Archive for the 'Womens Lit' Category

Monday, April 7th, 2014

Welcome, Iris Blobel!

We are excited to welcome fellow Astraea Press author Iris Blobel today with her Beginnings novels. Not to mention, I find it totally cool that she was born and raised in Germany where we are on tour for a few years with my husband’s job. Small world, huh? That said, enjoy the feature about New Beginnings and More Beginnings! –Jo

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New Beginnings

~~To believe in New Beginnings is to trust in tomorrow ~~

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New BeginningsTwenty-two-year-old Sophie Levesque has been guardian to eight-year-old sister Mia since their mother’s death a few years ago. Luck comes their way when they inherit a small house in Hobart. Problem is, though, they don’t know or have even heard of Clara Bellinger, the testator, and Sophie is afraid it’s all been a mistake.

As Mia settles well into her new school and life in general, Sophie is not only occupied by her search of what connected her to Clara, but also her new studies and the two men, who suddenly have become part of her daily life – Mark O’Connor, the lawyer representing Clara’s estate, and Zach, the hunk from across the road.

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You can purchase your own digital copy of New Beginnings from any of these retailers. Just click and buy!

Astraea Press (Publisher) ~♣~ Amazon.com ~♣~ Amazon.com.au ~♣~Barnes & Noble ~♣~Smashwords ~♣~ Kobo Books

 

 

New Beginnings Trailer

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New Beginnings Excerpt

Sophie stared at the attorney, waiting for some answers. She and her sister, Mia, had been quietly sitting in Mr. O’Connor’s office for more than half an hour, and had learnt about the details of their inheritance.

“Who?”

“Clara Catherine Bellinger.”

“Who is she?” Mia asked.

Startled by the subtle sound of the clock chiming across the road, Sophie’s gaze turned to the window, where she saw the post office building across the road. It looked impressive and old.

Surely, an old place like this would have its own ghosts — after all, Hobart was renowned for its lively spirits.

Her younger sister’s gentle touch on her arm reminded her she hadn’t answered the question, yet. “I wouldn’t have a clue.”

Sophie shrugged and focused her attention back on Mr. O’Connor. Although hearing his words, she still found it hard to comprehend. Here she was in this old office, furnished with heavy antique oak furniture, the curtains in a pretty shade of Aubergine, and the carpet beneath her shoes thick and warm in a matching shade.

“I believe she was a distant relative of yours. I’m afraid I don’t have any further details,” he replied.

Sophie arched an eyebrow in disbelief. Was he serious? What kind of lawyer was he? Sure, Tasmania was at the very end of Australia, but wouldn’t they have the same education?

With a slight shrug of her shoulder, she asked, “Why not?”

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More Beginnings

~~Embracing More Beginnings is showing faith in tomorrow~~

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It’s been six years since Sophie and Mia inherited a house from Clara Bellinger.More Beginnings

Life is good for the now teenaged Mia, even if she does have to deal with a dragon lady for a teacher. But then a man named Darren Schuster shows up in Hobart. Mia knows something is up when Sophie and Mark cut their weekend away short and rush home in the middle of the night. When Sophie won’t answer Mia’s questions, emotions run high, and Zach, the neighbour from across the road, confirms Darren’s identity to Mia. Disappointed, angry and feeling alone, Mia runs away.

Zach had been watching Mia for his friends while they took a much needed weekend away. When the late Clara Bellinger’s ex-husband, Darren, showed up, bringing Sophie and Mark home from their trip, Mia is filled with questions. But it’s Zach who gives Mia the answers she’s seeking. When she runs off, he must find her. He enlists the help of her teacher, Miss Peterson, and finds out that the ‘dragon’, is really more of a kitten. How will they find Mia and can they help her come to terms with the truth?

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You can purchase your own digital copy of More Beginnings from any of these retailers. Just click and buy!

 Amazon.com ~♣~ Amazon.com.au ~♣~ Barnes & Noble ~♣~Smashwords ~♣~ Kobo Books

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More Beginnings Excerpt

Mia let out a mighty sigh. She had joined Zach at the front porch and sat next to him on the swing. Enjoying a cool drink, he asked her to grab a soft drink from the fridge as well. It was a warm summer day, and the air showed no sign of cooling down. A lot of people in Hobart were tired and weary of the unusual hot spell for the very southern Australian city.

With another hefty sigh, Mia raked through her long, blond hair and focused into the distance.

“Honestly, Zach, she’s a dragon. I’m sure she does that on purpose. She doesn’t like me. She thinks I’m spoilt.”
The dragon was Miss Peterson, Mia’s high school English teacher. Mia liked school and enjoyed her classes. English wasn’t her worst subject, but it certainly was the toughest, with Miss Peterson piling on homework one after the other.

Zach sipped on his drink. “Hey, pumpkin, settle down. What is that supposed to mean ‘you’re spoilt’?”

She shrugged. “You know!”

His eyebrows shot up. “Actually I don’t know! Isn’t she Sophie’s good friend?”

Another shrug. “Kinda, I s’pose. They used to do the boxing stuff together, and since Soph’s carrying a baby, they go and enjoy cake instead.”

Ignoring his laugh and the subject, she went inside and helped herself to cold lemonade. She opened the can with a simple click and took a long sip. “Man, it’s hot.”

Zach seemed to ponder on that thought just like Mia, when she suddenly said, “You need to cut the grass, Zach.”

He almost spilled the drink. “Good grief, thanks, honey.” There wasn’t much yard in front of Zach’s house. A flagstone path crossed the patch of lawn, and he’d kept the rest of the garden as low maintenance as possible. But he loved sitting on the front porch, watching the world go by.

He placed his arm around her and drew her in a bit closer. “Have you talked to Soph about your teacher?”

She nodded. “Yes. Her reply was that for most fourteen-year-old girls all the teachers seem like dragons. She remembers her science teacher who gave her a hard time. She blames it on my hormones because she thinks,” Mia snorted and then continued, “Miss Peterson is a really nice person.”

He chuckled, which earned him a momentary glare from Mia.

Zach shrugged his left shoulder. “I s’pose she has a point.”

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About Iris Blobel

iris blobelIris Blobel was born and raised in Germany and only immigrated to Australia in the late 1990s. Having had the travel bug most of her life, Iris spent quite some time living in Scotland, London as well as Canada where she actually had met her future husband. Her love for putting her stories onto paper has only recently emerged, but now her laptop is a constant companion. Iris resides west of Melbourne with her husband and her beautiful two daughters as well as their dog. Next to her job at a private school she also presents a German Program at the local Community Radio.

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Posted by Jo Grafford | Filed in Contemporary, Drama, Fiction, Romance, Uncategorized, Womens Lit | 2 Comments »

 

Monday, March 31st, 2014

Welcome, Amelia James!

Highlighted Author welcomes contemporary romance writer and self-proclaimed Wisconsin Cheesehead (we’ll try to forgive her of that) Amelia James. She’s been hooked on romance novels for a very long time – at least well before her own mother thought she should be – and finally started penning her own “escape reads” as an adult. If you’re into bad boy heroes and tough heroines who are up to the challenge, Amelia’s College Romance Series is going to be a real treat.

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Book #1 College Romance Series – Tell Me You Want Me

…“I can give you exactly what you’re asking for, Janie, and I can give it to you all night long.”…

"I can give you exactly what you're asking for..."

“I can give you exactly what you’re asking for…”

 

Their first kiss is impulsive, fun, a little wicked—everything Jane Elliot isn’t looking for in a man, but desperately needs.Their second kiss is slow, deliberate, an instant connection—everything Austin Sinclair never had with a woman, and doesn’t want.

Jane is no easy conquest, not the type of woman Austin’s used to. Stubborn as hell, and a bookworm more interested in studying than dating, she needs a little—no, a lot—of fun in her life. Well,Austin’s just the guy who can give it to her.

Too bad she thinks love should be easy. Too bad Austin knows it isn’t.

Everybody  told her to stay away from the heartbreaker, but Jane knows there’s more to Austin than full-body contact kisses and bad boy charm. He promised her a good time—nothing more—and wow… does he ever deliver!

SPECIAL NOTE: Tell Me You Want Me is the first book in the “College Romance” series. Be sure to check out the second book in the series, Secret Storm.

Purchase now!

Evolved PublishingAmazon

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Book #2 College Romance Series – Secret Storm

"I want to let you in..."

“I want to let you in…”

…“I want to let you in, Jack, but I…. Oh hell, I just want you. I know you’re not what I need, but I don’t care. Take me to bed now and we’ll sort the rest out later.”…

The last thing Sara Jensen needs is another risky relationship. She wants Jack, but she’s been hurt too many times to trust him, even though he’s more than a friend. Jack won’t trust her, and that hurts more than her ex’s betrayal.

Jack Wheeler wants Sara. His long-denied lust burns barely contained. But a dangerous secret comes back to haunt him, a secret so horrible he can’t trust anyone with it, not even the woman he desires more than anything.

For the first time since they met, they’re both available, but the timing couldn’t be worse. Sara’s not too eager to trust a man again, and Jack refuses to reveal his secret. Getting involved right now is complicated, but Sara and Jack have waited long enough. Neither one of them can control their desires.

But there’s a storm approaching, and as hard as she tries, Sara can’t run away from Jack’s past. Jack won’t accept her help, and Sara doesn’t know how long she can wait for him to realize that he needs her.

Purchase now!

Evolved Publishing | Amazon

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A Word From Amelia

ameliaJamesI got hooked on trashy romance novels in junior high, but my mom took them away from me, But she couldn’t stop me from daydreaming. After I got married, I wrote some of my naughtier daydreams down and sent them to Playgirl magazine. Two of them got published. I kept daydreaming and writing stories until my dirty stories turned into trashy books.

I live in Colorado, but I’ll always be a loyal Wisconsin Cheesehead. When I’m not lusting after my next bad boy hero, I’m looking for inspiration in sci-fi and action movies, football players, morally ambiguous lawyers, muscle cars, and kick-butt chicks.

Website Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads

 

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Monday, February 17th, 2014

Welcome Cynthia D’Alba

 

Join me in welcoming Cynthia D’Alba to Highlighted Author.

Romance author, Cynthia D’Alba, was born and raised in Arkansas. After wandering the world for 17 years (okay, it was Memphis, but to her it felt like another world!), she made it home again. She lives in a small vine covered cottage on the shores of a 8,000 acre lake with 2 dogs, a crabby (okay, she used a stronger word for it) parrot and her fisherman husband. Live is good.

D'Alba RT BooksigningWelcome, Cynthia. Please tell us about yourself.

Hi All! Cynthia D’Alba here. I was born, raised and educated in Arkansas. I hold a BS in Nursing, MS in Curriculum & Instruction, MBA and doctorate in Higher Education Administration. From about age three, I’ve been a reader. I spent summers living in the county library reading everything from the Autobiography of Malcolm X to the Trixie Belden Mysteries. It was rare to not find me with a book in my hands, and that’s still true all these years later. After I left the daily workforce grind, I began reading at least a book a day. After about a year (and a thousand read books) later, my husband suggested I try to write a book. Bottom line is I started writing on a challenge from my husband in 2006 and discovered having imaginary sex with lots of hunky men was fun.

 

Want to hear her Southern Accent? She did an interview on Feb 4, 2014 

Authors on the Air Books Too
 

How did you come to write your featured title, Texas Fandango?

I started finaling and winner RWA chapter contests in 2007, but I was kind of rudderless. I tried different romance genres, lengths, heroes, etc. I think most newbie writers go through that. I found my voice in contemporary westerns. My first book, Texas Two Step, released in 2012 to outstanding reviews, was a Samhain Publishing best seller. The second book in the Texas Montgomery Mavericks series, Texas Tango, released November 5, 2013, again from Samhain Publishing. Texas Fandango, a book three in the Texas Montgomery Series released February 4, 2014 by Samhain Publishing. I am thrilled to announce that I sold book 4 in the Texas Montgomery Mavericks series (Texas Twist) last week to Samhain.

Texas Fandango was such a fun book to write. I went off for a week of writing with three writing buddies and when I came home, the book was about 80% completed. I love the book because it technically wasn’t supposed to exist. It was never in my plans to write. The hero of the book, Drake Gentry, is the ex-husband of the heroine in book 1, Texas Two Step. He was supposed to be a secondary character who walks on stage, says his lines and exits. Except my readers really love him, geeky stud that he was. My heroine, KC Montgomery, never existed under I was writing book 2, Texas Tango, and she just showed up…unannounced. Sort of like someone from the audience jumping on stage during a play and joining into the action. But you know what? I didn’t mind. I really love KC. She’s strong and independent and smart…exactly why Drake needs, even if he didn’t realize it. Here’s a little more about the book…

Two weeks on a beach can deepen more than just their tans.

 

Texas Fandango

Texas Montgomery Mavericks, Book 3

TexasFandango72web

KC Montgomery was eleven when she met the love of her life. Of course, seventeen-year-old Drake Gentry didn’t know she existed, but that didn’t stop her girlish fantasies from growing and changing over the years.

Now, after enjoying a front-row seat to his breakup with his latest girlfriend, she’s been handed an all-grown-up fantasy come true—two weeks at the Sand Castle Resort. With him.

Drake most definitely noticed KC a long time ago, but the timing’s never been right. Now that he’s facing a lonely vacation that was supposed to be for two, it seems only natural to accept KC’s offer to fill in. And as far as her terms go… No strings. No expectations. No holds barred. Drake is no fool—he’s all over it.

But once they’re back in Texas there are invisible strings still hanging between them. Strings labeled attraction, affection…even love. And the more they try to untangle the knots, the tighter they’re bound together.

Warning: Beware of sunburns, whirlpool sex and sand in delicate places.

 

Sound interesting? Check out one of the purchase links below or your favorite online store.

Amazon | Barnes & Nobles | Samhain

 

She loves to hear from readers and there are lots of ways to find her. Online, you can find her most days at her website or group blog. Or sign up for her newsletter for the inside scoop and newsletter contests. Follow her at Facebook, Twitter, Google +, Goodreads or Pinterest, or email her at cynthia@cynthiadalba.com.

To send her snail mail, write to: Cynthia D’Alba PO Box 2116 Hot Springs, AR 71914

~Giveaway~

Be sure to leave a comment for a chance to win a jar of delicious-smelling, orange-scented hand lotion.

She also has a Rafflecopter drawing going until tomorrow! You’ll want to enter that too! Check it out here….

http://bit.ly/18bP7RT

Thanks to gal pal Charlene for having me here today!

 

Posted by CharleneAWilson | Filed in Contemporary, Fiction, Uncategorized, Womens Lit | 6 Comments »

 

Monday, February 3rd, 2014

Welcome Andrea McKenzie Raine

Join me in welcoming Andrea McKenzie Raine to Highlighted Author.

 

Welcome, Andrea. Please tell us about yourself and how you came into writing.

author_photoI have always been writing – since I was first asked to keep a journal in the first grade. In elementary school, when teachers gave our class creative writing assignments, I became really excited while all of the other kids groaned. I had a wonderful teacher in the third grade who told me she expected to see a book written by me one day. That moment was pivotal. I began writing poetry and short stories at an early age; it is simply in my blood. I attended the University of Victoria and studied English Literature and Creative Writing. I earned a B.A. in English Literature in 2000. I also have a post-degree Certificate in Public Relations. I have been employed in government writing positions since graduating from university.

I have attended a long-running successful reading series called Planet Earth Poetry (formerly Mocambopo) in Victoria, BC, since 1997, and published my first book of poetry, A Mother’s String, through Ekstasis Editions in 2005. I wanted to write a novel, and after a two-month solo backpacking trip through Western Europe in the summer of 1998, I felt I had a little more to say.

 

Tell us about your debut novel, Turnstiles.

I hope that readers will consider different ways of looking at the world, and the circumstances of people, all of us, in this world. Turnstiles is a work of literary fiction, but it is also a make-up of observations and challenging questions about power struggles, social classes, gender battles, and the possibility and courage to break through or cross over these stigmas. I suppose I hope that the reader finds a piece of him or herself in the characters, and that it resonates. Ultimately, I hope readers will enjoy the characters, their vulnerability and strength, and the journey.

I have written a first draft for a prequel novella to Turnstiles, which lends the backstory to a character who is deceased from the beginning of the novel. This character is significant, as his actions have caused a great domino effect for the main characters in Turnstiles.

 

 What they’re saying:

Turnstiles by Andrea McKenzie Raine is the story of different people as they struggle through common social problems. To me, the book is divided into sections or novellas. Three stories blend as one. The plot is creative, the work is ambitious as well as engrossing and addictive…”- The Drunken Druid http://the-drunken-druid.blogspot.ie/2014/01/review-of-andrea-mckenzie-raine.html

 

Turnstiles

blurb

 

Martin Sourdough is a homeless person who has chosen to turn his back on the corporate, material world; Willis Hancocks Jr. is a barrister, an alcoholic philanderer, and a misogynist; and Evelyn (aka Yvonne) is a prostitute. Turnstiles speaks to these social problems through the smaller scope of each character’s individual trials. There is a struggle that exists between the need to serve one’s own needs and the expectation to participate in the larger social scheme. Martin and Willis are both trying to fit into the world, but on their own terms. They are naïve, searching for an Eden-like state of being. Through a broader experience of personal fortune, misfortune, travel, and social interactions, they each learn to accept their paths and take control of their own destinies.

 

Giveaway

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Giveaway dates: Jan 23 – Feb 28, 2014
5 copies available, 175 people requesting
Countries available: US

 

 

Excerpt

Willis

Turnstiles cover photoThe radio alarm clock began to hum in Willis Hancocks’ hotel room, which he rented in downtown London. He groaned, rolled over, and slapped his hand on the off button without looking. He rolled back and stared groggily at the dented pillow beside him. She was already gone, and he was trying to recollect the night before. He rolled his eyes towards the dresser. There was his wallet, open and most likely empty. His pants lay crumpled beside the dresser. He rubbed his hands over his face and gave a self-deprecating chuckle. Then he began to rise. He was anything but happy. She had definitely served her purpose, but the others had been more professional, and much more discreet. When this happened, he usually didn’t realize he had been robbed until hours later, when he found himself at a store counter fumbling for his credit cards.

“You cheeky little bitch,” Willis mumbled to himself as he flipped through his wallet. She hadn’t been discreet, but she had been thorough. Even his lucky franc coin from his trip to Paris was gone. It must have caught her eye. Ignorant street kid.

“She’ll never use it,” he mumbled. “Never in a million years.” And, suddenly, he felt vulnerable without it. He was used to having small charms in his pockets. They were little reminders that there was some luck in the universe, good or bad. That afternoon he was going to the courthouse to hear his father’s will. His father. He sure as hell had never been a dad. He hadn’t earned the title. Dads taught you how to play cricket on summer days. Fathers called from foreign cities to say, again, that they wouldn’t make it to the biggest day of your life.

Willis was tempted to throw the wallet in the wastebasket, but he gently placed it back on the dresser with an air of defeat.

An hour later, he was showered, sharply dressed, and hurriedly locking the hotel room behind him. He strolled with purpose through the chic lobby and out onto the pavement. He was not rushing to his appointment with excitement or even mild anticipation. He was rushing to get it all over with. He desired the whole matter to be dead and buried. There was a shameful question repeating itself over and over again in his head, and he tried desperately to ignore it … What did the bastard leave me? His only son. What did the bastard leave me? Bastard … bastard … bast— He began walking faster.

As he rounded the corner, the large, impersonal, grey building loomed before him, with its long, stone steps. He vaguely imagined guillotines. Willis couldn’t remember the streets he had walked, as though something else had brought him to this place without his knowing or consent. In many ways, it had. He did not want this part of his life to exist. Where was Occam’s razor for moments like these? How wonderful it would be to splice out all the undesirable bits.

Willis threw these encroaching thoughts from his mind and scurried up the stone steps. The engraved wooden doors looked large and imposing, but were surprisingly light and swung open with ease. Willis couldn’t help thinking that perhaps these doors were much like his father. If only he had taken the time to turn the doorknob. Once again he banished his useless mind chatter. None of it could be helped now. His father’s barrister, and friend, was waiting for him, perched on one of the many benches placed along the sides of the grand hallway. The white marble floor was immaculate. Almost so that, if he desired, he could see his reflection near his feet, but few dared to look at themselves in a courthouse.

The man rose to meet Willis. Willis knew this man well—too well. Sometimes the disappointing calls from his father would be telegrammed through this man’s voice.

“I’m sorry, son …” the voice would say, “your father has been held up in a meeting.” Even this man knew his father well enough to know he was only that. A father. A sperm donor. An absent male figure. The dictionary was far too generous with the word. Father. A male parent. God. One who originates, makes possible, or inspires something. The word dad was merely listed as a colloquial term or a shortcut for father. It was all so backwards.

“Hello, Willis,” the man said as he extended his hand, which was taken without hesitation. However, Willis shook hands limply. He was still overwhelmed by this place and these people and papers and things. They were all just things. Was he grieving? He didn’t know. It was all packed somewhere inside his big toe. Everything would take a very long time to reach his mouth and then his brain.

“Hi, Sam,” he answered in a voice that was barely audible. Sam motioned him into another room nearby. There were too many thresholds that day. The room was small and dimly lit. The blinds were down and the large desk and tall bookshelves seemed to judge Willis from their standpoints. Willis loosened his tie, feeling the musty tone of the heavy, dark brown books and neglected carpets. It was a furnished closet where many unsaid things happened.

“Would you like some coffee?” Sam offered. Willis thought he could use something a bit stronger, but he politely raised his hand in decline. Sam poured himself a cup and settled in behind the large oak desk. He folded and unfolded his hands and then laid them flat before him. There was no real sense of sorrow in the room, but the situation was delicate and Sam wasn’t sure where to begin. He didn’t want to touch a raw nerve.

“I have your father’s papers,” he began. He pulled an envelope out of a large, squeaky drawer in his desk and deftly handed it over. Willis didn’t make any move to accept it.

“Shouldn’t mother be here?” Willis stalled.

“Your mother conveyed point-blank that she isn’t interested in what he had to say.”

Willis nodded solemnly. She was still his widow, but he had been less than a husband to her. She had known the truth behind his unscheduled business trips years ago. However, she had kept quiet and continued to pack his lunch every morning and make pork chops every Tuesday night. It had been a different era then, and she probably made herself believe there was nowhere else for her to go. Maybe it would have been easier if he had run off and left her for good. Besides, she had to stay. She had Willis to think about. And now Hancocks Sr. was dead. The freedom of it was suffocating.

 

Get your copy of Turnstiles here: 

Ink Water Books | Amazon

 

Want more Andrea? Here’s where you can find her:

Facebook | Twitter

 

Posted by CharleneAWilson | Filed in Contemporary, Drama, Fiction, Uncategorized, Womens Lit | Comment now »

 

Monday, January 20th, 2014

Welcome Sarah Grimm

Join me in welcoming Sarah Grimm to Highlighted Author.

 

Sarah_GrimmHello, my name is Sarah Grimm, and I’m an addict. I read my first romance when I was twelve years old. I don’t recall the title, you think I would with something that changed my life so dramatically, but I don’t. The title doesn’t really matter does it? Because it was just the beginning for me. That one book led to another, then another. Pretty soon I was devouring romances like my life depended on them. Somehow, I didn’t see anything strange about that.

One day my mother walked into my room without knocking and she caught me reading.   I dropped that book so fast, tucking it under my thigh so she couldn’t see the cover! But I wasn’t fast enough. My mother knew what I was doing – reading romance in a ‘mystery’ house.

She kept an eye on me after that, locating all the paperback and hardcovers in my closet and under my bed. She told me I had a problem. I told her I couldn’t stop – even to make her happy. Instead, I lured her into my world. I gave her her first romance, then her second; her third. She is stronger than me – romance never took control of her the way it did me.

I began reading romance everywhere: curled in the corner of the couch while the family watched television, in the back of the classroom while the teacher talked biology. I didn’t need to learn biology, I had romance novels. I couldn’t get enough – the promise of happily-ever-after, of love being enough to heal all wounds. *sigh*

In no time at all my addiction grew stronger. Just reading romances wasn’t enough. Suddenly I had this urge, this new and frightening, uncontrollable urge…to write. I wasn’t strong enough to resist. Who is? I began carrying a notebook with me everywhere I went. A notebook I filled with dialogue and partial chapters, story ideas and possible titles. Some days it got so bad that the world around me faded away. While my friends enjoyed the sun or the lake, I wrote.

It’s hard for some people to understand, this addiction to romance. I’ve endured the odd looks, the smirks, and even those that say “You’re poisoning your brain with that stuff.”

Well guess what? If stories that celebrate falling in love, emotion and commitment are poison, I don’t want the antidote. I love the stuttered heartbeats when the hero and heroine first meet, the gut punch of sexual awareness. My heart races with the sweetness of that first kiss, and the momentary panic over the realization they’ve fallen in love. I thrive on the idea how even at the worst of times, at those moments when you least expect it, two people can find love.

Yes my friends, I’m an addict, and happily-ever-after is my drug of choice.

Currently I’m feeding my addiction by working on Midnight Heat, the second book in the Black Phoenix Series. A reunion romance about a man who doesn’t tend to keep anything in his life. But then he suffers a concussion, and opens his eyes to the one thing he wishes he’d never let go.

I want to take a moment to thank Charlene and Highlighted Author for the opportunity to share After Midnight: Black Phoenix #1, with you today.

 

What they’re saying:

“Hot and sweet, with suspense that’ll keep you guessing!” Laura Kaye, NYT Bestselling Author of One Night with a Hero

“It’s a special feeling when you start reading a novel not expecting much but are immediately drawn into the storyline, then by the end of the second chapter you are captivated… After Midnight was a compelling, sensual page-turner and I was sorry when it concluded.” – 5 Bookies & A Favorite Read of 2011, Book Lovers, Inc

“After Midnight is one hell of a love story! I was hooked at the end of the first chapter. I had to read more. I had to know more. And Sarah Grimm definitely delivered more.” 5  Stars, Fire Pages

 

 

After Midnight:

Black Phoenix #1

Can music heal the fractured soul…or will it tear them apart forever?

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Blurb

Thirteen years—that’s how long Isabeau Montgomery has been living a lie. After an automobile accident took her mother’s life, Izzy hid herself away, surviving the only way she knew how. Now she is happy in her carefully reconstructed life. That is until he walks through the door of her bar…

Black Phoenix singer/front man Noah Clark came to Long IslandCity with a goal–one that doesn’t include an instant, electric attraction to the dark-haired beauty behind the bar. Coaxing her into his bed won’t be easy, but he can’t get her pale, haunted eyes nor her skill on the piano out of his head.

Can Noah help Isabeau overcome the past? Or will her need to protect her secret force her back into hiding and destroy their chance at happiness?

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Excerpt

Adult Content

 

AM_cover01_533x800“I’m not the type of woman men fall for.”

“I’ve fallen for you.”

Heat flooded her system. She forced herself to breathe, to keep her eyes locked with his. “No you haven’t. You …”

He pushed off the mantel and stepped in her direction. “I, what?”

“Never mind.”

“Finish the sentence, Isabeau.”

“I don’t think so.”

“Then let me.” He closed the distance between them. “You were going to say I haven’t fallen for you, weren’t you? You actually believe him? That you’re nothing more to me than convenient?”

Her pulse throbbed thick and hard. Heat radiated off his body. The scent of him filled her head. She wanted, more than anything, to press herself against him and relive the pleasure of his mouth against hers. Instead, she lifted her chin. “Maybe.”

He leaned in close. So close his breath brushed across her lips. “You believe him, but not me?”

“You are here only temporarily.”

“Yes.”

“And I am just down the street.”

“I suppose.”

She ran her tongue over her dry lips. “So the whole thing does seem rather—”

“Don’t say it.”

“—convenient.”

Something dangerous came and went in his eyes. “Now I’m getting angry.”

His hands skimmed down her sides, slipped under her shirt and settled on her lace-covered bottom. Her breath went uneven. Searing need swarmed her.

“You want something to believe, believe this.” He pulled her into the solid ridge of his erection. She lost her concentration. “There is nothing convenient about the way I feel about you.”

“I…no?”

“You think you’re not the type to draw a man’s attention, think again. I can’t stand in the same room as you without wanting to taste you. I can’t taste you without wanting to taste all of you.”

Oh, God. Her knees turned to jelly. A hot, wet pulse came to life between her legs.

“If you can’t see in yourself what it is that I see, feel what you do to me.” Taking hold of her wrist, he placed her hand in the center of his chest.

His heart was racing. She tipped her head back and looked into his eyes. Her bones began to liquefy.

“The way you’re looking at me,” she whispered.

“How am I looking at you?”

“Like I’m important.”

“You are.”

She swallowed hard, wanting to believe him. “Like I’m beautiful.”

His lips brushed across her temple and her eyes drifted shut. “I wish you could see yourself the way I see you. Then you would know how beautiful you are.”

Her eyes snapped open as he spun her in his arms. His hands settled on her shoulders, drawing her back against his chest. She gasped at their image reflected in the trio of mirrors that hung on her wall. When had this become a seduction?

~*~*~

Get your copy of After Midnight: Black Phoenix #1 at Amazon . 

 

Want more Sarah? Here’s where you can find her:

Website: http://www.sarahgrimm.com
Blog: http://www.authorsarahgrimm.blogspot.com
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/SarahGrimm.Author
Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/SarahGrimmAuthr
Pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/SarahGrimmAuthr
Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/SarahGrimm
Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/author/sarahgrimm

Posted by CharleneAWilson | Filed in Drama, Erotica, Fiction, Romance, Uncategorized, Womens Lit | 5 Comments »

 

Monday, December 30th, 2013

Welcome Jo Grafford

Join me in welcoming Jo Grafford to Highlighted Author.

 

Jo GraffordJo Grafford is an award-winning historical fiction author at Astraea Press. She writes to spotlight unsung heroes and unsolved mysteries. She published her first poem in junior high, edited her high school newspaper while typesetting for a local news journal, and has been writing ever since. She holds an M.B.A. and has served as a banker, a junior college finance instructor, and a high school business teacher. She is a PRO member of Romance Writers of America and From the Heart Romance Writers RWA Chapter. The mother of three children and the wife of a soldier, she serves as a literacy volunteer for elementary school students.

She’s with us this week sharing her novel, Breaking Ties.

 

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Breaking Ties

A cursed island, a chilling conspiracy, and an unforgettable love story. The 115 colonists on Roanoke Island couldn’t GPS, skype or twitter their ultimate destination back to their families and friends in 16th Century England. But modern laser technology has finally uncovered a clue – hidden beneath a patch on an ancient map at the British museum – that leads us to their whereabouts. Considered “lost” for centuries, these brave pioneers finally reveal the rest of their story in Book One of the Lost Colony Series.

Rose Payne’s world is left in tatters after a disastrous betrothal, making her an easy target for recruiters to the Colonies. Using every cent she has, Rose sails for the New World and a fresh start, vowing to never again fall for a wealthy man.

Returning from a diplomatic tour in London, Chief Manteo is bewitched by the fiery-haired ship’s clerk and determined to overcome her distrust. He contrives a daring plan to win her heart – one that forces her, honor bound, to serve as a slave to his tribe – a plan he prays will protect her from a chilling conspiracy involving murder, blood money, and a betrayal of their fledgling colony so terrifying it can only be revealed in Breaking Ties.

 

Book Trailer

 

Excerpt

 

Breaking Ties“You want my help.” ‘Twas an accusation.

“Aye.”

His eyes darkened. “I save your life. I give gifts. I offer marriage.” He closed the remaining distance between us, his eyes burning into mine.

I stumbled back.

“You give nothing in return,” he snarled. “You only ask for more.”

“I would had I something to offer,” I whispered. “But I have nothing. I am nothing.”

“Then what use are you to me?” He wheeled away.

I sagged against the door, eyes stinging. I blinked rapidly and pressed a hand to my stomach. Nausea rolled at the thought of informing the others of my failure.

Manteo circled the cabin like a hawk stalking its prey. ‘Twas a fine room with ornately carved shelves lining one wall. Bunks were built into the next wall. A generous desk jutted from the third, overflowing with maps and navigational devices. I recognized the compass and hourglass but could not identify the other instruments. I jerked in surprise when Manteo swooped down upon me.

“I know our location.” His arms shot out and slapped the wall on either side of me, hemming me to the door. “I could swim ashore from here.”

“Then why do ye stay if ye can leave and save yourself?”

“Governor White gave his word to deliver me home.”

“We are going to starve, Manteo. ‘Tis only a matter of days now.”

“Nay. You alone starve. The others eat.”

“I have no appetite.”

“You act as one already dead.”

I straightened my back. “I accept what I cannot change.”

“And I change what I cannot accept.” He shifted his weight to the wall, one arm propped over my head. He drew his fingertips down the side of my face in a feather-light caress.

I closed my eyes against the rush of unbearable sweetness. He made me long for things forbidden. “‘Tis within your power to help us. I am begging you.”

“Very well.”

My eyes flew open. “Ye will do this for us.”

“For you.” His voice was silken, his features as hard as granite.

I smiled tremulously. “I thank thee, Manteo. Chief Manteo, that is.” The new title felt strange on my lips. I beheld him with a mixture of awe and pride.

“I have yet to name my price.”

I stared, confused.

He grunted in disgust. “You refuse me as both husband and lover, so you are left with the hiring of my services.”

I worried my lower lip between my teeth. At least he was willing to negotiate. His eyes flashed with lust as he followed my movements.

“I will entreat the Dares for payment.”

“Nay. You are the one in my debt.”

I raised and dropped my hands helplessly.

“You serve this company, no? You can serve my people, too.”

“Ye would hire me as clerk?” Hope leaped in my chest at the possibilities. I would not have to part from him so soon.

“My people have no clerks.” His eyes narrowed. “We have slaves.”

My breath hitched. “Ye wish to punish me, humiliate me?”

“Nay, I only wish to marry you.”

I briefly closed my eyes against the pain. He already knew the reason for my refusal.

“Rose.”

“Say no more. I will do it. ‘Twill be punishment enough to see you so often and—“ I clamped my lips.

Exultation flickered briefly across his face. “You would give up your freedom to save your friends?”

“Without question.”

“Swear it,” he said grimly.

“I swear it.”

His eyes flared with emotion. He bent slowly ’til his breath stirred my lips. My eyelids fluttered closed. Heaven help me, for I had no will left to resist him.

“Now you will eat,” Manteo commanded hoarsely. He stepped back, surveying me from head to feet.

“Eat?”

“I have no slaves so thin and weak. Go. Collect your rations.” He turned from me and bent to pore over a map on the table.

I reached for the door handle, disbelieving at the curt dismissal.

“And send for Anthony. I have need of him.”

I glared at his back. Faith, should I press my face to the floor as well? “Aye, master.” I bit the words out and fled.
Get your copy of Breaking Ties at Amazon  

 

Want more Jo? Here’s where you can find her:

Author site:  www.jografford.com
Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/JoGraffordAuthor
Twitter:  https://twitter.com/jografford
Google:  https://plus.google.com/114780404475283292643/posts
 

 

 

Monday, December 16th, 2013

Welcome Joanne Guidoccio

Join me in welcoming Joanne Guidoccio to Highlighted Author.

 

In high school, Joanne dreamed of writing the great Canadian novel. She wrote several poems and short stories,  but decided to wait until she had more life experiences before starting a novel. The original plan was to get a general arts degree and take a few years off to travel and write.

Guidoccio 001Instead, she gave in to her practical Italian side and got degrees in mathematics and education. She planned to teach during the day and spend her evenings, weekends and holidays churning out best-selling novels.

That was the dream.

The reality was very different.

Welcome, Joanne. Please tell us more.

In June of 2008, I took advantage of early retirement and left a 31-year teaching career. At the time, I had only a vague idea of what life after retirement would look like. Sleeping in each morning. Leisurely breakfasts. More traveling. Trying out new hobbies. Volunteering in the community.

Those were the pat answers I gave to anyone who asked about my plans for the future. I would then end each “retirement” conversation with one of my favorite quotations from Eckhart Tolle: When you become comfortable with uncertainty, infinite possibilities open up in your life.

All wonderful and enlightening in theory, but the reality was very different. After one month of leisure, I realized that I needed much more than this patchwork of activities. Goals and structure—words I thought I had left behind started creeping up again. A part-time job would definitely take care of both, but I was determined not to take that road. Instead, I resurrected a writing dream from my high school years.

Within days of making this decision, I received a call from an editor who offered to publish one of my travel articles. Excited, I started Joanne Guidoccio, Wordsmith and ordered my first set of business cards.

That first article was only beginner’s luck

It took twenty-one months to get another article published. In the meantime, I attended creative writing workshops, took online courses, and continued to send out queries. Slowly, a writing practice emerged and my articles, book reviews and short stories started appearing in newspapers, magazines and online. This was gratifying, but it wasn’t enough to satisfy my creative bent. I wanted more.

“More” translated into a novel. In my case, two novels: A Season for Killing Blondes and Between Land and Sea. While literary agents and acquisition editors were amused by the premise—a brunette lottery winner never has an alibi when dead blondes turn up in dumpsters near her favorite haunts—they passed on the novel.

On a whim, I started attending workshops facilitated by science fiction and horror writer Sarah Totton. At first, I only listened as the other participants chatted about werewolves, witches, zombies and dystopian worlds. Toward the end of the sessions, I wondered if I could write fantasy that would appeal to a different demographic—boomer women and their older sisters.

What if…

A mermaid is aged thirty years and given twenty extra pounds to carry. Could she survive abandonment and reinvent herself?

It took me three months to write the first draft of Between Land and Sea. After a year of editing and polishing, senior editor Debby Gilbert of Soul Mate Publishing offered me a contract. The ebook is now available on Amazon.

Currently, I’m working on The Coming of Arabella, the second book in the Mediterranean trilogy. Another mermaid rises from the depths, determined to wreak havoc in the lives of older ex-mermaids. A Season for Killing Blondes and It Comes Out of Nowhere, a memoir of my cancer experience, are sitting on the back burner.

 

Between Land and Sea

blurb

between land and sea

After giving up her tail for an international banker, Isabella of the Mediterranean kingdom is aged, weathered, and abandoned on the fog-drenched shores of southwest England. She faces her human journey as a plain and practically destitute fifty-three-year-old woman.

With the help of a magic tablet and online mermaid support, she reinvents herself as a career counselor, motivational speaker, and writer of self-help books. Along the way, she encounters a cast of unforgettable characters, among them former mermaids, supportive and not-so-supportive women, deserving and undeserving men, and several New Agers. As Isabella evolves into Barbara Davies, she embraces her middle-aged body, heals her bruised heart, and learns to love again.

 

 

 

 

Book Trailers

When I asked my brothers to compose the music for the trailer of Between Land and Sea, they exceeded all expectations and delivered two beautiful songs. Unable to choose between them, I decided to use both versions and hired videographer Erin Kelly to produce the trailers.

I am happy and proud to share “Father Time Blinked” (Augy Guidoccio/Lillian Liber) and “It’s Your Time” (Ernie Guidoccio/Joanne Guidoccio) with all of you.

 

 

Excerpt

 

Isabella stumbled as she got out of bed and tried to balance herself on the stumps that now served as permanent legs. She willed herself not to cry as she recalled the magnificent tail that had been the envy of the Mediterranean kingdom. Her mother and grandmother had also been blessed with the same tail. Now only Annabella held this birthright.

She heard her stomach growl and thought longingly of her favorite kelp dish. She closed her eyes and visualized the steaming goodness that would satisfy her hunger. And then she remembered that she could no longer manifest her desires.

No more powers. No more comfort and ease.

Her lips trembled as she looked about the small, neat room filled with large wooden pieces and smaller metallic ones. She tried to move one of the larger pieces and then gave up in frustration. Andrew had promised her a beautiful home with servants, and now she must live this life of ordinary humans.

The flickering of a green light caught her attention. She approached and noticed the tablet lying on one of the wooden surfaces. It was blinking at her. Tentatively, she touched the green light. The blinking stopped and a smiling face materialized.

“Greetings, Isabella. I am Lisa738. Annabella has asked me to guide you through your orientation.”

Isabella frowned and tried to recall her connection to this lowly mermaid from the Numbers class.

Lisa738 explained, “Since this is your first time using a tablet, I will describe some of its features. Whenever you press the green light, I will appear on this screen. Underneath the screen are a series of buttons that you will learn how to use.” She paused. “Am I going too quickly for you?”

Isabella had a sudden flash from her youth as she recalled a small, helpless, uncoordinated mermaid who could not keep up. She also remembered the wicked laughter and cruel taunts she had hurled at Lisa738. “No, go on. I’m listening.”

“Some of the buttons are raised and shiny. If you touch them, you will notice they have a smooth finish. Their glaze has been treated with magnetic ions. Go ahead and peel off one of the coatings.”

Isabella picked up the button closest to her and slowly and deliberately peeled off its coating. She looked up expectantly at Lisa738.

“Good. Now place the button on your left temple. The ions from the button will penetrate your skin and enter your brain. It will take only a few seconds for all the information from the button to enter your consciousness. When you feel a tiny surge of energy, move on to the next button. Each button has been programmed to give you enough information to survive as Barbara Davies, your new earth identity.”

Isabella hesitated and then followed the instructions. Lisa738 watched and nodded in approval as Isabella proceeded to absorb the ions from ten different buttons. By the end, Isabella felt her body separating from her as she grabbed hold of a chair.

Where did that word come from?

 

Get your copy of Between Land and Sea on Amazon.

 

 

Want more Joanne? Here’s where you can find her:

Website:   www.joanneguidoccio.com
Twitter:   https://twitter.com/joanneguidoccio
Facebook:  www.facebook.com/BetweenLandandSeaJG
Pinterest:   http://pinterest.com/jguidoccio/
Goodreads:  https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7277706.Joanne_Guidoccio
Amazon:  http://is.gd/AVpoVs 

 

Posted by CharleneAWilson | Filed in Fantasy, Fiction, Paranormal, Uncategorized, Womens Lit | 4 Comments »

 

Monday, October 14th, 2013

Welcome Collette Cameron

Join me in welcoming Collette Cameron to Highlighted Author.

Collette CameronMulti-published historical romance author Collette Cameron has a BS in Liberal Studies and a Master’s in Teaching. She only teaches part-time so she has time for her greatest passion: writing. Collette’s been married for 30 years, has 3 amazing adult children, and 5 dachshunds. Collette loves a good joke, inspirational quotes, flowers, the beach, trivia, birds, shabby chic, and Cadbury Chocolate. You’ll always find dogs, birds, quirky—sometimes naughty—humor, and a dash of inspiration in her novels. Her motto for life? You can’t have too much chocolate, too many hugs, or too many flowers. She’s thinking about adding shoes to that list.

She’s with us this week to share her novel, The Viscount’s Vow.

 

What they’re saying:

“…brilliant memorable ride …You cannot help but being dazzled by the rich characters and setting of this romantic story.” ~Romance Reader Girl

“A very enjoyable and riveting read by Ms. Cameron!” ~My Book Addiction

“Brilliant historical romance that you won’t be able to put down.” ~Pure Jonel Blot

“Just freakin’ AWESOME.” ~Inside BJs Head Blog

 

The Viscount’s Vow

Blurb

Amidst murder and betrayal, destiny and hearts collide when scandal forces a viscount and a gypsy noblewoman to marry in this Regency romance, sprinkled with suspense and humor.

Part Romani, part English noblewoman, Evangeline Caruthers is the last woman in England Ian Hamilton, the Viscount Warrick, could ever love—an immoral wanton responsible for his brother’s and father’s deaths. She thinks he’s a foul-tempered blackguard, who after setting out to cause her downfall, finds himself forced to marry her—snared in the trap of his own making.

When Vangie learns the marriage ceremony itself may have been a ruse, she flees to her gypsy relatives, declaring herself divorced from Ian under Romani law. He pursues her to the gypsy encampment, and when the handsome gypsy king offers to take Ian’s place in Vangie’s bed, jealousy stirs hot and dangerous.

At last, under a balmy starlit sky, Ian and Vangie breech the chasm separating them. Peril lurks though. Ian’s the last in his line, and his stepmother intends to dispose of the newlyweds so her daughter can inherit his estate. Only by trusting each other can they overcome scandal and murderous betrayal.

 

Book Trailer

 

Excerpt

 Wedding Reception Scene

 

TheViscountsVow3_850“You didn’t eat much, wife.”

They were alone on the dance floor. Ian deftly twirled Vangie around his aunt’s smallish ballroom, mindful of the interested gazes watching them.

Stealing a glance at the smiling and nodding onlookers, he suppressed a frown. He felt like a curiosity on display at Bullock’s Museum. He wished others would take to the floor, so he could dispense with the devoted bridegroom facade.

The twelve courses at dinner had been torturous. His wife hadn’t taken more than a dozen bites nor said as many words. He’d tried to eat the succulent foods Aunt Edith had gone to such efforts to have prepared, but his anger made everything dry as chalk and every bit as tasteless.

“I’d not much appetite, my lord.”

He chuckled. “Don’t you think you might address me by my given name, wife?”

“Why?” she asked pertly. “I’ve known you but four days, certainly not long enough to be so familiar with you.”

He lowered his head, breathing in her ear, very aware every eye in the room was trained on them. He’d give them something to gossip about. “Because I want you to, wife, and you did promise to obey.”

He nipped her ear.

She jumped and a tiny yelp of surprise escaped before she clamped her lips together. Her eyes were shooting sparks again; only this time they were directed at him.

“What’s my name, wife?”

“Please, don’t call me that. I too have a name, as you well know.”

Drawing her closer, her breasts pressing against the breadth of his chest and cresting the edge of her bodice, he murmured, “Indeed, but Evangeline sounds . . . angelic, and we both know you’re no such thing.”

“Pardon?” She stiffened, trying to shove away from him. “I don’t under—”

His head descended again. “Say it, or I’ll trace your ear with my tongue.”

He grinned as her breath hissed from between clenched teeth. She stumbled, her fingers digging into his shoulder and hand. A very becoming flush swept across her face.

“Will you cease?” Her worried gaze careened around the room. “We’re being watched.”

Voice husky, he said, “Say my name, sweeting.”

Giving her a gentle squeeze, he started to dip his head, caressing her elegant neck with his hot breath.

“Ian, your name is Ian,” she gasped breathlessly, twisting her head away.

 

Get your copy here: http://amzn.com/B00EZ8RBN2/

 

Want more Collette? Here’s where you can find her:

Website: http://collettecameron.com

Blog: http://www.blueroseromance.com

Facebook Fan Page: https://www.facebook.com/collettecameronauthor

Facebook Book Page: http://facebook.com/viscountsvow

Twitter: https://twitter.com/Collette_Author

Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/user/show/13595899-collette-cameron

She can also be found on WordPress, Tumblr, LinkedIn, and Google+

 

Posted by CharleneAWilson | Filed in Fiction, Historical, Regency, Romance, Uncategorized, Womens Lit | 7 Comments »

 

Sunday, August 18th, 2013

Welcome Suzanne Ferrell

Join me in welcoming Suzanne Farrell to Highlighted Author.

 

Suzanne discovered romance novels in her aunt’s hidden stash one summer as a teenager. From that moment on she knew two things: she loved romance stories and someday she’d be writing her own. Her love for romances has only grown over the years. It took her a number of years and a secondary career as a nurse to finally start writing her own stories.

A double finalist in the Romance Writer’s of America’s 2006 Golden Heart with her manuscripts, Kidnapped (Long Contemporary Category) and Hunted (Romantic Suspense), both available at Amazon.com and B&N.com. Suzanne has also won The Beacon Unpublished and the CTRWA’s contests in the erotica categories with her book, The Surrender Of Lacy Morgan (available from Ellora’s Cave).

Suzanne’s sexy stories, whether they be her steamy Western Eroticas, her on the edge of your seat romantic suspense, or the heartwarming small town stories, will keep you thinking about her characters long after their Happy Ever After is achieved. 

She’s with us this week sharing book two of her Westen series, Close to the Edge.

 

What they’re saying:

“Close To The Edge by Suzanne Ferrell is book 2 in the Westen Series. This book can be read as a stand alone or as part of the series. The series is based on the small town in Westen , Ohio and it’s citizen’s. Who would of thought that a small sleepy town could attract crime and underworld activities.

Suzanne Ferrell is a very gifted author. She can write romantic suspense and intrigue with a finesse that is right up there with the big authors. She is truly talented and delivers a very good story.

The characters are convincing. The town, it’s quirky citizens , and their small town mentality are endearing. The story flows beautifully. The chemistry between the characters is sizzling hot. The action is fast paced and makes the reader sit on the edge of their seat.

I highly recommend this book! I recommend all her books. She is a gifted writer. ”— Hesperia Loves

 

 

Close to the Edge

Westen Series book two

Where small-town romance meets an edge of suspense.

 

After facing death as an undercover narcotics cop, Gage Justice has come home to heal. His recuperation is cut short by his father’s unexpected diagnosis of cancer and subsequent death. Now he’s honoring one of his father’s last wishes by taking over as the sheriff of his boyhood home, Westen, Ohio. Biding time until his father’s term is finished, he fights boredom more than crime in the sleepy little town—that is until one sexy little teacher-turned-Private-Investigator literally falls into his arms.

Bobby Roberts is looking for adventure. After giving up her own dreams to raise her two sisters after the death of their parents, she’s been trapped in a schoolroom for nearly two decades. The suffocating claustrophobia of the classroom has set her on a new career path. She arrives in Westen, complete with brand-spanking-new PI license, a handgun and a simple case—investigate a lien on property of a dead man.

Little does she realize her “simple little case” will lead her into the world of one sexy sheriff and the path of a murderer intent on keeping them both from discovering his secrets or stopping his plans that could destroy Westen.

Meet Bobby and Gage

Excerpt


Her ass was by far the finest he’d ever seen in this town.

Westen Township Sheriff, Gage Justice, pulled his cruiser in behind the brown sedan parked in the alley between the town’s only bank and Gold’s Foodmart. His deputy Cleetus was right. Someone was definitely digging around in the trash dumpster.

A satisfied smile of pure male appreciation split Gage’s lips and a warmth spread over his body as he sat back and admired the view. This didn’t look to be your typical dumpster diver. The woman stood tiptoe on the hood of her car, the top half of her body bent over and into the container’s edge. The way the perp’s jeans clung and stretched around her thighs and nice round bottom warmed more than his smile.

Oh, yeah. A man could spend all day holding those round cheeks in his hands. Wonder if the top half of her was as nice as the bottom?

He gave himself a mental shake. The more important question was why was she rifling through the trash?

Without making a sound, he eased himself out of the cruiser, leaving the door open. Careful not to step on anything to alert her of his presence, he moved past her car to stand just below her and off to the side. He looked at her feet.

Awful small, even for a woman.

The jeans clung to her legs, which weren’t supermodel thin, but nicely shaped. He resisted the urge to reach up and squeeze her calves.

“Exactly what do you think you’re doing?” he asked in his best bad-cop voice.

Startled, she jumped and lifted her top half out of the bin. For a brief second he caught sight of her face. It wasn’t the kind that stopped men dead in their tracks, but the curious brown eyes, the arched dark eyebrows, and the soft lips rounded in an O of surprise caught his attention.

At that moment her foot slipped.

In almost slow motion her balance shifted. Dark hair flying about her, she waved her arms around in big helicopter circles, papers drifting down like confetti. She twisted to one side as if she meant to catch herself on the edge of the dumpster, only to slip again. This time that lovely butt came directly at him. Despite something wet dribbling down on his shirt, Gage shifted sideways and did the only gentlemanly thing he could do. He held out both arms to catch her.

Just as her bottom and thighs filled his arms, she threw her arm around his neck, emptying the contents of a brown paper bag on top of him. “Oh, crap! Thank you…” her voice trailed off as she looked at him.

He couldn’t help but smile. Her voice reminded him of a soft summer night, warm and whispery. “Gage Justice, Westen’s Sheriff. You’re welcome, Miss?”

“Sheriff Justice? That name’s just too perfect.” She laughed softly as she lifted the half-eaten chicken salad sandwich off his shoulder and tossed it back to the trash bin. Then she smiled—a genuine hundred-watt stunner from the heart. “I’m Roberta Roberts, but my friends call me Bobby.”

Gage turned to set the shapely woman on the ground then glanced over her shoulder through the driver’s window and froze.

The contents of her purse were scattered on the car’s passenger seat. Peeking out of the bag was the butt-end of a gun.

“So, Bobby,” he quickly set her on the ground and moved so he stood between her and the door handle, “want to tell me why you have a gun in the front seat of your car?”

“I’m a private investigator and I have a permit for my gun, Sheriff.”  She gave him another smile.

The words private investigator chilled whatever response he’d have for her. “Don’t suppose you have some identification and a permit on you, do you?”

“They’re in my bag.”

She started to reach for the door handle, but he caught her arm to stop her. “I have to get them out to show you.”

“How about I get your bag for you?”

“Sure. Help yourself.”

“Don’t mind if I do.”

He released her and she stepped back, giving him a mutinous stare, those deep-brown eyes narrowed like a mad cat. Opening the door, he forced her to move away farther. Careful not to turn his back completely on her he retrieved her things, handing her the bag, but keeping her weapon in his hand.

Still casting him a rebellious look, she snatched her bag and dropped it onto the car hood, fishing around inside.

“I know it’s in here. I put the permit in before leaving home.”

“And where is home?” he asked, watching her rummage.

“Cincinnati,” she said, starting to pull items out—wallet, bottle of water, notebook, granola bar, collapsible umbrella, reading book, sunglasses, lipstick case—laying them on the hood of her car one at a time. Every time he thought she reached the bottom she’d pull something else out. She rifled through each set of folded papers. “I know it’s in here.”

“How big is that bag?”

She slanted her head toward him a moment, disgust in her eyes, before turning back to her mission. He fought hard to swallow the grin that itched to pop out at her schoolmarm expression, the gun in his hand reminding him of the seriousness of the situation.

Finally, she turned her bag upside down and shook. The only thing that fell out was a gum wrapper.

“I can’t find it.” Her shoulders slumped a little, she reached for her wallet. “I can show you my PI license.”

“How about we take a little trip over to the jail and I’ll run a check.” He gripped her arm and stopped her, turning her to face the car.

 

Get your copy of Close To The Edge here:

Amazonhttp://amzn.com/B00C0E0EKK | B&N: http://tinyurl.com/bpdjjfp

 

 

Close To Home

Westen series, book one

On sale this week at Amazon!

 

Emma Lewis has a lot on her plate. The single mother of two precocious twin boys and an aging mother who is having trouble getting through each day, the last thing Emma needs is a man in her life, especially a doctor. So when the town’s doctor goes on vacation and his handsome nephew takes over, Emma is shocked to not only find him standing in her bedroom, but accusing her of being a neglectful parent.

Clint Preston came to Weston for the year to fill in as the town doc while his uncle took a long needed vacation. Clint also needed a sense of peace and calm to try to find his passion for medicine burned out by long shifts in an urban hospital’s ER. Angered to find two boys in his clinic with broken wrists and no accompanying parent, he is determined to confront their mother. The feisty redhead he meets quickly dispels his belief that she’s a neglectful mother, but he can see her situation is more critical than she wishes to face and finds himself volunteering to help care for her sons and the remodeling of her home.

As Emma and Clint forge a relationship among the slightly off-beat characters that inhabit Weston a menace from Emma’s past threatens her and her sons. Clint and Emma join forces to prevent the loss of either boy and the love they’ve discovered in each other’s arms.

 

 

Want more Suzanne?  Here’s where you can find her:

 

Email addy for readerssuzanne@suzanneferrell.com

Websitewww.suzanneferrell.com

Twitterhttps://twitter.com/SuzFerrell

Facebookhttps://www.facebook.com/suzanneferrell.author

 

 

 

 

 

 

Posted by CharleneAWilson | Filed in Action/Adventure, Contemporary, Fiction, Romance, Womens Lit | Comment now »

 

Monday, August 12th, 2013

Welcome Collette Cameron

Join me in welcoming Collette Cameron to Highlighted Author.

 

Collette Cameron is an author of historical romance. In February 2011, she decided to sit down and write a Regency suspense romance with a few Highlander’s thrown in to spice things up a bit. She wrote Highlander’s Hope, the first book in her Blue Rose Trilogy.

She has a BS in Liberal Studies and a Master’s in Teaching. She’s been married for 30 years, has 3 amazing adult children, and 5 dachshunds. Her puppy, Ayva, sits on her lap while she writes. Ayva also nibbles at and lies on the keyboard.

Collette loves a good joke, inspirational quotes, flowers, the beach, trivia, birds, shabby chic, and Cadbury Chocolate. You’ll always find dogs, birds, quirky—sometimes naughty—humor, and a dash of inspiration in her novels. Her motto for life? You can’t have too much chocolate, too many hugs, or too many flowers. She’s thinking about adding shoes to that list.

 

 

 

 

Highlander’s Hope

Blurb

 

She was the heiress determined to never marry.

Shipping heiress Yvette Stapleton is wary of fortune hunting men and their false declarations of love. She’d rather become a spinster than imprisoned in the bonds of marriage. At first, she doesn’t recognize the dangerously handsome man who rescues her from assailants on London’s docks, but her reaction to Lord Sethwick’s passionate kisses soon have her reconsidering her cynical views on matrimony.

He was the nobleman who vowed to make her his own.

Not a day has gone by that Ewan McTavish, Lord Sethwick and Laird of Craiglocky, hasn’t dreamed of the sensual beauty he danced with two years ago; he’s determined to win her heart. On a mission to stop a War Office traitor, he unwittingly draws Yvette into deadly international intrigue. To protect her, he exploits Scottish Canon law to declare her his lawful wife—without benefit of a ceremony. Yvette is furious upon discovering the irregular marriage is legally binding, though she never said, “I do.”

Amidst murder and betrayal, Ewan attempts to win Yvette’s forgiveness. But is it too late? Has his manipulation cost him her love?

 

Book Trailer

Excerpt

 

Ewan jolted awake.

He had fallen asleep with Yvette in his arms. Shooting a worried glance towards the window, he recognized the first golden blush of daybreak sweeping across the hazy sky.

“Merde.”

Sucking in a strangled breath, he grasped the inexperienced hand fondling him.

“Yvette,” he whispered in her ear as she showered kisses across his bare chest and neck. Grasping her roaming hands, he pulled her into his tight embrace, and raised his voice. “Yvette. Wake up.”

He gave her a gentle shake. Dark lashes trembled, rising to reveal drowsy eyes. A smile lit her face when her gaze met his. She lifted her hand, caressing his face, her fingers lingering on his scar before she raised herself up and kissed the mark.

Caught up in the powerful spell, he almost forgot himself. He fought the urge to throw reason to the wind and kiss her with all the desire he was holding in check.

“Evvy, amour. . .” His voice was a throaty groan.

Ewan knew the moment she fully awoke. He felt her stiffen in his arms and heard her small cry of shocked dismay. She pushed at his chest with both hands. He released her and watched her scramble across the bed. She stopped in the middle, facing him. Her hair swirled around her, settling in shimmering waves about her hips.

Dawn’s glow lit the room. He could see her expressions. Shock—followed by confusion, and then complete horror as she realized the full scope of her situation.

 

Get your copy of Highlander’s Hope here: http://ow.ly/nPIhu 

Want more Collette? Here’s where you can find her:

Website | Facebook | Twitter | LinkedIn | Google+ | Pinterest

 

 

 

 

 

Posted by CharleneAWilson | Filed in Fiction, Historical, Mystery/Suspense, Regency, Romance, Womens Lit | 7 Comments »