December 5

#TellTaleTuesday with Donna Simonetta and A Sweeter Spot

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Welcome Donna Simonetta for this week’s Tell Tale Tuesday.

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My husband and I moved to Baltimore nineteen years ago, prior to that I’d never lived in a city. It was a huge adjustment for me. While we live in the city limits, we were able to find a cute house on a small dead-end street of single-family homes, and I’ve come to appreciate Baltimore’s quirky charm. I’ve never adjusted to the driving downtown though!

We moved here to be closer to my mother-in-law, who was having health issues, and frequently had to drive several hours to see her in Virginia. We quickly learned a route that would avoid D.C. traffic, and would drive west toward the mountains, and then wend our way south. We would enter Virginia by crossing the Potomac River at Point of Rocks, Maryland. From there we meandered through green fields, dotted with hay bales and horses. It was a beautiful area, and I always thought, a little wistfully since I wasn’t used to city living yet, it would be a nice place to live.

So when I got the idea for my small-town contemporary romance Rivers Bend trilogy, I knew that part of Virginia was where I wanted it to be set. It was fun to create a fictional town, with its one stoplight, frequently set to flashing since there wasn’t much traffic, and the Town Green, complete with Gazebo. And of course, throughout it all flows the Potomac River.

A Sweeter Spot is the first book in the trilogy, and the main character, Magda, is a little bit of a fish out of water when she moves there from Manhattan. She quickly comes to love Rivers Bend, and wishes it could be her permanent home, rather than a temporary stop, while she helps out her best friend.

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Blurb

Magda knows a 28-year-old shouldn’t run away from home, but Rivers Bend is the ideal escape. Helping out her best friend will get her away from her uber-wealthy, controlling grandmother and duplicitous ex. She doesn’t expect the quirky little town to feel so much like home. Add in hotter-than-the-sun Jeff and his daughter, and leaving seems as unthinkable as it is inevitable.

Raising Sam alone, Jeff knew he wanted her to grow up in his supportive hometown. The arrival of a feisty new tenant sends Jeff’s world spinning. Magda fills a void in his life that he’d like to make permanent.

Will love triumph over the most powerful woman in the country, and can they figure out how to make this happy-for-now in Rivers Bend into their happy-ever-after?

Excerpt

Here’s a brief excerpt that conveys the beauty and peace of the town, and Magda’s longing for a place to set down roots and call home…

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She stretched her arms over her head and turned her face to the sky. “Mmm. Yesterday my life was all turmoil, and today, I’m here. I feel so calm—so right. Thanks for bringing me to this lovely spot.”

“Anytime.” Jeff’s voice was a little rough as he watched her breasts strain against her T-shirt as she stretched. She dropped her arms.

“You’re lucky to live here. To be a part of this land.”

“I am. I never really fit in anywhere else I’ve lived. My roots are here. My family.”

“It’s your home.” Her voice sounded wistful.

He dropped to the ground and leaned back on his elbows, his mile-long legs stretched out in front of him. Magda assumed the same position at his side. One of the horses nickered softly behind them, and the river glistened in the sunlight as it flowed in front of them.

“Where’s your home, Maggie?”

She shrugged. “Nowhere. I’m from Connecticut originally. Stratford. But my dad died last year, and I sold our house there when I moved to New York to live with Pierce. Now I guess I’m just a drifter.”

Buy Links

Amazon: https://www.amzn.com/dp/B01N1S1K06/

TWRP: http://catalog.thewildrosepress.com/all-titles/4862-a-sweeter-spot.html

Barnes & Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/a-sweeter-spot-donna-simonetta/1125338511?ean=2940157374921

Amazon UK: http://amzn.eu/14pwrnP

Kobo: https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/a-sweeter-spot-1

About the Author

My career has been a winding road. I worked in the business world for years, got my MLS and worked in a school library, and am now living my dream as an author. I love to read and write contemporary and fantasy romance. I live in Maryland, with my husband, who is my real-life romance hero. We both enjoy traveling to visit our far-flung family and friends, and spending time on the beach with an umbrella drink and a good book.

Donna’s Online Playground

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

Twitter: https://twitter.com/donna_simonetta

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/15422407.Donna_Simonetta

Amazon Author Page: https://www.amazon.com/Donna-Simonetta/e/B06X415TWW/

Bookbub: https://www.bookbub.com/authors/donna-simonetta

November 17

Calling All Reviewers! Yours Truly on Netgalley

Mornin’, all!

I’m sorry for the disappearing act – I decided to go spend some time with out-of-town friends at the last minute, and so life has been day job and hanging out and not much else. Life should return to normal next week – I’m driving home today.

In any case, If you want to read and review Yours Truly, it is available on Netgalley. Click on the cover image to get there.

Happy Friday, y’all!

xo

KJ

November 16

#ThirteenforThursday with Amey Zeigler

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Welcome author Amey Zeigler for this week’s Thirteen for Thursday

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What is the best book to movie adaptation?

Princess Bride, of course. William Goldman wrote the book and the screenplay. If you haven’t read the book, do yourself the favor and read it. It’s one of the books I read every year. Best.Book.Ever. You’re welcome.

What is your favorite childhood memory?

We lived in Alaska in my days of yore. My dad loved to fish every summer during the salmon run. Nearly all summer long we camped on the Kenai peninsula, going to bed when the sun set at 11pm and rising early to go out and fish or play again the next day. We always tent camped. My mom cooked over a propane stove. I can smell the propane, the chill in the air in the morning as she made hot chocolate. I can smell pinecones and tree sap. Back then if we weren’t on the boat, we had to entertain ourselves. Often my mom would hide in the car and read. One time, she decided to take us to the beach. The beaches in Alaska are black with volcanic silt, are pebbley and cold. It was a warm day for an Alaskan summer, probably high 60’s and the tide was out and low, like we walked out fifty yards and it was still up to our knees. Mom let us run out pretty far. We found huge snake-like seaweed with tentacles like a squid. We wrapped it around us and eventually dragged it to shore. We were all soaked in salty sea water and once out of the water had to get warmed quickly so hyperthermia didn’t chatter our teeth out. So we rushed to the van and stripped to our skivvies and rode back to camp in our underwear!

What is your favorite smell and why?

I love the smell of rain, but it smells differently depending on where you live. I grew up all over the United States. In Arizona, the rain smells like wet dirt, hot pavement and desert plants like rosemary and desert sage. In Alaska, the rain smells wet like the bank of a river, like fishing bait and mosquito repellant. In Virginia, it smells like old wood, mildew, dampness that seeps through the cracks of your clothing and houses, wet on mossy rocks and trees.

How far away do you live from your birthplace?

I was born in Colorado, but only lived there a year because we moved to Alaska, Georgia, California, Arizona, Alaska again, Virginia, Utah and then back to Arizona.  Then I lived in Europe for a year and a half, then after marriage, moved to Missouri for grad school. Now we live in Texas and we drove through Colorado Springs for the first time since I left as a one year old to visit a friend who lives there on our way to Yellowstone for a family vacation. It’s a 13 hour drive, but it took a vacation of a lifetime to return.

Star Wars or Star Trek?

Original Star Wars.

What is your favorite scent and why?

Cool Water cologne. Way back in my sophomore year of high school, the Secret Garden Broadway musical (original cast) was touring in our city. I had a guy friend who was “off-limits” to me. I think my best friend liked him, but I kinda liked him, too. He ended up with the seat next to mine when we all went as a drama class. He wore Cool Water cologne and we had such a great time, jumping to our feet together, enthusiastically clapping for two standing ovations for their best songs. Whenever I smell that cologne, I am back in the Capitol Theatre, experiencing the show with my guy friend again.

What is the one thing you covet?

A girl’s gotta have some secrets.

What is your favorite time of year and why?

Spring, Summer, Autumn, or Winter? When I lived in Alaska with a long and snowy winter, I loved and anticipated Spring and it was late coming, sometime in June! Now that I live in Texas with long and hot summers, oh, how I love fall! It’s November and it’s still in the 80’s!

What is the one thing you wanted, but never got, as a kid?

A My Little Pony Castle. Imagine me, a little second grader, finding a My Little Pony castle hidden in the back of the car a few weeks before Christmas. I thought to myself, “My parents knew I wanted something this cool without me even telling them! My parents sure love me.” Turned out that my parents were hiding it there for another family. I had one disappointing Christmas morning. I wonder which of my friends got that My Little Pony Castle for Christmas…

If you could travel anywhere, where would it be and why?

My husband is planning a trip to Japan sometime in the next year. He used to live there, speaks Japanese and still has friends he’d like to see. I love Asian cultures and find them fascinating. I also have plans to set a book in Japan so I have to go for research, right? I wonder if I can take that out of my taxes…

Which famous person have you met, and what is the story behind it? 

I’ve met…

Alton Brown http://ameyzeigler.blogspot.com/2016/10/alton-brown-my-first-author-signed-cook.html

James Dashner  http://ameyzeigler.blogspot.com/2012/09/james-dashner.html

Eoin Coiffer http://ameyzeigler.blogspot.com/2012/08/artemis-fowl-by-eoin-colfer.html

Jody Piccolt http://ameyzeigler.blogspot.com/2012/07/jodi-picoult-comes-to-st-louis.html

Ally Condie http://ameyzeigler.blogspot.com/2011/11/ally-condie.html

and many, many more authors. http://ameyzeigler.blogspot.com/2016/09/signed-author-copies.html

You can read about how John Flannigan, called me a perky American girl. http://ameyzeigler.blogspot.com/2011/12/john-flanagan.html

If you had to dispose of a dead body, how would you do it?

I’d call my friend Jewel. She would know what to do.

Would you rather wear combat boots or heels?

I actually own a pair of Danner boots. My father bought them for me at a military thrift shop. When he first gave them to me, I rolled my eyes and wondered when would I ever use them. Well, I wore them this fall to muck out houses in Houston after Hurricane Harvey. Heels may make my legs look great, but those boots have saved houses.

Bonus Round

What is the craziest thing you’ve ever done?

Live in a foreign country for a year and a half, talking to people about their deepest feelings all day. I wrote a book that fictionalizes some of the crazier things we did. Once we painted a bathroom for service when a guy came in to take a shower. He didn’t even care I was in there and starting, well, bathing. Another time, a guy answered the door in nothing but some skimpy underwear. He invited us in for a chat.

What film or book gave you an intense emotional reaction?

The strongest emotional reaction I had from a movie was Charade starring Audrey Hepburn and Cary Grant. I was in sixth grade, and Charade is a little intense. If you haven’t seen it, it opens with the murder of Audrey Hepburn’s husband who stole a quarter of a million dollars (it was the 60’s) from the US Government. All his friends he double-crossed are all after the money and think she has it. I couldn’t sleep that night. I loved it! It’s still one of my favorite movies because of all the suspense, twists and turns. And it doesn’t take itself too seriously–there’s some jokes and laughs. And it has a romance. I guess that’s why I like to write Romantic Suspense with some laughs.

Amey’s Online Playground

website: www.ameyzeigler.com

Amazon author page: www.amazon.com/author/ameyzeigler

blog: www.ameyzeigler.blogspot.com

Twitter: @ameyzeigler – https://twitter.com/ameyzeigler

Goodreads author page: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/17290110.Amey_Zeigler

Author Bio

I wrote my first mystery with my best friend in fourth grade. I wrote, she illustrated. It also had a cute boy in it with spiky hair (because that was the style back then). Not much has changed. I love mystery. I love romance. I love suspense. I love action, adventure and comedy. But I want it to have a happy ending.

I love writing about different places because I grew up moving all around the United States. In my books, I want to explore the whole world.

Growing up, my poor mom had to be so patient with me as I always wanted to try new things. I played violin, drums, flute, piano, all before I was sixteen. I also discovered I don’t have much talent for music.

When people asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up, I was afraid to tell them I wanted to write because I didn’t know how to write.

I am so grateful for my Sophomore year Honor’s English teacher who gave me a star and five points (highest marks!) on my personal essay in the category for Voice. I wouldn’t have hoped to have had enough talent to pursue writing otherwise.

I’d like to thank my college writing professor who gave me a C in Creative Writing: Short Story writing. I worked even harder on my own and published my first short story the next semester.

I adopt stray furniture left on the side of the road. I like to fix it up and give it a new home and look.

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November 7

#TellTaleTuesday with Tena Stetler and A Vampire’s Unlikely Alliance

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Welcome Tena Stetler for this week’s Tell Tale Tuesday!

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Colorado is my playground and we spend as much of the summer as possible camping in State and National Parks around the United States. The great outdoors ignites my imagination and feeds my muse.  What peaks your imagination?

Remnants of long deserted log cabins built on Independence Pass, during the Colorado Gold Rush, by early settlers unable to brave the harsh winter conditions?

A field of wild flowers where you can almost see the faery magic?

Camping at Glacier National Park, under the full moon listening to a wolf’s song mingled with sounds of other night creatures? Such was the scenario where my upcoming release A VAMPIRE’S UNLIKELY ALLIANCE was born.

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Book Blurb

Stefan is a Native American vampire, former assassin for the Vampire Council. In a twist of fate, he now DJ’s the midnight shift for a small radio station in Whitefish, Montana, on the edge of Glacier National Park where his secret is safe until…

Born in Ireland, Brandy now works as a park ranger and trail guide in the park. During a full moon, Stefan and Brandy’s paths cross in a near physical collision on a trail. Their attraction is immediate and undeniable, almost as if fate demanded it.

Their union was foretold long ago in Irish folk tales where vampires and gryphons, warlocks and demons, witches and faeries must work together for the good of man and magic kind. Is a trip to Ireland the key to unravelling secrets and returning the magic? And even more importantly, will their love survive the trip?

Sneak peek at the scene inspired by Glacier National Park in my upcoming release -A Vampire’s Unlikely Alliance

Jumping down from the boulder, Stefan landed silently on the balls of his feet and took off at a dead run, too fast for the human eye to detect. Tonight, his run covered several trails as the full moon rose over the mountain tops. Croaking frogs settled at the edge of a pristine mountain lake while an owl screeched overhead, winging its way through the night sky. This tranquil existence was very different from his previous life. Nevertheless, the premonitions that kept him alive as an assassin made him feel that things were about to change.

It was nearly midnight when he cut across the Sun Road to another trailhead, so intent on his goal that he nearly collided with an attractive young woman. He skidded to a stop, spraying gravel, rocks, and small twigs down the road in front of him. A pinecone dislodged and bounced along the road past her. Tall and slender, she had miles of fiery-red hair that hung down her back in a cascade of curls. Intense emerald eyes stared back at him as he attempted to regain his composure, not to mention balance. What the hell was she doing here at this time of night?

“Whoa.” She stepped lightly to the side to avoid the flying debris. “You really should watch where you’re going, especially at that speed.” Her voice scolded, but the smile on her lips teased. “Someone could get hurt.”

Pretending to pant, he shrugged, holding his palms up in surrender. “Just trying to get my run in before work. Stefan Talltree, at your service.” He stepped closer, leaned over in an exaggerated bow, and caught her hand, brushing his lips over the palm and wrist, inhaling her sweet scent. AB negative with a pulse of adrenaline. Perfect. Her pulse beat a tattoo against his lips. He backed away.

Her heart thundered as she drew her hand from his grasp. “The name’s Brandy. Pleased to meet you, Stefan.” Her smile reached up into her bright eyes as they swept over him with an appreciative glance, an experience he enjoyed.

Her voice had a hint of Irish lilt to it. He liked that too.

“Where do you work that requires you to report in at—” She glanced at her watch. “—midnight?”

Nostrils flaring, he paused. Blood? Not hers. The sound of Brandy’s voice brought his attention back to her and the situation at hand. “Oh, shit, I’ve gotta go!” He sprinted off, leaving her standing alone.

As he started down the trail, the tree branches swayed in the silvery moonlight, casting eerie shadows across the trail’s edge. The breeze brought with it the coppery scent of fresh blood mixed with sulfur. He turned for one last look at her as she wrinkled her nose before silently creeping into the wind, tracking the source of the stench.

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Buy Links

Available for pre-order at Amazon   Amazon UK , Amazon AU, itunes and Barnes & Noble. Release date November 29, 2017! Just in time for Christmas.  Reserve your copy today!

About the Author

Tena Stetler is a best selling author of paranormal romance. She has an over-active imagination, which led to writing her first vampire romance as a tween to the chagrin of her mother and delight of her friends. After many years as a paralegal, then an IT Manager, she decided to live out her dream of pursuing a publishing career.

With the Rocky Mountains outside her window, she sits at her computer surrounded by a wide array of witches, shapeshifters, demons, faeries, and gryphons, with a Navy SEAL or two mixed in telling their tales. Her books tell stories of magical kick-ass women and mystical alpha males that dare to love them. Well, okay there are a few companion animals mixed in to round out the tales.

Colorado is home; shared with her husband of many moons, a brilliant Chow Chow, a spoiled parrot and a forty-five-year-old box turtle. When she’s not writing, you can find her kayaking, camping, hiking, biking  or just relaxing in the great Colorado outdoors. During the winter sometimes she’s curled up in front of a crackling fire with a good book, a mug of hot chocolate and a big bowl of popcorn.

Website: http://www.tenastetler.com

Authors’ Secret’s Bloghttp://www.tenastetler.com/category/authors-secrets-blog/

My Say What Blog – http://www.tenastetler.com/category/my-say-what-blog/

Facebook Page: www.facebook.com/tenastetler.author

Twitter Page: www.twitter.com/TenaStetler       

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/14187532.Tena_Stetler

The Wild Rose Press: http://catalog.thewildrosepress.com/1264_tena-stetler

Amazon:  www.amazon.com/author/tenastetler

Newsletter: http://www.tenastetler.com/newsletter-signup/

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

Tribber – http://triberr.com/TenaStetler

Bookbub: https://www.bookbub.com/authors/tena-stetler

 

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October 24

#TellTaleTuesday with Courtney Williamson Milford & Graced 1943

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Courtney Williamson Milford is back with her Historical Fantasy novel, Graced 1943.

Check out Courtney’s previous visit with Dot & the Nutrition Club

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When I decided to write The Grace Family Chronicles, I knew the series would be historical fiction with a touch of fantasy.  I have been told that “historical fantasy” is not a true genre, but it is the best way I can describe Graced 1943, and the rest of the series. The history is real, but the characters are fictional, and most of them have special powers called “Graces.”

I majored in American lit at the University of Florida, and have read many books about World War II, so I believed I could write about this era with confidence. I am constantly doing research, learning about topics pertinent to the books, ranging from the history of Irish Travelers in the U. S. to early 20th century Hungarian politics.

Graced 1943 starts out with Annelisa Grace-Betterman, a young mother weakened from recent childbirth, searching for her kidnapped infant son. She is Graced as a Locator, meaning that she can Locate a person by listening for his or her heartbeat. The sound of her son’s heartbeat draws her to him successfully.

I began with this scenario to show that Graced people are often targets of those who want to exploit their powers. In this case, the kidnappers mistakenly believe the baby to be Graced as a Midasian Multiplyer, which would give him the ability to Multiply wealth. Throughout much of the first book, Annelisa and a few other characters work on ways to protect her son, and the other Graced children, from kidnapping and other dangers.

Graced 1943 introduces most of the major characters who will appear throughout the series, which is heavy on adventure and drama. Rescue missions abound, and the characters, like most Americans at the time, contribute to the war effort, often making personal sacrifices. For example, Annelisa writes detective novels to entertain the troops, and raises her family alone while her husband, an astrophysicist, works in the atomic weaponry lab in Los Alamos, NM.

The Grace family is fabulously wealthy, due both to inherited citrus wealth, and to Annelisa’s father’s Grace as a Midasian Multiplyer. They live in a Miami Beach luxury compound called Gracestone, and they also have a secret private island off the south Florida coast called Cinq Terras. Habitually, they keep to themselves and solve their own problems, as many outsiders don’t understand Graces, and find Graced people peculiar.

The action sometimes borders on slapstick, and I stay away from sites like Auschwitz out of respect, although the characters do venture into miserable places, such as besieged Leningrad. Suspense is a key ingredient of the various storylines, many of which continue into the series’ next book. Graced 1943 climaxes in a cliffhanger, as do all the books in the series, other than the last one. I make sure to put this in the book descriptions so readers will be aware of it. I also keep the books priced low, and available on Kindle Unlimited, so readers will not feel like I am trying to force them to spend a lot just to find out what happens next.

The most important lesson I learned while writing Graced 1943 was to write to please myself. If I found myself bored with a passage or character, I eliminated it. This way, writing and revising was a treat, not a chore.

I also invented a tagline, which is NSR: Never Stop Reading. To me, the most important pastime for a writer, other than writing, is reading.

Blurb

Set against a backdrop of World War II, the Grace family and friends live in, and operate out of, Gracestone, a Miami Beach luxury estate. Most of them are “Graced,” meaning they have special powers: Navigators can get anywhere without a map, and are never lost; Incapacitators are never bested in a fight, and can turn any item into a weapon; Knowers can learn all there is to Know about any topic, just by concentrating on it for a few moments. There is no finite number of Graces, and a person can be Graced in more than one way,

In Graced 1943, the first book in The Grace Family Chronicles, the characters are focused on protecting the children of Gracestone. Kidnapping is always an issue, mainly because its patriarch, Henri Grace, is a Midasian Multiplyer, meaning her can Multiply wealth, and he has passed this rare Grace onto one of his grandsons. Greedy people, and even the U. S. government, target Midasian Multiplyers, hoping to exploit their ability to make money.

Like most Americans in the mid-1940s, the Grace family and friends are enmeshed in World War II, and the action moves to the atomic weaponry lab in Los Alamos, NM, and to Europe and South America, and then back again to Gracestone for Henri’s wife’s ill-advised Christmas Ball in December of 1943. Be warned: the ending is a cliffhanger, and it leads into the second book in the series, The Atherlings 1944.

This series has the feel of an old-fashioned radio soap opera crossed with a comic book and a war drama. The cast is large, and their lives intermingle, sometimes in surprising ways. Graced 1943 is a book for anyone who enjoys actions tinged with humor in a setting that features real history, and larger than life characters.

Excerpt

Back story: Cy, an Incapacitator who can never be bested in a fight, and Boris, a Russian Protector, are looking for Cy’s dead wife’s younger brother, Niko, in besieged Leningrad. They live in Miami, but are undercover, dressed as Soviet soldiers. Romnel is a triple agent sent by the U. S to see to their safe passage in and out of the beleaguered city, as long as they do not stay for more than 24 hours.

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The two men arrived at the building within minutes. Cy pushed open the apartment door that bore the number the doctor had given them.

“Nikolay Greys!” Boris shouted. The two women and men were home. They were unwashed, with open sores around their mouths that, fleetingly, gave Cy the impression that they had been eating something bloody. They were bundled up in winter coats, although it was not much under 60 degrees Farenheit in the apartment. They sat on the floor with their backs against the wall.

Otvali,” snarled one of the men, telling them to get out. Boris raised a hand to cuff him, but Cy signalled for him to desist.

On mertv,” the woman muttered, indicating that Nikolay had died. Seeing something sly in her eyes, Cy walked into the next room.

“Nikolay?” He knelt next to a skeletal boy, who lay on the floor. The boy gave a feeble nod.

Boris stood over Nikolay’s roommates, demanding to see their ration cards. Weak as they were, the men tried to fight, obviously believing he meant to steal them. When Boris raised his boot to stomp on one of the men’s hands, the woman called out for him to stop, and showed Boris what he wanted to see. There were five ration cards, including Kristiana’s and Nikolay’s.

Cy and Boris helped themselves to a blanket, Cy hoping that the insects he saw were fleas, rather than lice. They carried the boy, using the blanket as a stretcher.

Walking down the street in this manner, they did not attract much attention. One or two people glanced at them quizzically, then quickly looked away, as though they wondered why the soldiers would be bothering with the corpse.

On dolzhen byt’ synom,” Cy heard one of them say. “It must be a son.”

Cy and Boris were not optimistic about their chances of getting out of Leningrad while carrying the near-comatose boy. The longer they walked through the city, the more they realized how much they probably stood out, with their well-fed bodies and Florida suntans. Cy wished they had thought to get their hair buzzed short. The citizens of Leningrad were too starved and beaten down to take an interest in them, but Cy thought the soldiers at the mouth of the corridor leading out of Leningrad would be more alert.

As an Incapacitator, Cy knew if he could somehow turn the boy into a weapon, he could use him to overcome anyone. Devising a last-minute plan, the two men moved swiftly toward the barricade that stood at the mouth of the corridor.

Chuma!” Boris called out. “Dvigat’sya v storonu!” He was announcing that the boy carried plague. There had been rumors of bubonic plague in the city, although Cy did not think any actual cases had been reported.

The guards jumped back.

On zarazhen chumoy?” one guard exclaimed with alarm. “Zapisat’ yego!”  He gestured toward a large furnace that was used for burning refuse, and to keep the guard area warm. He wanted them to toss in the boy’s body, or at least Cy hoped the guard thought the boy was dead.

“Excuse me, but I’ll take care of this.” Romnel spoke through the open driver’s side window of the large black military Jeep in which he had just pulled up. He urged the men to hurry inside the car with the boy. The confused guards did not react.

Buy Graced 1943 from Amazon

Author Bio

I live in Windermere, Florida with my husband and three children. I have owned and operated a wholesale automotive fleet leasing company called Courtney Leasing, Inc. since 1991. I just started writing in January 2016.

I have a degree in English and a master’s in secondary education, both from the University of Florida.

I am writing a series called The Grace Family Chronicles. it is historical fantasy in that the history is accurate, but the characters have special powers called “Graces.”

I also write a children’s picture book series called Tales of Bark Story Land.

My other books include two additional children’s picture books, and two middle grade books. I am working on converting a book I wrote blog-style into a middle grade novel.

Thanks for your interest. NSR (Never Stop Reading.)

October 17

#TellTaleTuesday with Debra St. John and Halloween at The Corral

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Author Debra St. John is here to share the story behind her novel Halloween at The Corral.

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I’m a big fan of series. Both to read and to write. When I finished my Corral Series, I wasn’t quite ready to let the world I created go. I wanted to stay and visit for a little while longer. So I came up with the idea of doing a spin-off series. I thought about what format I wanted to use and finally decided I would write several holiday stories. The characters in these stories would be characters we first met in the original trilogy. And all of the stories would take place, at least in part, at The Corral, the honky tonk bar I created and which the series revolves around. It’s modeled after the bar where my hubby and I met over twenty years ago.

Dan Jenkins, the hero in Halloween at The Corral, is the first character I purposely put in a book with the intent of using in this spin-off series. We first meet Dan in This Feels Like Home, where he’s helping Jake Hawkins get ready to ride a bull. He gets one mention. That’s it.

All I really knew about Dan when I started his story was he’s a bull rider. When I decided to use his character in my Halloween story, I gave him a background very different than the bull rider he is today. My theme became, ‘You don’t need a costume to hide who you really are.’ Throughout the story, Dan is trying to figure out who he really is.

To help him figure that out, I brought in another minor character from the original series, Kelly. Kelly works at the local dry cleaners, but again, we don’t really know anything else about her. While Kelly tries to figure out who Dan really is, she adds the holiday flavor to the story: jack-o-lanterns, costumes, and holiday parties.

I didn’t purposely plan to pair Kelly and Dan, but it all worked out, and I was able to tell a fun Halloween story AND help Dan figure out who he really is. Along the way, Kelly found a man worthy of her heart.

The cover for this book is one of my favorites. Not only does it evoke everything fall with its brilliant colors, but with Dan’s face hidden by his hat, it really ties in the whole ‘hiding who you really are’ theme. From the moment I first saw it, I knew it was perfect!

Blurb

Kelly Harper has no interest in egomaniacs like Dan Jenkins. She also has no patience for the entourage of groupies who follow him while he basks in their attention. Her experience with her ex-fiancé has taught her to steer clear of guys like Dan who see women as no more than a pretty face to parade around.

Dan Jenkins is something of a local celebrity. His charm and good looks ensure he never lacks for female company, but truth be told, he finds their attentions shallow and superficial. No one bothers to get to know who he really is. Trouble is, Dan’s not sure he knows either.

Will Kelly be the one to figure out who Dan really is behind the good ol’ boy facade? If so, she just might discover a man she never expected—a man worthy of her heart.

Excerpt

“I enjoyed spending time with you today. I didn’t want it to end. You said I don’t talk to you like I talk to other girls. Well, you don’t talk to me like they talk to me.” He scooted closer across the bench seat. His breath fanned her face. “You don’t bat your eyelashes. Or flip your hair. Or smile like a beauty pageant contestant. You’re real.” His fingers brushed her cheek.

Her body hummed and her head buzzed like a sugar rush after too much Halloween candy.

“You got one thing wrong,” he whispered.

Her scrambled brain struggled to make sense of the words. “What?”

“Only sometimes, not many times, does it turn into more than flirting. And I wasn’t lying earlier. Even if it is more than flirting, I never bring women back to my house. I like my privacy.”

Great. She’d barged in and invaded the man’s personal space all day. “Why didn’t you slam the door in my face this morning?”

He chuckled. Low and intimate. Goosebumps chased down her arms. “I already told you. You’re different.”

His fingers wove through the hair at her nape. His mouth settled over hers and her pulse fluttered. Caught. Raced. Firm, yet soft, lips stroked hers. Even though her limbs went all melty, like the rich caramel center of a chocolate truffle, she wrapped her arms around his neck and sank deeper into the kiss. Which got better and better the longer it went on.

When Dan pulled away, all too soon, her breath was battered. Her heart raced. Every inch of her felt alive and aware. And wanting more.

“Do you want to come up?”

He kissed her again. Once. Softly. “Yes. But I’m not going to tonight.” The shadows hid his eyes, but his voice held the hint of a promise. There would be other nights. “We’ll take this slow. We’re still figuring each other out, remember?”

“Oh, I remember. And I am going to figure out who you really are, Dan Jenkins.”

“Good. Let me know when you do.”

~~~~~

Halloween at The Corral is on sale for 99c this month!

Buy links

The Wild Rose Press / Amazon / Barnes and Noble

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The original Corral series, the holiday spin-offs, and the rest of Debra’s bookshelf can also be found at Amazon, B & N, and The Wild Rose Press.

The Wild Rose Press / Amazon / Barnes and Noble

Author Bio

Debra St. John has been reading and writing romance since high school. She always dreamed about publishing a romance novel someday. Her dream came true when she started writing sultry contemporary romance with spunky heroines and sexy heroes for The Wild Rose Press. Although she’s country gal at heart, she lives in a Chicago suburb with her husband, who is her real life hero.

Debra’s Online Playground

http://www.debrastjohnromance.com

http://www.heroineswithhearts.blogspot.com

https://www.facebook.com/debra.s.john.1

https://twitter.com/readDebraStJohn

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October 16

#MondayMorningMusic with Special Guest, Judy Meadows

Please welcome special guest author Judy Meadows for this week’s #MondayMorningMusic

When I asked KJ if she could mention on her blog that Escape from Behruz is on sale for 99¢, she asked, “Is there any music in the story, because I have this Monday morning music thing…” and I said YES.

But it’s not music from any of KJ’s favorite groups; it’s —(drum roll)—

Dotar Music!

The heroine Olivia is an acclaimed violinist back home, but since she didn’t have her violin with her while she lived in Behruz, she studied a traditional instrument of the region, the dotar. Here’s a scene from the book in which she plays the dotar.

First, the Setting

Olivia and the hero (and a baby and a puppy) are traveling through the mountains with a group of nomads. One evening, when everyone is gathered around a communal fire, one of the nomads starts playing his dotar. Olivia hurries to get her own dotar from her tent.

Excerpt

The nomads watched and commented as Olivia expertly adjusted the strings. When she was ready, she had Saddiq ask the musician if she could play with him. The old man smiled a shy, toothless smile and bowed his assent, and someone brought a rug for Olivia. She sat listening for a while and then joined in, harmonizing with the melody and adding little strums of rhythm.

The rest of the camp had joined the circle. Everyone was quiet, even the children. Rashid [the hero] stood spellbound.

No one spoke for a while after the song ended, then they all spoke at once.

“They want you to play an American song,” Saddiq told Olivia.

“All right, I’ll play the first song I learned on the piano when I was a child.” She motioned with her hands for the old man to join her as she began plucking a thin raspy melody. She sang in her sweet, clear voice:

Go tell Aunt Rhody, Go tell Aunt Rhody

Go tell Aunt Rhody

The old grey goose is dead

The nomads whispered questions to each other, and Saddiq said to Rashid, “I’m not sure I understood. What did the song say? Who died?”

Rashid told him it was a goose that died.

“Oh.” Saddiq chuckled. “That’s what I thought she said.” Saddiq translated the verse into Qashami and the nomads all laughed.

“They think it’s funny that Americans have a song about a goose dying,” he said.

Rashid smiled because the song was, indeed, silly and because the nomads’ reaction to it was delightful and because Livie would soon be in his arms again.

After each of the remaining verses, Olivia and the old man strummed softly while Saddiq translated for the others.

She died in the mill pond, died in the mill pond,

She died in the mill pond

Standing on her head

When the song was over, everyone clamored for more.

“Okay,” Olivia said. “This is a song about the freedom of living and riding in open country like this. It’ll probably make more sense to you than the song about a dead goose.” She strummed a more forceful beat and stronger melody and sang Don’t Fence Me In.

She sang all three verses, repeating the chorus after each one and pausing to allow for translation. The twangy sound of the dotar made a perfect accompaniment to the old cowboy song.

Everyone seemed awestruck. “They can’t believe the Americans have a song about them,” Saddiq said.

“More, more, more” everyone cried. Olivia recognized the Qashami word for more without waiting for Saddiq’s translation.

“Okay, one more. This song was written over a hundred years ago, and it’s still popular at weddings today.” The title is Let Me Call You Sweetheart. She started with a fast, cheerful beat, belying the message and not stopping for translation, but when she sang the chorus for the last time she slowed the pace. She sang to Rashid, twisting his heart with the promise of the words. The nomads were quiet, listening and watching the emotions flow between Rashid and Olivia.

Let me call you “Sweetheart,” I’m in love with you.

Let me hear you whisper that you love me too.

Keep the love-light glowing in your eyes so true.

Let me call you “Sweetheart,” I’m in love with you.

“I’m sorry you didn’t get a chance to translate,” he told Saddiq when the song ended. “You can just tell them it’s a song about love.”

Saddiq laughed. “I think they could tell.”

~~~~~

Did I mention?

Escape from Behruz (a spicy Contemporary Romance, www.judymeadows.com) is on sale for 99¢!!!

And if you want to hear original versions of the songs mentioned in the excerpt:

Go Tell Aunt Rhody  (Burl Ives)

Don’t Fence Me In   (Bing Crosby) 

Let Me Call You Sweetheart  (Pat and Shirley Boone) 

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October 12

#ThirteenForThursday with Sorchia Dubois

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Author Sorchia Dubois joins us for this week’s Thirteen for Thursday

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Who was your first book boyfriend/girlfriend?

Ivanhoe/Robin Hood. I read Ivanhoe when I was pretty young and Robin Hood about the same time. Then there were Robin Hood movies—Thank you, Disney—with nice looking, tight-wearing boys with British accents. It looked like so much fun to live in the forest and fight bad guys with swords and bows and arrows. Ivanhoe was just too cool—he’d been all over the world and everybody at home either loved him or was scared of him. I’d have married either one of those guys despite the age difference and the technical problem that both of them were fictional.

What is the most interesting topic you’ve researched?

Since I like to put hints and tastes of legends in my stories, I do a lot of reading about weird creatures—especially Celtic folktales. So the most interesting things I’ve found are the Blue Men of the Minsch—demonic water Smurfs with a creepy fondness for poetry; the Baobhan sith, a female Highland vampire who makes Dracula look like a –well, like one of those sparkly teenage vampires from a certain movie series which shall not be named; and enough long-legged beasties to fill nightmares for the rest of my life.  I pass these along to readers because if I’m going to be awake all night wondering how much truth is in the old stories—so is everyone else.

What is your favorite book, song, and/or movie guilty pleasure?

Guilty pleasure—driving –going somewhere with the radio blasting and the tach red-lined. This is not something I indulge in often. Seriously, I love to drive and to travel but I don’t get to do it nearly enough. I used to drive a lot to get to work—sometimes over an hour one way—and those were the best times of the day. Traveling alone is my preferred method—nobody but me so I can stop when I want, drive through when I want, and take all the detours my little heart desires without any gripes, criticisms, or drama.

[K.J. here – we could be twins. Seriously…]

What are your favorite and least favorite words? (in any language…)

Not fond of the C-word, but very few others offend me all by themselves. It’s more the way they are said than the word itself that can get under my skin. My favorite words at the moment are ensorcellment (a long-standing fav), scheisse (for intense moments only), and kennings—these are figures of speech dating back to Old English and Old Norse poetry—like wine-dark sea or spear-din to describe battle. We use these old devices everyday (ankle-biter, fender bender, and on and on.) I like to make them up or adapt them to give my stories an old-world feel—at least for me. These are from my current WIP, Zoraida Grey and the Pictish Runes: moon-blue sorcery, ocean-ice eyes, spell-casters, moon-pie eyes.

Aside from writing, what different types of jobs have you done?

Pharmacist assistant, housecleaner, editor, teacher—some of them interesting at times, but none of them made me feel useful or like I was on the right path.

If you had to be a human planter, and you had to hold a plant while naked, what kind of plant would you hold and why?

English Ivy. I’m not allergic and I could probably convince myself I looked like a Rubenesque statue—cherubic and festively plump—with ivy leaves hiding the stretch marks and folds.

When you were little, what did you want to be when you grew up?

A writer! It started because Mom read to me a lot and I could hardly wait until I could read by myself because she always read dull stories propaganda about good little girls. Once I could read, I chose science fiction and lurid murder mysteries and, of course, epic romance. I typed my own interplanetary times newsletter in grade school and wrote an angst-filled teenage novel which I subsequently burned. I got very bad advice from male high school and college counsellors and allowed myself to be steered away from writing as a career. So I’m coming back to writing and feeling miles behind, but much happier.

White chocolate, milk chocolate, or dark chocolate?

I like my chocolate the way I like my men—dark, wrapped in foil, and with handy perforations to make them easier to break.

If you could witness any event past, present or future, what would it be?

Natural disasters are an interest but I’m not sure I would want to watch one knowing people were dying. If I could get past that, I’d like to see Krakatoa blow up, the Siberian whateveritwas, or the Tri-state tornado which actually passed not too far from where I live. Other than that, I’d like to see what Scotland and England looked like when the Caledonian Forest covered them. I have no interest in witnessing political events like the signing of the Declaration of Independence unless I could be there for the whole show from Pilgrim’s Rock on. It’s the whole story of these things that I find interesting—not just the event at the end.

What modern technology would you choose to not use and why?

TV though I love old movies—and some new ones. I waste so much time watching TV, I would gladly toss it out if it were not for the others in my house who use it as escape. And I admit, it keeps those others out of my hair so it is a necessary evil right now. Maybe I would just get rid of the news channels or even all the programs and just use it to watch movies. Then I would keep the TV and get rid of the microwave which is evil and just serves as a portal the NSA uses to watch me through.

What is the first movie you remember seeing?

True Grit—the first one I saw at a theater. My mom took me with a couple of friends and everybody was shocked when John Wayne said son of a bitch. Though my folks didn’t curse often in front of me, I was familiar with the concept and didn’t think much of it until the adults talked to me seriously about not using bad language—They seemed to single out me especially. I’m afraid their strategy backfired in a spectacular manner.

If you could speak a second language, what would it be and why?

I’m actually working on French and Gaelic. French, mainly because it’s easier and I may actually use it plus I studied it in college. Gaelic is difficult because most of the letters seem to be inserted just for fun or annoyance. I’m pretty sure Gaelic, like haggis, has its origins in a dare.

[K.J. here – mwahahaha on the haggis – I tried it when I was in Scotland. Super fantastic flavor, but I can’t get over knowing what’s in it…]

Favorite Olympic (Summer or Winter) sport and why?

Hard to choose but I am particularly fond of the Biathalon—This isn’t one of the flashy, popular events, but the history of it is intriguing. It involves cross-country skiing and shooting a rifle. In the individual event, the starts are staggered so you are essentially just doing your best without knowing for sure how you are measuring up against the others. It’s about a 12 mile ski race (about 10 miles for women) with twenty rifle targets along the way—sitting, standing, prone—several ways of shooting. The origin has to do with the Scandinavian god Ullr who was the god of skiing and hunting. The Norwegians developed military skiing contests in the 18th century, divided in four classes: shooting at mark while skiing at top speed, downhill race among trees, downhill race on big hills without falling, and a long race on flat ground while carrying rifle and military pack. I suspect this was adapted from an older tradition involving skiing, archery, and who knows what else. I just love the concentration and the need to be proficient in at least two things to succeed.  To me, it smacks of the epic and I could watch it all day long and make up stories about how it came to be and of battles and wars won because of the training.

Bonus Round

If you ruled your own country, what would you call it, and what would it be known for?

Whiskyland and our battle cry would be garbled and unintelligible—just a lot of yelling. Well, I guess we have Scotland for that. Ok. My country would be called The Woods and we would be famous for minding our own business and for a soothing magical spell we cast on everyone who enters.

Spiders, friends or foes?

Friends, though they have faulty memories and sometimes forget. I have about a million pictures of spider webs on my phone and I try not to kill spiders unless they are openly hostile. Even then, unless it is standing on my bed or in front of the refrigerator, I’ll either take it to a safer location or walk away rather than hurt it.

Sorchia’s Online Playground

Blog/Website: www.SorchiaDubois.com

Twitter: https://twitter.com/SorchiaDubois

Pinterest: www.pinterest.com/SorchiaDubois/

Facebook:  www.facebook.com/SorchiaD

Amazon author page: http://www.amazon.com/SorchiaDuBois/e/B00B60NOUQ/

Goodreads  author page: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6879978.Sorchia_DuBois

Google +: https://plus.google.com/u/0/+SorchiaDuBois

Author Bio

Sorchia Dubois lives in the piney forest of the Missouri Ozarks with seven cats, three fish, one dog, and one husband. Her two kids are grown and out in the world, but they come home to do laundry and for fried catfish dinner. She edits technical writing part time, but she spends a number of hours each day tapping out paranormal romance, Gothic murder, and Scottish thrillers.

A proud member of the Ross clan, Sorchia incorporates all things Celtic (especially Scottish) into her works. She can often be found swilling Scotch at Scottish festivals and watching kilted men toss large objects for no apparent reason.

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October 5

#ThirteenforThursday with C.B. Clark

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Welcome author C.B. Clark for this week’s Thirteen for Thursday

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Who was your first book boyfriend?

Rhett Butler in Gone with the Wind by Margaret Mitchell. I loved that book and loved that man. The novel is 1,037 pages long, but I couldn’t put it down. Rhett was such a dashing hero, handsome, sexy, and a real bad boy.

What is your favorite music guilty pleasure?

Old time Country/Western music. I love all the old country songs, the twang, the heartbreak, the whiskey-roughened voices.

What is the most adventurous thing you’ve ever done while sober?

Canyoneering in Costa Rica down a 400-foot waterfall. My heart was thundering and my knees were weak. All I could think of was what if the rope breaks? It didn’t and I was pretty proud of myself for taking on that challenge.

[K.J. here – I. Would. Have. Died.]

Aside from writing, what different types of jobs have you done?

I worked as an archaeologist and conducted archaeological surveys and digs throughout Northern British Columbia. I’ve also taught a variety of subjects at the college, high school, and elementary levels.

When you were little, what did you want to be when you grew up?

My Grandmother gave me a book about Howard Carter’s discovery of King Tut’s tomb when I was nine. Ever since then, I wanted to be an archaeologist.

White chocolate, milk chocolate, or dark chocolate?

Any chocolate, anytime, any way, all the time.

If you could witness any event past, present or future, what would it be?

The day in 1922 when Howard Carter discovered King Tut’s tomb. I can only imagine the thrill of entering that musty tomb and seeing all those treasures that hadn’t been seen in thousands of years.

What is the first movie you remember seeing?

One Million BC starring Raquel Welch in all her fur bikini splendor. My family and I watched it at the drive-in movie theatre. I huddled in the back of our family station wagon in my pajamas terrified at all the man-eating dinosaurs.

Favorite Olympic sport?

I competed in Track in high school, so I enjoy watching Track & Field events. I especially love the decathlon. What superior athletes.

Spiders, friends or foes?

I don’t like spiders. Not. One. Bit.

What is the most interesting topic you’ve researched?

I write romantic suspense so I’ve researched many quirky topics for my novels. The most interesting one was poisons. There are so many deadly poisons, many untraceable.

You’re trying to find a brand-new author to read. What’s your decision process?

I read all genres, but my sweet spot is romantic suspense. After that, I look at the cover and read the blurb on the back of the book. I’m tall, so it helps if the book is on the top two shelves in a bookstore.

You have to move somewhere you’ve never been. Where would you choose to go?

Norway. It’s the world’s happiest country.

Bonus Round

What is your non-writing super power?

Making lists. I have lists all over the house. In fact, I made a list when I was preparing this Blog. There’s nothing better than crossing items off a long list as they’re completed.

What is your favorite movie quote?

“After all, tomorrow is another day.” Scarlet says this in Gone with the Wind. This quote shows the Southern belle’s fighting spirit. She’s beaten, but not destroyed. And maybe, just maybe, she’ll win Rhett back.

C.B.’s Online Playground

Blog https://cbclarkauthor.wordpress.com

Twitter https://twitter.com/cbclarkauthor

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

Goodreads https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/15029617.C_B_Clark

Amazon Author Page https://www.amazon.com/C.-B.-Clark/e/B01BK61TQG/

Author Bio

Broken Trust is C.B. Clark’s fourth romantic suspense novel published by The Wild Rose Press. My Brother’s Sins and Cherished Secrets were released in 2016, and Bitter Legacy in 2017. C.B. has always loved reading, especially romances, but it wasn’t until she lost her voice for a year that she considered writing her own romantic suspense stories. She grew up in Canada’s Northwest Territories and Yukon. Graduating with a degree in Anthropology and Archaeology, she has worked as an archaeologist and an educator. She enjoys hiking, canoeing, and snowshoeing with her husband and dog near her home in the wilderness of central British Columbia.

October 3

#TellTaleTuesday with Peggy Jaeger & A Shot at Love

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Peggy Jaeger joins us today to share the story behind a scene from her novel, A Shot at Love.

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***Additional information from Peggy Jaeger in light of yesterday’s tragedy in Las Vegas***

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10/3/17 – Thanks for the shout out. Even though this is a work of fiction and Ky and Gemma are the good guys, I can’t help but be thoughtful and mindful about yesterday’s tragedy. This scene was written so that Ky would know Gemma could defend herself if she needed to. It was a venue for further impressing him about how adept and resourceful she is. Having said that, I am sensitive to what happened yesterday in Las Vegas and my thoughts, prayers, and wishes for the families and victims is uppermost in my mind. It’s been said too many times that guns kill people. I always respond: “Wrong. People with guns kill people.” I don’t want this excerpt to be an edict on gun control. I simply want readers to understand why I used it in the story.

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When I came up with the idea for Gemma Laine in A SHOT AT LOVE, I knew she was the sister everyone could categorize as The Warrior. Gemma is the one who would fight to the death for one of her sisters, defend them against bullies, and look the bad guys in the face without fear. Because I imagined her that way, I wanted her to be able to defend herself, if need be, since she is on the run from a mobster who wants her dead

When FBI Agent Kyros Pappandreos asks if she knows how to use a gun, Gemma nonchalantly tells him of course she does. She has a license to carry, and has been taught by the best – her brother-in-law Josh and his business partner Rick Bannerman. Ky wants to ensure she can defend herself if he is unable to, so he sets up a way for her to demonstrate her skills. This scene shows Gemma’s shooting proficiency.

And here’s the 411 on how I knew how to write this scene accurately.

Two years ago my husband had the idea that it might be a fun thing for us to do as a couple to learn to shoot. City slickers though we were raised, we now live in a rural area where guns are not uncommon. He felt it would be wise – plus fun – for us to learn about gun safety and to take shooting lessons. When I envisioned Gemma,  as I’ve said, I truly saw her as a warrior, so since she could defend herself with her martial arts skills, it made sense she could shoot a gun as well. I would never have known the terminology to use, or what it actually felt like to hold a gun had my hubby not pushed for us to learn those skills. Taking those lessons helped me walk the walk and talk the talk of shooting. And it added believability to Gemma’s character, so here’s a big shout-out to my hubby for the suggestion.

Blurb

Nothing’s impossible when love is on the menu. In Peggy Jaeger’s luscious series, the only thing more tempting than a delicious meal is a truly delectable romance . . .

Look for exclusive recipes in each book! 

Photographer Gemma Laine is looking for arresting faces on the streets of Manhattan when her camera captures something shocking—a triple murder. In that moment, she becomes a target for the mob—and a top priority for a very determined, breathtakingly handsome, FBI special agent. With deadlines to meet and photo shoots on her calendar, Gemma chafes at the idea of protection, but every moment she spends under his watchful eye is a temptation to lose herself in his muscular arms . . .

With two of his men and one crucial witness dead, Special Agent Kyros Pappandreos can’t afford to be distracted. But Gemma is dazzling—and her connection to Kandy Laine’s high-profile cooking empire makes her an especially easy mark for some very bad people. Keeping her safe is much more pleasure than business, but as the heat between them starts to sizzle, Ky is set to investigate whether they have a shot at love…..

Excerpt

“How many do I have to hit for you to be satisfied?”

Ky looked over to where she stood at the side of the garage, the Glock in her hand, its barrel aimed at the ground. Her eyes had gone wide at the hidden supply of weapons Bannerman had in the pantry access room, but her only comment had been a muttered, “Why am I not surprised?” before she’d made her choice.

He’d watched her load the clip, then weigh and balance the gun in her hand like she did it every day of her life.

“This’ll do,” she told him.

He found a box of empty beer and wine bottles in the garage and set them up at varying distances from where he’d told her to stand. He wanted to ensure she was comfortable shooting up close and far.

“All of them.” He came and stood next to her.

“Are you kidding? All of them?”

“You might never get a second chance if a first bullet misses an attacker, so yes. All of them.”

She moved to the line in the grass he’d drawn for her to shoot from, mumbling something he couldn’t hear, but guessing it wasn’t something complimentary.

“Ready?” he asked.

“Yup. Any particular order you want me to hit them in?”

He had to bite back the grin threatening to fly free at her snooty, disgruntled tone.

“Your call.”

Gemma nodded and took a stance. He wasn’t surprised when she angled her body with one foot slightly behind the other in a weaver stance and not a triangular one. The weaver was a more aggressive, weight-forward stance. Gemma held her gun up to her face, lining up her shot, both elbows bent and close to her torso. Her brother-in-law, Josh, had been a New York City cop, and if he’d taught her to shoot, it made sense he’d taught her this way. Although the triangular, or isosceles stance, was the more popular, Ky knew the weaver was a power stance, and Gemma was a woman for whom power could have been a middle name.

She flexed her shoulders and neck, the motion so subtly erotic, it made his pulse quicken, and shifted her weight. From his viewing position behind her, he appreciated just how tall and lean she was. Narrow shoulders were relaxed and tapered down into a waist no bigger than a hand span. How many times in the past few days had he thought what it would be like to slip his own hands around that tiny area and pull her in close? Too many for prudence, that was for sure.

The first bottle, the one he’d put the farthest from them, shattered into a thousand fragments. Before he could take a full breath, she’d hit the next two.

The final three closer ones she dispatched with equal ease.

When she turned to him and asked, “Satisfied?” in a tone filled with condescension, Ky had to physically restrain himself from running to her, lifting her up in his arms, and kissing the gorgeous smirk off her mouth.

Because he’d discovered how much he liked sparring with her—go figure that out—he pursed his lips and nodded. “Not bad.”

Gemma’s smirk grew into a self-satisfied grin.

“But they were all stationary targets. Really adept shooters practice with moving targets, so I really can’t gauge how well you’ll do with that. But for now, you’ll do.”

The squinty-eyed glare she aimed at him would have made a lesser man run for the hills.

“Trust me.” She dropped the empty cartridge case from the weapon into her free hand. “I can shoot those as well.”

He handed her another clip and watched as she loaded it.

“Let’s hope you never have to prove it to me.”

Gemma slapped the cartridge in place. Ky handed her a holster and waited until she fastened it around her waist.

After tightening it, she secured the gun, dropped her hands on her hips and asked, “Can we go now?”

She looked like a warrior armed for battle. Strong, self-possessed, and so bad-assed sexy standing in front of him, her bangs blowing back from the slight breeze surrounding them, her perfect chin tilted up defiantly. He could imagine her leading an army into a crusade against evil, each soldier following her blindly, minions pledged to fight for her, perhaps die for her, without hesitation.

And he’d be one of them.

Buy A Shot at Love at the following online retailers:

Amazon / Kensington / Barnes and Noble

Apple / Kobo / Google

Author Bio

Peggy Jaeger is a contemporary romance writer who writes about strong women, the families who support them, and the men who can’t live without them.

Family and food play huge roles in Peggy’s stories because she believes there is nothing that holds a family structure together like sharing a meal…or two…or ten. Dotted with humor and characters that are as real as they are loving, Peggy brings all topics of daily life into her stories: life, death, sibling rivalry, illness and the desire for everyone to find their own happily ever after. Growing up the only child of divorced parents she longed for sisters, brothers and a family that vowed to stick together no matter what came their way. Through her books, she has created the families she wanted as that lonely child.

Tying into her love of families, her children’s book, THE KINDNESS TALES, was illustrated by her artist mother-in-law.

Peggy holds a master’s degree in Nursing Administration and first found publication with several articles she authored on Alzheimer’s Disease during her time running an Alzheimer’s in-patient care unit during the 1990s.

In 2013, she placed first in two categories in the Dixie Kane Memorial Contest: Single Title Contemporary Romance and Short/Long Contemporary Romance.

In 2017 she came in 3rd in the New England Reader’s Choice contest for A KISS UNDER THE CHRISTMAS LIGHTS and was a finalist in the 2017 STILETTO contest for the same title.

A lifelong and avid romance reader and writer, she is a member of RWA and her local New Hampshire RWA Chapter.

Peggy Jaeger’s Online Playground

Website/Blog: http://peggyjaeger.com/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/peggy_jaeger

Amazon Author page: http://www.amazon.com/-/e/B00T8E5LN0

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Peggy-Jaeger-Author/825914814095072?ref=bookmarks

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

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/13478796.Peggy_Jaeger

Instagram: https://instagram.com/mmj122687/

 

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