March 20

#TellTaleTuesday with Jennifer Wilck and Five Minutes to Love

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Welcome author Jennifer Wilck and her new release Five Minutes to Love for this week’s Tell Tale Tuesday.

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When I started to write Five Minutes to Love, I knew I wanted my main characters to meet on a speed date. The concept intrigued me and my characters are the right age for it. The problem was, I’m not. I’ve been married for twenty-three years and speed dating wasn’t a thing back when I was dating. Even if it had been, I met my husband in college, so I never had to deal with dating in the “real world.”

Luckily for me, I had two fortuitous things happen to me.

The first was I got to witness an actual event. Okay, maybe “witness” isn’t the right word. That’s too above-board. In truth, my daughter and I spied on one. You see, we were in New York City with my husband and a friend. After a lovely day walking around, we stopped for dinner at a restaurant our friend recommended. In the back of the restaurant, on the way to the restrooms, was another room with a bar and there was a sign announcing a speed date event. People were already arriving, so I raced back to the table, grabbed my daughter and brought her to the restrooms, where from the door, we could watch the event. I may or may not have recorded the hostess giving instructions.

So now I knew how it worked. But I needed to make it interesting. Well, despite the fact that I’m an old married lady with teenaged daughters, I do have single friends. So I asked them if they had ever tried speed dating, and while none of them had, they put me in touch with someone else who had done it. And wow, did she have stories! Her stories populate the event in my book, brought it to light, and I’m grateful for her experience and humor in sharing with me.

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Curious about Five Minutes to Love?
Here’s the blurb

Aviva Shulman has had enough of the dating scene. Her father valued his high-powered career over his wife and family. She wants something more, someone who values her. But her roommates are determined to find her the perfect match.

Jacob Black doesn’t have time for relationships. A third-year law student, he’s focused on studying and getting a high-paying job with a top-notch law firm. But his overbearing mother wants him to find someone and settle down.

Their paths cross at a speed dating event and sparks fly. But is five minutes long enough to determine a future together?

Excerpt

And it wouldn’t be fair of me to tease you about the speed dating fiascos without giving you a little hint, which starts with Jacob, the hero, having been dragged to the event by his roommate:

“So, you ready to find the woman of your dreams?”

“Here? I doubt it.”

“That’s what I love about you, Jake. You’re always the optimist.”

Jacob took a long swallow of his drink. Some of the tension of the day disappeared. “I’m a realist. It’s not possible to find the woman of my dreams in five minutes. Besides, with the Bar exam looming and the long hours we’ll have to put into a job at a law firm, no woman in her right mind will want to get involved with either of us.”

“We don’t need one in her right mind, Jake, just…” Adam molded his hands into an hourglass. Jacob elbowed him in the ribs. “Ow!”

“Grow up.”

The hostess began her instructions, and the chatter died down. “Okay, ladies, you’re going to stay seated while the men move from table to table at five-minute intervals. Make sure to write down the name of each person you meet. Circle the name of anyone you’re interested in. At the end of the evening, turn your program in to me. I’ll provide you with the contact info of anyone for whom there is a mutual interest. That’s it. Have fun. If you have any questions, ask.”

The bell rang. Jacob sat at a table across from a petite blonde.?“Hi, I’m Samantha.”

“Hi, Samantha, I’m Jacob.”

“Nice to meet you, Jacob. I’m a dietician. Do you know how much weight you can gain from alcohol?”

“Uh, no, hadn’t thought about it.” He pushed his glass to the side.

She sipped from her bottle of water. “Most people don’t. That’s why I only drink water. What do you do?”

“I’m a law student at Seton Hall.”

“Oh, student diets are the worst. You should make sure to get lots of fiber and vitamin C in your diet. Potassium, like from bananas, is also important.”

As she continued her list of essential ingredients, Jacob stared blindly into space. Just when he thought he couldn’t stand any more of her advice, the bell rang.

“Well, it was nice to meet you, Jacob.”

Buy Links

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Five-Minutes-Love-Serendipity-Book-ebook/dp/B079WMLNJB

Barnes & Noble: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/five-minutes-to-love-jennifer-wilck/1128011304?ean=2940158814495

The Wild Rose Press: https://catalog.thewildrosepress.com/all-titles/5742-five-minutes-to-love.html?search_query=jennifer+wilck&results=6

Author Bio

Jennifer started telling herself stories as a little girl when she couldn’t fall asleep at night. Pretty soon, her head was filled with these stories and the characters that populated them. Even as an adult, she thinks about the characters and stories at night before she falls asleep or walking the dog. Eventually, she started writing them down. Her favorite stories to write are those with smart, sassy, independent heroines; handsome, strong and slightly vulnerable heroes; and her stories always end with happily ever after.

In the real world, she’s the mother of two amazing daughters and wife of one of the smartest men she knows. When she’s not writing, she loves to laugh with her family and friends, is a pro at finding whatever her kids lost in plain sight, and spends way too much time closing doors that should never have been left open in the first place. She believes humor is the only way to get through the day and does not believe in sharing her chocolate.

She writes contemporary romance, some of which are mainstream and some of which involve Jewish characters. She’s published with The Wild Rose Press and all her books are available through Amazon and Barnes & Noble.

Jennifer’s Online Playground

Website: http://www.jenniferwilck.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Jennifer-Wilck-201342863240160/

Facebook Readers Group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/2055470311366345/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/JWilck

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/authorjenniferwilck/

BookBub: https://www.bookbub.com/profile/jennifer-wilck

February 13

#TellTaleTuesday with Kay Harris and Don’t Let Him Go

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Welcome author Kay Harris with her to-be-released-tomorrow!! novel Don’t Let Him Go for this week’s #TellTaleTuesday.

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My sixth contemporary romance novel “Don’t Let Him Go” will be the first one to be published (as opposed to self-published). It comes out on February 14 (how perfect, right!). The journey to having this multicultural romantic comedy published by The Wild Rose Press is an extraordinary one (at least I think so).

Three years ago I was living in the Bay Area. I lived on the island of Alameda in the East Bay and worked in downtown San Francisco. Each morning I took the ferry across the bay, under the Bay Bridge and to the historic ferry building (always sipping on fancy coffee.) Each evening I took the ferry back home (sometimes sipping on red wine from the bar in the back of the boat.) It was a fantastic commute for sure, but it was also the beginning of this story.

“Don’t Let Him Go” is the tale of a conservative-minded corporate lawyer who finds herself stuck working with a bleeding-heart activist. Like the cities that lie on either side of the Bay where this story is set, the couple is multi-faceted. One is straight-laced and well-put-together but with a strong sense of right and wrong held deep inside. The other is raw, exposed, and far more comfortable in his own skin. The bridge stretching between them is the connection they unexpectedly find. And like the Bay Bridge that connects San Francisco to Oakland it is regal, proud, and often overlooked in favor of the shiny red bridge that runs north to south.

Okay, so I’m getting dramatic. But I love this story and I love these characters. They spoke to me each day as I rode that ferry and after I returned home each night I wrote it all out. Last April I was preparing to self-publish “Don’t Let Him Go” as I’d done with five other books before it, when I attended the Las Vegas Writers’ Conference. It was there that I met the amazing ladies of The Wild Rose Press and a new future, a new dream for my characters was born.

So now here I am, prepared to release my baby into the world. I hope you all will love it as much as I do!

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Blurb

The only thing worse than getting stuck with a bad client is falling in love with him. 

Candace Gleason passed the bar, landed a great job, and is making a killer salary–basically, all of her dreams are coming true. Until she’s assigned to keep the boss’s petulant son out of trouble.

Jack Morrison is the rebellious black sheep of a mighty real estate family. He runs a nonprofit whose mission is to save poor people from evil corporations, like the one his own family owns. He is obnoxious, ridiculously charming, and insanely hot. He is the bane of Candace’s very existence.

Sparks fly from the moment they meet.  Candace suddenly has more to worry about than keeping Jack out of jail. She has to keep him out of her heart.

Excerpt

I folded my arms across my chest and glared at Jack as he moseyed into the room. “You ambushed me.”

Jack came to a stop a few feet away and nodded. “I did.”

“That’s it?” I spread my arms out and leaned forward. My voice rose despite my effort to control it. “That’s all you have to say?”

“What do you want me to say? You’re smart. You can see what I did back there. I used you for my own gain.”

“You’re a prick!”

“I’m not surprised you feel that way. But I am sorry you had to get caught in the crossfire.” He moved to the couch and took a seat in the middle of it, purposefully giving me the high ground.

He slung his arms over the back of the couch casually, making him look like an arrogant ass. And that is exactly what I thought of him at that moment. So I called him on his supposed apology. “Are you?”

“Yes, I am. But you’re not innocent, Candie. You put yourself in this position by going to work for Morrison.”

“It’s Candace!” I shouted, on the edge of insanity.

He didn’t respond. He just looked at me with that infuriatingly handsome face and waited, an amused grin dancing on his face.

Buy Links

AMAZON: http://amzn.to/2BoiLDO

B&N: http://bit.ly/2n6FeQX

AMAZON CA: http://amzn.to/2GadB20

AMAZON UK: http://amzn.to/2DwlHjL

AMAZON AU: http://amzn.to/2E2G1u8

THE WILD ROSE PRESS: http://bit.ly/2EQeBHj

Author Bio

Kay Harris has had a diverse career with jobs ranging from college professor to park ranger. Now she adds author to her repertoire. Kay writes romance novels that contain a little bit of sweet, a dash of sexy, a touch of heartbreak, and a whole lot of fun!

Kay grew up in the Midwest and has since lived all over the western United States including Montana, Wyoming, Utah, Arizona, Nevada, and California. She loves to hike, is obsessed with museums, and enjoys taking her extremely tall and very handsome husband on adventures.

Kay’s Online Playground

WEBSITE:  http://www.kayharrisauthor.com

BLOG:  https://www.kayharrisauthor.com/blog/

TWITTER:  https://twitter.com/KayHarrisAuthor

FACEBOOK:  https://www.facebook.com/AuthorKayHarris/

GOODREADS:  https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/15060640.Kay_Harris

BOOKBUB: https://www.bookbub.com/profile/kay-harris

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 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 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.

~~~~~

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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September 26

#TellTaleTuesday with Veronica Blake and Superstition

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Author Veronica Blake joins us to share the story behind her novel Superstition

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After writing eleven historical romances, I was ready to try something different.  I love paranormal as much as I love history, so I knew my next writing venture was going to involve vampires.  Ever since I was a little girl and watched my first Dracula movie with my mom and aunt I’ve been a fan of the Prince of Darkness and everything related.  I imagined my vamps living in a secluded and mysterious locale, so my original plan was to set this book in some exotic place like a Greek island.  But then, I started thinking about all the places I had already studied while doing research for my other books, or the places I had actually visited in the past.

The most extensive research trip that I’ve ever taken was when I was writing my third and fourth books, Savage Dreams and Apache Tigress.  Those books were about the Jicarilla Apache who lived in Eastern Arizona.  I was fortunate at the time to know a wonderful lady who had once been a teacher at the school on The White Mountain Reservation, and she offered to show me around.  She took me to places on the reservation I’m sure most tourists never have a chance to see up close.  We explored everything from remote desert rock formations covered in shiny black stones called ‘Apache Tears’ to ancient ruins that can only be seen from a certain spot on the reservation.   It was an amazing adventure.

During one of our tours, we stopped for lunch at a McDonalds in the town of Apache Junction, about 35 miles from Phoenix.  I was looking out the window when a rugged mountain range caught my attention.  I asked my friend about them and she told me they were the Superstitions.  Even in the midday sun the craggy peaks looked mysterious and menacing to me.  I told myself someday I was going to write a book about those spooky mountains.  I just never imagined it would be over two decades later before I would finally follow through with that plan.

When my friend reminded they were also the location of the Lost Dutchman Goldmine, I was completely captivated.  I’ve always been fascinated with the history of the Old West, so I had definitely heard of the Lost Dutchman Goldmine.  However, I didn’t know a lot of the details regarding the mine.  Even from a distance, though, just looking at those spooky mountains fueled my imagination.   But, at the time I was consumed with writing my two historical Apache romances, which took place on the reservation and in Mexico.

Seven more Historical Romances followed my two book Apache series, and truthfully, I sort of forgot about using the Superstitions as the setting in one of my books.  Occasionally, I would come across an article, or see something on TV about unexplained deaths and disappearances, or someone who believed they had found new evidence leading to the location of the legendary goldmine.  Since the 1880s gold seekers have been trying to decipher the clues left by Jabob Waltz—a gold miner who claimed he had actually found the mine.  He kept the location a secret, but left cryptic clues to its whereabouts.  Whenever I would see or hear about one of these new theories or discoveries, I would remember my plan to write those enigmatic mountains into a story.

When I started working on my first paranormal romance I began to research the Superstitions with renewed interest.  They weren’t in some exotic location, but I remembered how menacing those mountains had seemed to me all those years ago.  Even more intriguing to me was how fact and fiction have woven together numerous eerie accounts of the goldmine or treasure that is supposedly hidden somewhere in those mountains.  Is there a rich cache of gold hidden there by early Spanish conquistadors or is there truly a priceless vein of gold ore concealed somewhere in the stone interior?  The Apaches believe in the mine’s existence.  They are certain anyone who finds it will die.  And, countless lives have been lost in the harsh mountain range.  The exact number is not even known.  Many gold seekers just disappeared without a trace.  Some think the goldmine is haunted by ghosts.  Others think demonic entities protect the entrance to the treasure.   The one thing everyone does agree with—anyone who ventures too close will pay the ultimate price.

So, I started thinking what if it weren’t ghosts or demons guarding the treasure?  What if it’s vampires? That’s when I knew I had found the perfect location and back story for my new book.  Best of all, I was able to combine my love of history with my love of the paranormal. Those scary mountains also provided me with the perfect title…Superstition.

Someday I hope to return to the Superstitions and actually hike on some of the trails I researched for my book.  Of course, I won’t be staying up there overnight.  Once the sun goes down the vampires leave the hidden caves at the top of the mountain and roam around looking for curious gold seekers who might get too close to the vast treasure they have guarded for the past two centuries.

Blurb

Treasure lies deep in the Superstition Mountains, but is it worth the price…

Mateo Two Moons’ family has guarded dark secrets and unspeakable horrors for centuries. His Apache Blood Clan is dhampyre—half human, half vampire. But he will risk revealing the truth concealed in The Lost Dutchman’s Gold Mine, exposing his entire family, and even his own existence to claim his human mate and change the perilous fate of his clan.

Dawn Malone’s move to Arizona to teach middle school has expanded her horizons. Meeting new people, hiking the desert wilderness, and the lure of gold fever in the old mine is exactly what she needs.  The handsome Apache she encounters seems almost too good to be true.  Mateo’s sexy, dangerous air draws her in, seducing her heart and soul. But her intrigue concerning the secrets he keeps turns to confusion and horror as she begins to realize the man she’s falling for could be something she didn’t even believe existed.

The scene behind the story

“I was really sure we would find something new today. I have those old clues left by Jacob Waltz memorized and I’ve studied that area so carefully; I just don’t know what I could be missing.” Chloe shook her head and added, “Maybe old man Waltz was just a crazy old fart, after all.”

She stood up and stared out toward the distant horizon as she repeated the clues for at least the tenth time today. “You have to crawl through a hole in the rock. From here you can see the Old Military Trail. You can’t see the mine from the trail. If you climb up a short distance you can see Weaver’s Needle. The setting sun shines on the gold in my mine. A rock face looks at my mine.”

Dawn forced herself up from the ground and stood beside Chloe and stared in the same direction where her friend’s attention was focused. Off in the distance the sun was nearly gone from the westerly sky as her gaze settled on the ominous shape of Weaver’s Needle. The protruding column of massive rock glowed in deep shades of orange and was surrounded by a shadowy purplish haze making it appear almost spiritual.

Today, they had been on the most treacherous trails she ever hiked, crawled through a hole in a huge rock shaped like a natural arch in one of the most rugged and remote places Dawn had ever been; Chloe led them to the barely visible path called the Old Military Trail, and they stared at the huge rock formation called Weaver’s Needle from the top of a jagged range of rocks for what seemed hours. But as hard as they tried, they could not find anything resembling a face in any of the surrounding cliffs or rocks.

Chloe continued to gaze off into the distance as frustration and disappointment became evident on her tired face. Dawn felt at a loss for words. She kept thinking about all the research she had done about this area in the past few days, especially the parts about the curse of the Lost Dutchman Mine, and how it was allegedly guarded by unfathomable evil forces that would never allow anyone to live if they should ever find it.

It creeped her out to think of how many lives had been lost in these mountains looking for a goldmine that might be no more than someone’s wild imagination. The exact number of missing or dead was not even known for sure, since many explorers and hopeful gold seekers just disappeared without a trace.

Being here in the heart of these hidden recesses and rugged terrain, however, Dawn could definitely understand how someone might easily become lost or fall into one of the deep caverns and never find their way out of this dangerous rock maze again.

Where To Purchase

Amazon / The Wild Rose Press / Barnes and Noble

Veronica’s Online Playground

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Veronica-Blake-Writer-266206860220484/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/VeronicaBlake53

Blog: https://veronicablake1423.wordpress.com

Goodreads author page: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/104302.Veronica_Blake

Amazon page: https://www.amazon.com/VeronicaBlake/e/B0034OW8PY/ref=sr_tc_2_0?qid=1496253795&sr=1-2-ent

Author Bio

I’ve spent my entire life in a small town in the Colorado Rockies.  Outdoor activities such as hiking, riding my ATV and camping are my favorite things to do.  I’m a proud mother of three gorgeous adults, and grandmother to four amazing grandchildren.  Hopefully, no matter how old I get, I will always consider myself to be a hopeless romantic and a seeker of endless adventure.   Life, family, friends and music are my inspirations.

My published books include: Texas Rose, Desperado Desire, Savage Bite; Apache Tigress, Texas Princess, Cheyenne Temptress, Colorado Passion, Yukon Love Song, Black Horse, White Owl and Superstition.

I’m working on the second book in a Paranormal Romance Series, entitled The Blood Clan. Superstition, the first book in this series was a June 9, 2017 release by The Wild Rose Press.

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September 12

#TellTaleTuesday with Courtney Williamson Milford & Dot and the Nutrition Club

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Courtney Williamson Milford is here to tell us about her children’s book, Dot and the Nutrition Club.

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My nine-year-old son is overweight, and he knows it. He has a yet to be diagnosed muscle condition that makes it difficult for him to run or jump, so he does not participate in team sports, although we make sure he walks and swims.

When he went to his last annual check-up, his pediatrician suggested that I take him for a follow-up appointment with a pediatric neurologist at a local children’s hospital. I called, and was not able to get him in with the specialist he had seen before, but they scheduled him with another provider at the same facility.

What a mistake this turned out to be. Immediately upon our arrival, the neurologist pegged my son as lazy, and began to fat-shame him. He did not do it in the way that most doctors will, which is via veiled comments about the child getting more exercise and choosing healthier foods. No, indeed; he verbally abused my son for at least ten minutes, causing my boy to squeeze his eyes shut, cover his ears, and bend his head towards his lap as he attempted to shield himself from the doctor’s callous words.

Clearly, I should have stormed out of the office with my son, but I was caught off-guard. As awful as this experience was, it gave me the idea to write the eighth book in my children’s picture book series, Tales of Bark Story Land.

The book is called Dot and the Nutrition Club and it tells the story of Dot, a bulldog, and two other animal children who are called into the nurse’s office at school because their BMIs do not fit in with the school’s weight chart. The nurse tells them they are the charter members of the new “Nutrition Club,” and advises them to eat fewer than 1,200 calories a day, and drink only water.

Dot lives with her aunt and uncle, who quickly understand what is going on, and convince the school to change the “Nutrition Club” to the “Cardio Club,” and open it up to everyone. The animal children gather after school for active games and fun, and Dot feels better about herself, especially when she is asked to model a tutu in her dance studio’s fashion show.

I wrote this for all overweight children everywhere. My daughter, who is now a gorgeous 16-year-old lacrosse player, slender and fit, was fat-shamed when she was younger. She literally grew out of her puppy fat, but there were several years when she left the doctor’s office in tears. At one point, the pediatrician, who was well-intentioned but wrong, in my opinion, sent her to a nutrition specialist. She was the only non-anorexic girl in the waiting room, and the nutritionist said she was the healthiest child she had seen all day.

This topic brings me to tears, even though I have never been overweight myself. I hope this book inspires doctors and other adults who work with children to be sensitive when talking about weight, and to remember that everyone’s body is different.

Courtney Williamson Milford’s children Teagan and Justin

Blurb

Poor Dot learns that she does not fit into the numbers on the school nurse’s weight chart. When her Aunt Darling learns that Dot has been put in the school’s “Nutrition Club,” she sends her husband, Officer Caramel, down to the school to investigate. Soon enough, the Nutrition Club becomes the Cardio Club, and all animal children are welcome to join, regardless of body type.

Excerpt

Buy Dot and the Nutrition Club 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.)

Visit Courtney online at her Amazon Author Page

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September 5

#TellTaleTuesday with Jennifer Wilck & In the Moment

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To celebrate her new release, Jennifer Wilck is here to share the story behind her novel In the Moment

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Old houses speak to me. I walk in them and I imagine what it would be like to live in them. I love the details of the molding, the architectural styles, the massive fireplaces and the hidden nooks and crannies.

A few years ago, an old Victorian mansion went on the market near my home. On a lark, I took my two girls and we went to the open house. We instantly fell in love! If I had a spare million dollars lying around—plus a lot of extra to restore and decorate—that house would have been mine. We wandered through it, imagining which rooms would be ours.

And my muse tapped me on the shoulder and insisted I make the house the focal point of a book. I don’t normally begin my books with a setting, but this time, I did. I was able to use actual photos of the house and its rooms (empty) from the real estate website for my inspiration while writing the story.

The setting was a gorgeous old Victorian mansion. Cassie, my heroine, was restoring it in the hopes of one day raising a family there. She’d grown up as a foster child, and this home was the last one she lived in with her foster mother, the only place she’d ever felt truly part of a family. When her foster mother died, Cassie bought the house and began the restoration.

Since I had a heroine who was so tied to a home, I made the hero someone who was afraid to put down roots. He’s a war photographer recovering from the horrors of what he saw, and getting over the deaths of soldiers who were his friends. The last thing he wants is someone who oozes commitment from her very pores.

Of course, as you can imagine, that’s exactly who he gets. They’re perfect for each other, as he soon learns while helping her with yard work, misplaced supplies and errant rolls of wallpaper. And eventually, when they both find their happily ever after, it’s the house they return to.

Blurb

Cassie Edwards, a former foster child, purchases an 1870s Victorian mansion, the one home from her childhood where she felt like part of a family. She’s spending her summer lovingly restoring it, with dreams of one day raising a family of her own here. Rayne Tucket, a photojournalist, is haunted by the death of his best friend in Afghanistan, a death he thinks is his fault. He survives day to day. Forever is not in his vocabulary. Swearing off photography, he answers an ad for a handyman—mindless, no emotion involved. As the two of them renovate her house, can Cassie show Rayne that love is strong enough to heal all wounds?

Excerpt

“So, Rayne, where are you from?”

He seemed to chew his food longer than necessary and swallowed slowly before answering. “I was born in Vermont. My family still lives there. You?”

“Actually, I’ve lived a bunch of places, but I spent my teenage years right here.”

He swallowed a bite of chicken. “In Fortune’s Rock?”

“In this house.”

“Your parents owned this house?”

She looked away. “Something like that.” His gaze bored into her, as if he knew she wasn’t telling everything. But he wouldn’t be here long enough for her to confide. She looked away.

“Were you happy here?” he asked.

“This house represents the perfect home to me. It’s a place you can live in forever, raise children, and pass along to the next generation. It’s my dream of what a perfect life should be.” She looked off into the distance, pulled away by her memories. Slowly, she came back to the present. Rayne wasn’t talking or eating.

She hadn’t asked her questions. “So, you mentioned you were heading south. Any particular destination?”

He clenched his jaw. “Nowhere you’d know.”

Where to Buy In the Moment

The Wild Rose Press  /  Amazon

Barnes & Noble / Kobo

Author Bio

Jennifer started telling herself stories as a little girl when she couldn’t fall asleep at night. Her favorite stories to write are those with smart, sassy, independent heroines; handsome, strong and slightly vulnerable heroes; and her stories always end with happily ever after.

In the real world, she’s the mother of two amazing daughters and wife of one of the smartest men she knows. When she’s not writing, she loves to laugh with family and friends, is a pro at finding whatever her kids lost in plain sight, and spends way too much time closing doors that should never have been left open. She believes humor is the only way to get through the day and doesn’t share her chocolate.

She writes contemporary romance, some of which are mainstream and some of which involve Jewish characters. All are available through Amazon and Barnes & Noble.

Jennifer Wilck’s Online Playground

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Jennifer-Wilck-201342863240160/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/JWilck

Website: http://www.jenniferwilck.com

Blog: http://jenniferwilck.blogspot.com

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

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