing is a lot more work than I’d planned for it to be and very exacting. But the challenge is exciting even if it is a tad exasperating at times. The finished product makes up for it all.
Soul Mate Publishing doing A Pretty Penny and Casey’s Courage is a dream come true for me.
What do you know now that you wish you knew when you first started writing?
POV is super important to editors. Show don’t tell needs to be my theme song.  Be sure to get the formatting right from the very beginning because redoing an old manuscript is the pits.
When you began writing, was it with publication and career in mind or as an outlet for creative expression? When was that? Did any sort of mental shift occur? If so, explain.
My first writing was journaling then I starting doing short, short stories for fun when our two sons were very small. We lived on a ranch twenty-three miles from town with no telephone. Adult fictional characters served me well during those years.
I don’t think I ever really felt a mental shift.
Life was lived; a couple of advanced college degrees earned, twenty odd years of teaching, plus the arrival of wonderful grandchildren filled my life. One day it was time to retire. I learned to crochet, do embroidery (something my mother could never trap me long enough to teach me in my early years. I was my daddy’s “cowboy” and far more interested in horses and ranch work than in-house work).
After retiring, I discovered I had time to read for pure pleasure not for teaching, etc. After a time, the need to write came and here I am having fun and working hard to do just that.
Favorite color? Blue, all shades of blue
Favorite food? Beef tacos with all the trimmings
Favorite music? George Strait country style music & old-fashioned church hymns
How do you unwind away from writing?
I spend time with my husband. I also read romance, mystery, suspense, mainstream, women’s fiction, non-fiction and work crossword puzzles. I walk about two miles most every day (great time to let the brain idle).
Writing is such a solitary pursuit, how do you feel about having a strong network of writer and non-writer supporters?
Support groups are wonderful. They give me courage to keep trying, help me when I get stuck, critique for me at times, and answer questions with unbelievable patience (technical things are the bane of my life, but I have people who are always willing to help). The people in these groups even help promote my books. They broaden my horizons and enrich my life.

 

Great stuff, Neva, thank you for sharing so openly. So how can people connect with you?

My social media efforts still need work, but I can be found at: 
I love to hear from my readers. I can be reached at joneva@suddenlink.net.  

 

Thank you so much for stopping in today, Neva, and sharing both A Pretty Penny and so much about yourself. Now, let’s see that lovely cover for A Pretty Penny:

Neva Brown cover

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Soul Mate Publishing author Larynn Ford is visiting today, bringing two of her recent novels to share. Welcome, Larynn!

Larynn Ford author pic

The first is her novel DREAMS DO COME TRUE. It is an exciting story about love, ranching and werepanthers.

The vicious slaughter of cattle brings Lynzi and Layne, a Fae raised in the human world, to the aid of his human parents. A neighbor with a grudge has returned to the area to settle a score.
Having accepted the reality of her new life with her Fae fiancé, Lynzi is only mildly shocked to find the tall tales her granddaddy told so many years ago about black panthers roaming the woods near their home were not only true but also had a twist, those panthers were two natured . . . werepanthers.
Now, it’s up to Lynzi and Layne to stop the slaughter and help bring down the big cats.

Larynn Ford cover-Dreams do come true

I just love that spelling of Lynzi. The next book, released in July, is RESCUED. This thriller is about a female Private Investigator with dual natures– one purely woman and one not so much.

Fiercely independent and determined to be taken seriously in a man’s world, PI Rose Baxter will do whatever it takes to find the kids who are disappearing from the streets and bring them home safe, even teaming up with PI Marty Brown, a man hot enough to burn whatever part of her gets too close – her fingers, her sheets, her life, and her other nature’s whiskers.

But her other nature knows whiskers grow back and will accept nothing less than this man as her mate for life, a plan Marty’s all in on. Sparks fly when she refuses to be the little woman. Besides, those kids need her and their time’s running out. But, thrown together 24/7 can she fight it?

 

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Here is what Larynn has to say about what got her into writing and what led to these exciting books:

Larynn Ford began reading romance in her early teens and became interested in writing in high school. She’s a daydreamer and a romantic who is intrigued by the paranormal and loves to let her mind wander, always searching for a happily ever after ending to her dreams.
She began reading with a renewed passion in 2006, fell in love with romance all over again, and began thinking how much fun it would be to create a fantasy world all her own. Some of those worlds are in book form now. She’s going to keep writing, dreaming, and searching for her own happily-ever-after.

And we sure are glad for that. It means there are more great books to come from Larynn. To connect with her now or purchase your own copy of these wonderful reads, check out her social media links:

Website/Blog: http://www.larynnford.com/
Twitter: @LarynnFord
Face Book: https://www.facebook.com/larynnfordauthor
Amazon Author Page: http://www.amazon.com/Larynn-Ford/e/B00CELS1V8/

Larynn, it has been great having you visit today and bring your recent releases. The covers are lovely and they both sound so tempting, it would be hard to decide which to read first. What a predicament!

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